Home Business & Economy Tourism 10-year Greater Victoria tourism strategy in the works

10-year Greater Victoria tourism strategy in the works

Online survey open to June 30, 2023

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Wednesday June 14, 2023 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated 1:45 pm]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Destination Greater Victoria (DGV) has opened the doors to a region-wide vision for tourism.

The 10-year scope is likely to bring new tourism attractions to downtown Victoria as well as the west shore and the Saanich peninsula — the full Greater Victoria area.

Now things are post-pandemic. People want to get back to in-person activities, including conventions. DGV is seeing that the hybrid model (livestream of in-person events) is beginning to experience waning interest.

destination greater victoria, tourism, survey

Public input wanted:

In-person engagement sessions about the 10-year Tourism Master Plan have been held in recent weeks, as well as focus groups and interviews with leaders in the tourism sector before that.

The public is invited to provide their input online up to June 30, 2023.

They’re looking for feedback on what possible future attractions might appeal to visitors who arrive in Victoria for conventions by air, bus, ferry or cruise ships. Destination Greater Victoria wants to see this part of Vancouver Island be an even more exciting must-see place.

consultants, tourism dgv
Presenters from Next Factor Inc — Paul Ouimet of Vancouver and Cassandra McAuley of Calgary — were introduced by Graham Wallace of Destination Greater Victoria, May 31, 2023. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

How to participate:

The Tourism Master Planning online survey runs now through June 30.

To participate simply visit www.tourismvictoria.com/destination-master-planning.

The survey takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Participants can complete the survey once per IP address.

online survey, destination greater victoria
Online survey about 10-year plans for tourism in Greater Victoria, is open to June 30, 2023. [Destination Greater Victoria]
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Destination Greater Victoria says it is committed to achieving positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes through sustainable tourism in the region, and the development of the Master Plan will be carried out in collaboration with MMGY NextFactor and FLOOR13, two industry-leading and globally recognized consulting firms specializing in travel and tourism.

graham wallace
Graham Wallace, VP Strategy, Governance and Stakeholder Engagement, Destination Greater Victoria. [file]

In addition to seeking input and feedback from Greater Victoria residents, DGV says that the development of the Tourism Master Plan will include a comprehensive data collection and community engagement process that distills input from local businesses, associations, accommodations, experience providers, Indigenous partners, social and civic organizations, and government.

Working for Destination Greater Victoria, the Next Factor consultants are looking for “big ideas to improve the visitor experience, target new audiences and set a course for sustainable responsible growth”.

There is a desire to address conference facility needs, hotel development, transportation links, harbour and other infrastructure opportunities.

monk, it services

So far, they seem to have determined that increasing the tourism footprint in the Greater Victoria area is about more than marketing the beauty and outdoor activities of the region, but will in future years require new and more tourist attractions.

In particular, if conference delegates and cruise ship passengers are going to travel beyond the downtown Victoria area, the incentive needs to be strong. They mentioned possibly encouraging the development of more boutique hotels outside of downtown and into “the suburb communities”. Agri-tourism was mentioned toward the end (giving food and wine trail development as two options).

They want to improve on visitor data collection.

seaparc, golf, demamiel, 2023

Shoulder season and more downtown:

Destination Greater Victoria (DGV) is also hoping to maintain its various ‘shoulder season’ attractions (outside of the busy summer season). The consultants expressed their amazement at how DGV has ‘flattened the curve’ in recent years, i.e. eliminated the spikes of busy vs slow seasons.

Downtown Victoria is primarily day-time business and tourists there for a short stay (such as off the cruise ships). Adapting the offerings to a broader, more interactive, broader age-friendly and accessible-friendly experience might turn things in a more positive direction for visitors, residents, businesses and the tourism sector overall.

dumont tirecraft, fleet

Changing the tone of downtown Victoria:

Downtown Victoria still has a lot of tourist-style souvenir shops and traditional retail and some small coffee shops and restaurants. Introducing European-style use of streets and patios year-round might change the tone of the downtown Victoria experience.

That change might include deflecting the use of downtown streets by people who are finding themselves homeless and might discourage the level of crime that the downtown business area has endured at various times.

Downtown Victoria is primarily day-time business and tourists there for a short stay (such as off the cruise ships). Adapting the offerings to a broader, more interactive, broader age-friendly and accessible-friendly experience might turn things in a more positive direction for visitors, residents, businesses and the tourism sector overall.


===== RELATED:

West shore options explored in tourism engagement (June 1, 2023)

Have your say about tourism in Greater Victoria (May 16, 2023)


mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends is professional regional journalism at islandsocialtrends.ca. Fully online as a daily news portal since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the path of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).

Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to reporting and analyzing the news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC and national news impacts. [See Island Social Trends Politics Archive]. She has covered the details of local, provincial and federal elections since 2008. As of 2023 Mary P Brooke reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.

Mary P Brooke has also focused on news of School District 62 (Langford, Colwood and Sooke) at the board level since 2014 [see Island Social Trends Education archive] and has covered West Shore Parks & Recreation over the years (particularly the transitional years of 2014-2020). During 2020 and 2021 she reported daily on BC’s COVID pandemic news to build the ongoing COVID pandemic archive. Since 2021 she has been building a Food Security news archive.

Watch for the renewed print edition of Island Social Trends (formerly West Shore Voice News) in summer 2023. Advertisers welcome – inquiries. | How to be a Premium Subscriber