Whether you’re involved in Campbell River’s hospitality industry directly or simply enjoy chatting with visitors on Discovery Pier, you play a role in how the city is perceived.
All of those interactions have an impact, especially with tourism the fastest-growing industry in the area, says Kirsten Soder, executive director with Destination Campbell River, the city’s destination marketing organization (DMO).
“We’re tapping into an incredible opportunity in Campbell River,” she says. “One of the best assets about Campbell River is visitors are guaranteed to meet real people who live in a quintessential Vancouver Island community. It’s real, authentic, unpretentious and very Canadian – our people are a huge part of that. They’re our best ambassadors for this amazing place.”
Wide range of accommodations
Campbell River boasts a wide assortment of places to stay – in a broad price range – from cozy bed and breakfasts and seaside cottages to oceanfront resorts and downtown hotels. With 721 rooms available at 26 properties, and 108 short-term rental opportunities via online accommodation platforms, the accommodation sector is a major driver of the local economy.
Leisure travellers seek a base while touring the region, experiencing fishing adventures, wildlife viewing, cold water diving and visiting friends and family. Business travellers take advantage of local retail and food and beverage amenities as well, often returning as visitors. These are all critical components of a thriving tourism industry. The accommodations are often the first point of contact for guests, and the local ambassadors working there take their role to heart.
Busy hotels fuel marketing efforts
After a banner year for accommodation occupancy in 2018, Destination Campbell River expects a three-per-cent jump in its marketing budget this year, due in part to the fact short-term rentals now contribute hotel taxes, Soder says. Hotel taxes are a major funding source for DMOs and augment city and provincial funding for destination marketing, she adds. While visitors are drawn to the North Central Island and surrounding coastal communities for the incredible adventure tourism, cultural exploration, hiking and golf, the marketing of those opportunities is linked closely to the success of local accommodations, she says.
Destination Think was contracted by the City of Campbell River in 2017 to handle tourism-related functions including destination marketing, visitor experience management, product development, travel media relations, content creation and other important functions of a DMO. Operating locally as Destination Campbell River, it strives to align local ambassadors and tourism industry stakeholders to ensure how the community is represented to visitors (in person and online) is consistent with the brand promise: that we are a city nestled in nature, with all the comforts of home. Campbell River offers accessible wilderness opportunities, immersive art and cultural experiences, and warm, welcoming locals who work together to increase the awareness and desirability of this incredible region.
To learn more about your tourism-related business becoming a Destination Campbell River stakeholder, register online, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Visitor Centre at 250-286-6901.