The Campbell River Visitor Centre saw more than 40,000 visitors through its doors in 2011, and a more than 13 per cent increase in overall inquiries over 2010.
The visitor centre recorded 40,002 tourists from around the word stopping in to ask about area attractions and activities.
“They requested information about a wide variety of topics, but at the top of the list were attractions at 18 per cent and adventure recreation at 12 per cent (of visitor enquiries), followed closely by community services such as banks, laundry, grocery stores, etc.,” said visitor centre manager Rhonda Harper.
Transportation enquiries were up 12.5 per cent, which Harper attributed to a change in BC Ferries policy to no longer print schedules.
The largest group of visitors to the visitor centre, at 39 per cent, were from other parts of B.C. Next, were tourists from Europe, who made up 33 per cent of those who stopped at the centre. This was up four per cent over 2010.
There was a wide range in the length of stay planned by those travellers who stopped in, but the majority were in Campbell River for just a quick visit.
“Some of these visitors were just passing through and some were here for more than two weeks,” Harper said. “Eighty per cent of our visitors stayed for two nights and less.”
Although the total number of visitors who stopped in at the centre was up only 2.9 per cent over the 38,875 seen in 2010, the total inquiries received were up 13.4 per cent. The Campbell River Visitor Centre also increased its hours of operation by 5.5 per cent. While the tourist season started slowly, August and September saw an increase of seven per cent over the same two months in 2010.
These numbers do not represent the total tourism numbers, Harper stressed
“It is important to note that these stats reflect the visitors to the Campbell River Visitor Centre only,” she said.