Tourism Vancouver Island is pleased to announce the completion of the Hiking Tourism Master Plan for Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast. As the second phase of the three phase Vancouver Island Trails Strategy initiative, the Master Plan outlines our Region’s path to an Exceptional Hiking Experience Network.
Thanks to the proactive efforts and dedication of community organizations, various levels of government, economic development agencies and others, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast have a multitude of unique and high quality trails that cater to a variety of user preferences and ability levels. Hiking trails have long been recognized as a significant contributor to the quality of life of residents and as major tourism assets. Despite the importance of hiking trails to the Region and the ongoing efforts of trail advocates, the Region has yet to reach its full hiking tourism potential due to a lack of alignment and coordination.
In outlining our path to an Exceptional Hiking Experience Network, the Hiking Tourism Master Plan seeks to elevate the Region’s existing hiking experiences through a coordinated destination management, development and marketing program. Once complete, the “Exceptional Hiking Experience Network” will support trip planning through an interactive website and it will ensure that trails in the Network offer a consistent and high quality experience. Moreover, best practice guidelines support future trail improvement, management and development initiatives. It is expected that the Exceptional Hiking Experience Network will result in more visits to the Region, extended length of visitor stay, increased visitor spending, increased return visits and increased referrals.
Phase three of this project will focus on implementing the Master Plan’s recommendations and building the Exceptional Hiking Experience Network. Tourism Vancouver Island looks forward to continuing to work in concert with stakeholders to increase the economic and social benefits that flow from tourism to the Region.
Tourism Vancouver Island would like to thank all stakeholders who participated in phase one and two of this initiative; your input was invaluable and the success of this project is a direct consequence of your collective experience, passion and attention to detail.
Phase one and two of the Vancouver Island Trails Strategy was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Island Coastal Economic Trust, the Government of British Columbia, and community and regional partners.
The Hiking Tourism Master Plan can be viewed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x5ki6g5lfbdcqmo/rpt_tvi_hikinhg_tourism_mp_fin_2_20160809.pdf?dl=0.
Should you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to connect with:
Community & Industry Specialist
Tourism Vancouver Island