Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC


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A day in the Life of Alejandra Lemus at the Fairmont Château Laurier

Hello! Bonjour! Hola!

Fairmont Château Laurier (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

Fairmont Château Laurier (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Global Tourism Management program at Royal Roads and I am completing my internship at the magnificent Fairmont Château Laurier!

Fairmont Château Laurier is located in the beautiful city of Ottawa, Ontario. It was built in 1912 and it has 429 guest rooms. This property it is a landmark for the city and Canada. It has held historic events and has become the second home for many famous people that have transformed Canada’s history.  The hotel it is situated in the intersection of Rideau Street and Mackenzie Avenue.  This location gives the hotel a competitive advantage with its unique views to the Rideau River, Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, and ByWard Market.

 

Source: Fairmont Château Laurier

Source: Fairmont Château Laurier

Did I tell you that I just moved from British Columbia?! Well, I certainly did. I have the amazing opportunity of living with an extraordinary local family in The Glebe neighborhood. This area has wonderful little stores that every time that you come back, you find something to fall in love with.  The close proximity of my living area to the hotel has given me the opportunity to bike to work as much as possible, and that is how I start my day to work.

Rideau Canal (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

Rideau Canal (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

 

From the Glebe, I bike to work for 20 minutes on the side of Rideau Canal. At the beginning it was hard. It has been too long since I biked but the wonderful view of the Canal has encouraged me to keep going.  After parking my bike, and changing into my uniform, I head to the front desk office to report to my shift supervisor and ask for a “pass on” of the day.

 

 

War Memorial ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

War Memorial ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

As a trainee, the Guest Services Manager on duty reminds me about certain procedures that they would like me to focus on for the day and encourages me to familiarize myself with guest interactions. After my briefing, I go to the front desk to complete my daily tasks such as: check-in and check-out of guests, complete daily checklist, and assist guests with any requests.  I love my team. They always have a sincere smile on their face and they are always willing to help me without hesitating. I have the opportunity of working with colleagues from Ontario and also from Québec in the front desk department but at the hotel, multiculturalism is truly experienced and embraced.

My amazing team (Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

My amazing team (Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

Working at the front desk means that every day is different. During my first week, I had the opportunity to assist the FIFA Women’s Word Cup players that were competing in Ottawa. Moreover, every day I have the pleasure of communicating in both French and Spanish. Every time that I had the opportunity to assist a guest in my native language, Spanish; it gives me a sense of pride in my culture. A few days ago, a guest from Puerto Rico told me that he felt fortunate to have been assisted in his native language.  Short but meaningful comments like these; remind me why I love this industry and the part I play in it.  In another instance, a Mexican family that I had assisted asked me if I would be available to assist them for the duration of their stay! The next day, they requested to talk to me, even though they only needed assistance with a small request, they kept calling for me to help them. This reaffirmed that I am working in the right industry and the Fairmont Château Laurier is helping me to keep learning and creating “moments into memories” (Fairmont Hotels & Resorts) for our guests.

 

Burrito Shack ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

Burrito Shack ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

During my days off, I enjoy spending time getting to know my neighborhood and the city. A couple days ago, I ate at the Burrito Shack, a Mexican restaurant that believes in buying local products, giving back to the community through school lunches and catering to locals. Yes, their food is delicious.  Additionally, some days off I travel to Montreal to visit my amazing husband and family. I still need to make time to go and visit my relatives in Hamilton, it feels good to be so close to family again, perhaps I will plan a visit in the near future on my days off.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I highly encourage you to visit Ottawa and one of its milestones, Fairmont Château Laurier. There is always something new and wonderful to visit and explore here.

 

 

 

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A Day in the Life of Chido at Atomique Production

Have you ever wondered who thinks of and hosts those amazing music festivals? About who brings you your favourite artists with festivals like Rock The Shores, Phillips Backyard Weekender and Rifflandia? Well last year in 2014, I certainly did as I enjoyed the amazing shows by various talented artists at Rifflandia and so I found Atomique Productions! This production company came to life in 2000, a brain child of Nick Blasko and Dimitri Demers and has since been “Victoria B.C’s leading independent concerts company” (Atomique Productions, 2015). The office is located downtown on Yates and Douglas Street. I walk about 25 minutes to work every day and have sampled some of the finest food Victoria has to offer – Tacofino, Meat and Bread as well as Foo, they are all must try! Depending on my mood, I begin my day by taking a walk at 5am (yay for early risers) and I get to see beautiful sunrises such as this at Ogden Point.

Ogden PointI usually start work at 10am and I check in with Deb or Ellian to see if they have any tasks for me. After I complete the set tasks I then ask people around the office to see if they would like me to assist them. I am just going to dive right in and tell you my favourite part about working for this amazing company, the organizational culture!! It normally takes me weeks to feel like I fit within an organisation but by Day 2, I felt like I belonged. Genuine warm smiles are always on the ready as well as a helping hand. It is never “It’s not my job” but “Let me find out for you.”

If you are wondering about the connection between music festivals and tourism the answer is a resounding tourism drivers!!!! Whether its finding accommodation for artists, transporting them to and from venues, the fans that the artists attract as well as the exposure local tourism businesses get during music festivals. Think about the multiplier effect…

Image from Global Wildlife Conservation Group

(Image from Global Wildlife Conservation Group)

Now this is only what I have learned from observation but I am looking forward to conducting information interviews with the team to understand more about the role of music festivals in the local economy. My biggest challenge so far is understanding the music festival industry lingo which is quite different from that I was used to having worked in mostly hotels and restaurants but I only had to ask about a terminology I was unfamiliar with and they would explain it, other times, they just saw the look of utter confusion on my face and they would explain the terminology to me. I do believe I am catching up. I can almost hear you say, “but what about you!? What is your role in all of this!?” My official title is BreakOut West Assistant Artist Administration Intern. BreakOut West is a “four-day event comprised of a three-day music conference, a three-night multi-genre music festival, the Western Canadian Music Industry Awards Brunch and the Western Canadian Music Awards Gala” (Western Canadian Music Alliance, Inc., 2015). I believe that this is the first time BreakOut West will be hosted in Victoria in conjunction with Rifflandia no less!! My duties will include putting artists’ packages together from accommodation to accreditation. Above is a picture of a press conference that was held earlier this month to announce the festival line up.

foodIt is fortunate that I was here to experience Rock the Shores where I was involved in similar duties which I am now referring to as my “orientation.” Speaking of Rock the Shores, I had an amazing time and definitely learned a lot. The food for Crew and Artists was catered by The Ruby – yes, the very same one that opened at Hotel Zed in 2014. I will give you a few minutes to envision how delicious it tastes, perhaps this picture will help (pssst, it’s okay to lick the screen).

Rock the ShoresI had a hard time choosing my favourite artist at Rock The Shores but I think I finally settled on Kim Churchill. I was part of artist check in where I got to meet a lot of artists and help out with Hospitality, which included working with the Hospitality Coordinator to ready their trailers and tents. For those who have worked in hotels, think of it as getting an amenity ready for a very important guest and accommodating their requests. OfficeFor artist check in, I worked with an incredible team of five extremely talented individuals led by the incredible Deb whom I’m almost convinced has super powers and I am not just saying that because she is going to read it. I look forward to working BreakOut West with my team!!

Group

Until my next blog!


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A Day in the Life @ The Butchart Gardens- by Wayne Jenkins

For a look at where I am on the globe, just zoom out from this map.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@48.5631463,-123.4665519,1384m/data=!3m1!1e3

Blue Himalayan Poppy, Jenny Butcharts' Favourite -photo by W. Jenkins

Blue Himalayan Poppy, Jenny Butcharts‘ Favourite -photo by W. Jenkins

Located on the Saanich Peninsula north of Victoria the Butchart Gardens are a tourist highlight when visiting British Columbia. Consistently listed in the top gardens of the world to visit, they are a stunning display garden that is visited by over a million people a year. A far cry from the original cement plant that brought Robert and Jenny Butchart to the area, they are still family owned and operated, and are open 365 days of the year for the enjoyment of all seasons.

 

The Sunden Garden - photo taken by W. Jenkins

The Sunken Garden – photo taken by W. Jenkins

To get here each day I drive 22.3 kilometres, mostly through rural farmland roads, until I arrive at the main gates to the Gardens. Thankfully, after giving the secret signal (flash my headlights) the traffic directors point me to the outside lane normally reserved for buses so I can avoid the 5-15 minute wait the other lanes of cars must endure to get onto the site. Once on the property I park in the employee lot and if I have time visit the staff restaurant, the Poppy Seed, and have a cup of tea. After logging in at the time station, I sometimes do a quick wander through the Italian, Rose, and Japanese gardens in order to have a point of reference to talk to my passengers throughout the day.

The Italian Garden - photo taken by W. Jenkins

The Italian Garden – photo taken by W. Jenkins

I must be able to talk about what they’ve seen so staying current with the displays is very important. Now and again I’ll drop into the visitor’s centre where there is an on duty gardener to see what new flowers have been planted out.

Each morning the boat I’m piloting must be given a complete going over in order to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers. Starting with the inspection of the bilge, the operation of the bilge pumps, high water warning system, fire detector systems and battery charge status I then move on to familiarizing myself with the tide table for the day to plan each route based on where exposed rocks or shallow areas may be. Then I move on to checking each piece of safety gear from life jackets, flares, first aid kits, kisbee ring, towlines, anchoring gear, and paddles. After that a quick once over of the windows and it is time to greet my first batch of passengers.

I have met people from all over Europe, Russia, India, South Africa, Malaysia, Mexico, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Brazil, United States and many more countries. Every day and every trip is multicultural. I must ensure I am mindful of all cultures to ensure I don’t say or do the wrong thing.

My New Office- photo by W. Jenkins

My New Office- photo by W. Jenkins

Once everyone is seated I brief them, as required by Transport Canada, on the safety equipment aboard the vessel, touching on life vests, first aid equipment, firefighting, and lastly, how to use the radio equipment if I’m unable.

Once underway I start my narrative about the gardens, the local waterways, and parks. I also cover the history of the gardens and how they were initially a cement plant and the development of the exhausted limestone quarry by Jenny Butchart, into what is now the Sunken Gardens.

Sunken Garden Pond in Spring- photo taken by W, Jenkins

Sunken Garden Pond in Spring- photo taken by W. Jenkins

On a typical trip we’ll see a combination of harbour seals, river otters, and bald eagles, masses of moon jellyfish, blue herons, purple martins, and racoons. After 45 minutes we return to the dock where I see everyone off the boat and after a quick once over to make sure the vessel is all clean I invite the next set of passengers on board.

I love this job! It is so relaxing and pleasant meeting all the people from around the world and giving them a little introduction to the area in which I live. I’m not sure I could find a job that has less stress than this one, I actually go home refreshed each day. What a contrast to the old office job I used to live.

Below is a short video of some of the gardens and my new office.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93nj99Ypzxw

 


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A Day in the Life at the Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre, China- by Rachel Small

 

Welcome to my work abroad dream at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre.

Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre is located in the Yuexiu district of Guangzhou, Guangdong in China. It is a district that is known to be the “gateway of the Chinese foreign trade”.

Crowne Plaza- Guangzhou City Center

First of all, I will like to introduce the area of Guangzhou. The language that is spoken is mainly Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Guangzhou is an amazing place to live as a foreigner in my personal opinion. You are able travel to different parts of China, Hong Kong, and Macau by train, metro, bus, and ferry. It also allows you the chance to travel around Asia with less travel time and expenses. As well, many foreigners within the Guangzhou area gather around to places like “The Brew”. The Brew is a Canadian operated pub that hosts the best North American burgers and wings within Guangzhou. On my first day in Guangzhou and Canada’s Day, I went to The Brew to meet with my new coworkers and fellow foreigners in Guangzhou.  It is really a mix of Canadian pub atmosphere and Chinese pub culture.  During, my free time, I usually walk around Yuexiu district for around 30 minutes in different directions and visit “The Oppa House” to eat Korean food. So far, I have explored places like Panyu, Zhujiang New Town, and Tianhe District. Within a few weeks, I will be visiting Hong Kong to get a new phone since mine doesn’t work here and it is less expensive in Hong Kong. Overall, I feel that working for the IHG brand is suitable for me because it allows me the chance to grow and learn from my coworkers and guests. I am really excited to stay here for 1 year and possibly longer.

So…CP front

My life as an intern in Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre has been exciting and eventful.  I am a Guest Service Management Trainee, at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre. The Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre soft opening was on June 25th 2011. Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre is an exclusive international 5-star standard hotel that features 460 guest rooms and suites with a city view or Bai Yun Mountain view. It is known as the 63 Building with 3 restaurants, gym facilities, lobby lounge, 2 ballrooms, and 9 meeting rooms.

Overall, I work five to six days a week depending on my days off. I have different shifts throughout the week. I am living at the hotel, which is convenient since it only takes me six minutes to clock in. As well, I am able to greet guests on my way to work, which makes it a good start to the day.

Today is July 6th 2015 in Guangzhou, China.  My shift today starts from 7:30am until 4 – 5pm. For most of the day, I am located at the front desk or Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant (Fresh).  The first thing that happens in the morning is an early morning briefing for the Front Desk, Concierge, and Guest Service staff. It is a way for everyone to understand what is going on within the hotel for the day and expectation from our managers. After the meeting, I check through my emails and do online Opera training.  My Opera training is about making reservations, and checking-in and out guests. I talk to myself to practice how to speak to the guests. An Example would be “Welcome to Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre, how may I help you?”. This way I can smoothly work as Front Desk staff.

Restaurant

Around 8am, I head up to the 5th floor to Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant. On the way, I greet guests “Good Morning” in Chinese and/or English. Once, I arrive at Fresh. I look around the restaurant to make sure all the names for the dishes are in the correct spot and head to tables to greet guests. While I greet guests, I ask if they would like any coffee and get to know their experiences within the hotel. At times, I assist with seating guests to help the hostesses. Overall, it is important to make sure that nothing at the buffet table is empty by advising fellow staff or getting it myself. The challenge for me is about knowing the correct Chinese word for an item or request by a guest.  This is because I am an English-speaker with a beginner level of Mandarin Chinese. Another important task that I have at Fresh is to give out guest satisfactions survey cards to understand the guest opinions during their breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The survey is given to help improve the restaurant by the guests’ needs and experiences.

Other locations that I visit during the morning are the Crowne Executive Lounge Floor on the 56th floor, 50th Premium Lounge, or the Lobby. Today, I headed to the 56th floor and 50th floor to check on the morning food arrangement, staff, and guests. Once, I check over everything. I head back to either the 5th floor or front desk. Since, I am training to work on the front desk I head back downstairs to learn Opera and study information about the hotel.

RachelAround 10am, I head up to Fresh for breakfast with coworkers.  Usually for my daily meals, I can eat at the tenants canteen or Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant.  After breakfast, I visit the 3rd floor to check on events held today. Since I do have class and work assignments. I take time to do projects for the hotel and reflect on my progress with my coworkers.

Around 12:30, I am a lobby ambassador. I help to direct guest to the front desk or other locations within the hotel. It is important to make sure that guest are directed to proper locations and ask if they need help with their bags. Once, I have stayed within the lobby for a while, I either head back to practice Opera or head up to fresh to help with lunch. I do almost the same thing for lunch at Fresh except I don’t ask people for coffee. I check to see the names are correct, food is fully stocked, and staff is okay. After that I stay for lunch for about 30 minutes.

Once, I have finished my lunch, I head back to the front desk lobby 2to have a briefing again at 2:40pm. The briefing is to inform the new shift staff of today events and information. Once, briefing is over I stay in the front desk office to review Opera training and information. I check on the front desk staff to help get documents for them. As well, it is a chance for me to learn first hand about front desk tasks. Some of the tasks are about getting documents and scanning passports. If the front desk isn’t busy, I will be the lobby ambassador or I will go back to Opera training.

Lastly, the day ends looking through my emails and saying goodbye to my coworkers. I clock out to end my shift and head upstairs to rest for an early morning shift again.

food and friendsOne of the best things, that I like so far working at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou is having the opportunity to communicate with international and Chinese guest. My coworkers help me to improve my language abilities because we learn from each with English and Mandarin. I have learnt a lot about the area and Chinese culture. As well, I had the opportunity to go to the 63rd floor known to be a formerly used helicopter landing of our hotel, in order to see the panorama view of Guangzhou.  I also had the chance to visit other hotels to learn the differences and start individual projects. I am simply living up to my dreams because the staff here is friendly, outgoing, creative, and respectful. They are all leaders in their own way. I wouldn’t be successful in my training without their help and encourage. There have been endless experiences that I would love to mention working here for my internship. However, it is easier to experience it for yourself.

Take a leap of faith and work abroad.

 

 


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A day in the life at Shanghai Radisson Blu New World Hotel

Shanghai Radisson Blu New World Hotel

Shanghai Radisson Blu New World Hotel

My internship position is food and beverage management trainee at the Shanghai Radisson Blu New World hotel located in Shanghai,  China. The past three weeks since I started to move and work in the hotel have been a blast and different for me. Shanghai Radisson Blu New World Hotel is located at the heart of Shanghai, 3 mins walk to the People’s square which is full of shopping mall, lots of old people dancing over there around 7 pm to 9 pm every day. I can also get to the night market with a 5 mins walk from the hotel. Night market is full of different kind of street food and all types of cuisine from all over the world.

First day of work selfie #soexcited

First day of work selfie #soexcited

There have been no training to get me ready for the position during my time at the hotel. I attended a 2 hours session orientation with People Resources to have a brief introduction about the hotel. I learned that Radisson Blu hotels are part of the Carlson Rezidor hotel group family and they are one for the top 10 largest hotel companies in the world. There are 1037 locations in 74 countries. I also been told to be aware of the pick pockets in the area around the hotel. They can take your wallets and phones in a heartbeat.

The orientation also included a tour of the hotel and a quick tour around the neighborhood. I have met some new colleagues and they brought me out and explore around the city. My job duties have been mainly focus on one restaurant so far and I will be rotated in different restaurants every few weeks, my shifts are either 6:30 am to 3 pm, or 2:30 pm to 11 pm. I have been working a lot morning shift lately. One of my days in life at this hotel can be described like this:

6 am: Wake up and get ready and go to the staff canteen for breakfast. I really enjoy working morning shift, I am very much a morning person.

6: 30 am: Heading up to the restaurant and ready to take care of the morning breakfast buffet. On a slow day, the restaurant will most likely get around 200 to 250 guests to come for breakfast. My job duties are interact and make sure guests have a great breakfast experience.

10:45 am: The breakfast will be finished at 10:30, while the stewarding and housekeeping departments are taking down the morning buffet and flipping over to lunch service, I will attend the F&B daily management meeting. During the meeting I will know about what’s happening at the hotel as well as how much the restaurant is below the forecasted revenue and how we can increase our revenue.

11am: Heading down to the staff canteen and enjoy lunch. Some days are good food, some days are really bad.

12 noon: Lunch service started, make sure everything goes smoothly.

3pm: Make sure everything are all stocked, such as cutleries, napkins and enough for dinner service. After that, I am off! Finally can go back to my room and watch tv and do my own thing.

On my days off, I love traveling around the city, as a buddhist myself, I have been to every single temple in Shanghai.

I am really thankful that I have a lot of good friends. During my days off, some of my classmates came all the way to my hotel and visit me.

Classmates

This is a picture of me at The Bund, the most famous place in Shanghai.

The Bund

The Bund


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Field Study Blog- Goldstream Provincial Park, Cherry Point Winery by Chelsea Smith

Waterfall Goldstream Provincial Park

Waterfall Goldstream Provincial Park

Goldstream Provincial Park

The morning was crisp and I was working on a couple hours of sleep, however the fresh air and the morning moisture were the perfect way to start off the field study. Goldstream Park is picturesque especially at this time of the year when everything is starting to bloom. The waterfall is something spectacular and adds to the atmosphere.

Visitor Center Goldstream Provincial Park

Visitor Center Goldstream Provincial Park

The parking lot was empty when we first arrived and after attending the information center/gift shop without any attentive service I thought that this could be the reason. The shop definitely could use some improvements on customer service and maybe a revised food menu. However, by the afternoon the parking lot was full and the bus had to move to make room. I concluded when we were heading out that people weren’t coming to Goldstream Provincial Park for the information center or for the food. They were coming for the adventure, nature and its surroundings. Goldstream Park sells itself with its beauty, without having to do any intense marketing. I also concluded that I would fall into the category that would come and experience this place on my own. I have already decided that I will be coming back for a hike sometime soon.

Cherry Point Winery
This was the highlight of the day for me because I love wine and I love learning more about the wine industry. I have been working as a bartender and server for the past ten years so I have been around the wine industry for sometime now. I have had lots of wine training in those past ten years and every time I have the chance to gain more knowledge I always thoroughly enjoy it.
Xavier (the owner) was an absolute treat. It’s so refreshing when you come across someone who is so passionate about his or her career. I enjoyed how Xavier really emphasized on the importance of the local community. Xavier stated “wine brings in the community” and he really tries to involve the community with all of the local events he puts on. I also got a more in-depth look at how wine is grown. At Cherry Point Winery they plant by soil and not by the grape. This is a new concept to me which I was taken back by because so many people talk about the importance of ‘the grape’. One other point that Xavier talked about that struck me as odd, was the fact that with the extra grapes they had last season they decided to throw them away/crush them. This made me think about sustainability as soon as he said this and to me this seems like such a waste. Xavier talks so much about the local community but couldn’t he have given away these grapes to the local community? I understand that Xavier sees the importance of adhering to a certain standard but I don’t think sharing extra grapes with the local community would tarnish that image. On the contrary I believe it would have the opposite effect.

Cherry Point Winery Xavier’s collection

Cherry Point Winery Xavier’s collection


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Field Study Blog- Day 4: Mount Washington by Abby Willet

On our trip to Mount Washington I was constantly thinking about the financials of the company. How do they deal with yield management and low season? How are their financials set up? What are their operating costs? How much are they selling in the restaurant with an excellent turnover rate of 4-5 a day? What depreciation value do they have on their equipment? How much are they selling the ski hill for? It was devastating to see grass on that hill seeing as hitting the slopes is the major form of income for this operation. It was a brutal realization that most adventure tourism companies rely heavily on the cooperation of the natural environment. I fear for the future of Mount Washington’s ski hill because it is clear that they will not move forward with product development because they are holding off on potential buyers. I would like to see a downhill mountain biking course being offered in the summer months that can also be implemented during seasons such as this last winter. It was mentioned that they use to operate this product, I am curious to know why they got rid of it. It is so crazy to think that other ski hills located inner BC and Alberta are closing down their lifts too. What does this mean for Canadian Tourism to the Rockies?
It is such a struggle when operating a company that relies so much on the cooperation of weather. The staff at Mount Washington Alpine Resort seems to be taking all the correct measures when working with a tourism company; they are developing a web app for customers use, are proactive on their social media channels, have reputable sponsors and partnerships, creating new events for the guests to partake in, giving back to the community with donations, and are taking steps to be eco-friendly.
… but there is no snow.

Abby- Day 4


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Field Study Blog- Day 3: Qualicum Beach, North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (NIWRC) by Abby Willet

My team’s turn to present the day’s activities and our first stop is Qualicum Beach. This town has a clear brand image of what the community provides for travellers and potential retirees. It is a quaint town that has an abundance of art, shopping, and relaxing activities to experience. This is a strong community that relies on the residents support for anything that is to be implemented in the community. This is good and bad because residents could potentially stop any further tourism growth in the community, but it also creates a sense of unity. Meeting with the major allowed us to gain a deeper knowledge of what the areas intensions are. It made me happy to hear that they refuse to put in fast food restaurants, and that they take active measures to protect the wildlife in the area by eliminating dog access on the beach during migrating periods of the Brant geese and promoting “stream keepers” to ensure the return of salmon each year. I am happy to see that Parksville and Qualicum Beach are working together to promote the area with their Discovery Guide that is published annually. Although they are competitors, they understand the combined efforts will be more beneficial for the whole area.

The Chamber of Commerce was a quick visit and it didn’t really leave a lasting impression on me. I can imagine that the community likes the happy little small town lifestyle that has been established and they don’t really want things to change so there doesn’t really seem like there is room to grow.
Abby- Day 3

The NIWRC was great and I am so happy that it was part of the itinerary. It was interactive and educational and it focused on the natural environments of Vancouver Island giving the tourists a deeper connection with the area. I think that the lay out of the tour is well thought out, and that the end of the tour you will find yourself standing in the gift shop. I think that they should have a great big sign that says you can donate money to a favourite animal that the guest visited on their tour. I would have much rather donated $5-10 to the animals than pick up a key chain or fridge magnet. But I didn’t actually think of it until just now, so the sign may have been there but it needs to be more noticeable and promoted throughout the centre. I think that it’s great that they constructed the picnic area with an amphitheater, which will allow the centre to provide live shows. It shows that they are anticipating a decline in the TALC and are taking active measures to rejuvenate the centre and potentially generate more donations from visitors.


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Field Study Blog- Day 2: Tourism Nanaimo, Nanaimo Museum by Abby Willet

Abby- Day 2Wow! I had a wonderful time at Tourism Nanaimo. It was great to meet with the ladies there and get a deeper understanding of the roles of the local DMO and struggles that they may encounter. I really started to understand the difficulties that fall into working for a DMO. Trying to get the entire community on board and have a clear direction with long-term goals. I think that Tourism Nanaimo will struggle because there doesn’t seem to be a clear focus of which direction they should follow through on; cruise lines or accommodation. If they want to focus on a day trip kind of destination they need to focus their efforts on the ferries and cruise lines. If they want more overnight stays and conferences then they need to commit to building proper accommodation facilities. They have limited funding from the government and I feel that they will be spread thin going in multiple directions. I thought it was interesting that they didn’t perform an exit survey. I think they seriously need to consider implementing this to gain a better understanding of what the travellers think about the destination. It was great to learn about the Nanaimo Bar Trail and the 5 month campaign that Chelsea described. It is known through the travel industry that tourists want to visit places that people love to live in. Focusing efforts on boosting community morale is a great way to build the travellers through the area, especially since they have a high percentage of VFR’s in the area.

I enjoyed myself at the Nanaimo Museum and I thought that it was just the right amount of information for a daily activity. However, by the time I went through the museum I had already spent 3 hours talking with the ladies at Tourism Nanaimo and receiving a tour from Chelsea around the town telling us about the history in the area, which helped me appreciate what the museum showcased. After discussing the daily excursions over pints at the pub I realized that my experience would be greatly different from those who are just paying admission prices and going through the museum.

In the evening the crew went out for some drinks to a couple of places around the neighbourhood. It was clear that there was no collective community involvement and Chelsea was correct to say that people are just coming into town and buying tourism related companies, such as restaurants, and not understanding that they are part of the tourism industry. They have limited knowledge on how to successfully run an operation within the community and I believe that the area will fail due to poor customer service skills. I thought of World Host, which provides courses on customer service skills, and implement them as government requirements to work in restaurants, much like ‘Serving it Right’ and ‘Food Safe’.

Abby- Day 2b


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Field Study Blog- Day 1: Goldstream Provincial Park, Cherry Point Winery, Chemainus by Abby Willet

Today is the day, the day that we venture onto our journey of the island and I am excited to see what unfolds in the next 7 days. Our first stop is Goldstream Provincial Park, which is a short drive from Royal Roads University campus. It is wonderful to have so many options for hikes in a close proximity to Victoria; this really boosts the tourism opportunities for people visiting Victoria. I’m curious to know how many tour companies are located downtown Victoria that transports travellers to the parks for day trips. Once we arrived to the park we talked about the famous salmon run that occurs each year, and then we visited the Goldstream Nature House that acts as a visitor centre for the park. It was nice to get indoors and warm up beside the fire, but I was surprised that the ladies working didn’t take advantage of the group huddled around the fire trying to get warm. Neither of them came over to enquire about our visit or offer us a hot chocolate to warm up our bodies. It’s amazing how receptive people are to the power of suggestion. Something that I wanted to note about the experience was the limited access there is to the other side of the highway; where the waterfalls and trellis are located. Yes, we had the opportunity to walk through the tunnel but when I was there last the water level was too high and I couldn’t pass through that way. I resorted to blindly running across the highway praying that a speeding car wasn’t flying around the corner at the same time. I suggest building a bridge across the highway or pedestrian lights to cross the highway safely.
Our next stop was Cherry Point Winery where we got a deeper understanding of the wine industry in the community. This particular winery relies mostly on word of mouth generated throughout the community. The gentlemen hosting the seminar showed he was very passionate about his wine, which left a positive experience for the group. I don’t know how much the tour was or what was offered for his time, but I hope that he gives out more wine on a regular tour. I’ve been on wine tours before and they have given more than a sip for tasting. I believe that people are more willing to purchase souvenirs and gifts when they get more out of the experience than expected.
Last stop of the day brought us to a town called Chemainus that is known for its murals around town. It would be interesting to visit the town in the summer time, which is high peak season. It is difficult to analyze the effectiveness because it was a bit of a ghost town and most of the shops were closed. I thought the “lost mural” was of interest, I think it should be mentioned somewhere to encourage travellers to interact with locals to find it; like a scavenger hunt!

Abby- Day1b                               Abby- Day 1