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.
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.