Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC


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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