Fishing for a healthy meal

Fishing for a healthy meal

Unusual tourism season shaping up

2014 is shaping up to be an interesting year for tourism in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.

By Geoff Moore

2014 is shaping up to be an interesting year for tourism in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.

There are extraordinary factors in play that have already affected forecasted visitor numbers to both British Columbia and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association region.

What remains to be realized is what the net effect will be.

Only time will tell how the BC Ferries Route 40 cancellation will affect the popular “Coast Cariboo” or Discovery Coast circle route.

The loonie dipping behind the U.S. dollar usually bodes well for B.C. and in particular the interior as U.S. travellers tend to be more motivated to head up the “Gold Rush Trail” and all the outdoor adventures that await visitors in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast`s “Land Without Limits.”

We could fill a bathtub with statistics and facts on the business of tourism but thought it would be more informative and entertaining to take a more informal and engaging path.

So let’s explore some of the basic elements of the industry that are pertinent to this area and teach you about some of the tools that may help you understand and hopefully be more successful in realizing potential growth in your business.

Most people living here know this region offers year-round tourism product that is primarily outdoor adventure based with the vast majority of visitors coming through between mid-May thru mid-October.

What many of us don’t know is who travels here, what motivates the travellers to visit us, how long they stay in our area and how can we influence them to stay longer.

Where do most of our visitors travel from?

The most important tourism market for CCC is British Columbians travelling within the province. Arguably the next most important source of visitors is from the United States and Alberta.

With regards to overseas visitors the UK, Germany and the Netherlands are the countries supplying the higher numbers of travellers to the region.

What are the prime reasons our guests visit here and what do they do while here?

Visitors to destinations in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast participated in a far greater range of activities while on their trip than they were originally motivated by.

While the majority of people arrived here to visit friends and relatives a major percentage of travellers also engaged in activities including sightseeing, nature and wildlife viewing, fishing, hiking and visiting historical sites.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is seen as a place to relax and unwind, “a good getaway,” being unique and different are also critical strengths for the CCC.

Good value is also noted. Also considered is an abundance of quality outdoor activities and provincial parks, heritage sites and family activities are latent strengths for the region

The Internet (accessed on a computer) is the key pre-trip information source, while visitor centres, Internet at accommodations and Internet on mobile devices is used for information during trips.

Here in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast domestic travellers account for about 83 per cent of visitation and 74 per cent of related spending. International travellers account for about 17 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.

On average domestic visitors to the CCC stay approximently four nights and spending just under $100 per night during their stay.

U.S. travel parties stay about three nights and spend roughly $160 per night during their trip and other international travel parties are here for just under a week and spend just over $100 per night.

Check DestinationBC online and “research by region.”

Geoff Moore is the media relations representative for the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Associaton.