After a busy tourist season, the Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism Society (CVEDS) has collected and combined exciting trends and outputs that have resulted from efforts and projects undertaken since the spring. These efforts were seen across key areas, including small business support, destination marketing, and visitor services.
The 2017 BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival, held in June, demonstrated unprecedented growth across all facets, establishing itself as western Canada’s largest seafood Festival.
The Festival expanded from 45 events in 2016 to over 70 events and tours in 2017. It boasted 45 chefs that participated. CVEDS secured more than $200,000 in leveraged dollars to support marketing and event development and saw notable increases across all key performance marketing indicators.
Notably, CVEDS noted a 75 per cent increase year-over-year in web traffic to the Festival microsite, a 78 per cent increase in online contest entries, a 12 per cent increase in calls to the Visitor Centre, $1 million in earned media coverage and, lastly, a 19 per cent increase in Municipal and Regional District Tax, formerly known as the Additional Room Hotel Tax.
Visitor numbers at the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre, located on the Comox Valley Parkway, continue to grow with true visitor numbers increasing by 14 per cent and over $46,000 in tour and event online bookings occurring via its booking engine since the start of the year. In August alone, the Visitor Centre saw over 5,000 visitors. The facility has welcomed over 170,000 visitors since opening in early 2012.
With October being ‘Small Business Month,’ over 17 events and workshops are being held via CVEDS’ “Business Counts Workshop Series” with a range of partners including Small Business BC, the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of International Trade, the Innovation Island Technology Association, the Certified Organic Association of BC, Small Scale Food Processors of BC, the Comox BIA and MNP. The sessions reflect focus areas that are outlined in CVEDS’ 2017 Strategic Plan from tech, tourism, agrifood, and exporting, to small business enhancement.
Supporting regional businesses who are exporting their products continues to be a focus for CVEDS, which has recently been renewed for an additional six-month term as an Export Navigator Community. This is a partnership with the Ministry of International Trade, Small Business BC, and five other B.C. communities to help connect participating businesses to key market information, export programs, financial services, and business development experts.
To review CVEDS’ 2017 Strategic Plan and for more information on these and other initiatives visit InvestComoxValley.com.