Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tourist Icons?

Does Nanaimo Have A Tourist 'Icon'?

The idea that Nanaimo needs to spend a lot of time and energy trying to invent itself as a tourist 'destination' seems to be getting a lot of attention from different quarters of late.

The head of the Nanaimo Port Authority makes the point that cruise ship passengers are looking for more to see and do than Nanaimo currently has to offer. Of course all that was known before we embarked on the building of the cruise ship terminal. This highlights one of the differences between the government spending money and a business person spending the money. Based on legitimate market research, would the private sector have spent $25 million on a facility without more assurance of success?

Of course the Tourism branch of the NEDC would also say there is the need for more for tourists to see and do, if we are going to encourage people to stay longer in Nanaimo. As of yet, they have not offered any tangible examples of what those attractions might look like.

If I might make a humble suggestion: why not simply work at making Nanaimo a 'Perfect Place To Call Home' and let the rest take care of itself.

As for creating some grandiose tourist destination icon, maybe get some co-ordination between local interests and create many different festivals during the summertime. We already have the dragonboats, sillyboats, bathtubs, barbecues, Blues Festival, the VIEX and more. Any of these events will attract people if properly promoted, string a few more together and we could be known as the City of Festivals Which Lasts All Summer.

In the meantime the photo above shows three Vancouver Island landmarks, if you were planning your vacation and could only see one, which would you pick? The Bastion? Kinsol Trestle? Hatley Castle?


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