Tourism Tofino’s Cox Bay visitor centre won VIREB’s Best Institutional Building and Judges Choice award this year. (Tourism Tofino photo)

Tourism Tofino’s Cox Bay visitor centre won VIREB’s Best Institutional Building and Judges Choice award this year. (Tourism Tofino photo)

Tourism Tofino celebrates success at VIREB awards

Tourism Tofino was a big winner at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards

Tourism Tofino was the big winner at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards presentation as the destination marketing organization’s Cox Bay Visitor Centre was crowned Best Institutional Building and also received the Judges Choice Award.

“Building this Centre was a long-term dream, and vision, of the local tourism industry” Tourism Tofino chair Shane Richards said through a media release. “We are thrilled to receive these accolades and are grateful to everyone responsible for this acknowledgement, including the Tourism Tofino Board of Directors and staff, our MRDT-collecting accommodation businesses, the District of Tofino, Destination British Columbia, the Province of British Columbia and MKM Projects Ltd.”

The $2 million centre was paid for with funds from the community’s Municipal and Regional District Tax coffers—formally known as the additional hotel room tax—and made possible by Tofino increasing its MRDT from 2 per cent to 3 per cent.

The new centre officially opened in June, 2019, and Tourism Tofino’s executive director Nancy Cameron told the Westerly News it became an immediately effective magnet for tourists, drawing in a 57 per cent increase in visitors in its first six months of operation.

“That means that we had 57 per cent more interactions with more visitors and were able to influence them to explore more and spend more and that results in memory creation and word-of-mouth advertising that supports the whole industry,” Cameron said. “You need a building that attracts visitors to it and when we get more visitors in the building we have an opportunity to show them more and they learn more about the destination…That entices them and excites them about doing more, going on more excursions, seeing more, getting out further in the destination and exploring and that results in visitors spending at our businesses.”

She added that while travellers have an abundance of information available to them through the Internet, visitor centres still play a key role in providing “inside information.”

“This centre now acts as a very welcoming front door for Tofino where our guests are inspired. They’re inspired to learn more about the area’s culture, heritage and activities, landscape, our values about sustainability and protecting the natural surroundings and the leave-no-trace travel. They learn a lot when they come into this centre,” she said. “The centre represents the quality experiences offered here now and it syncs with the product.”

She added that the centre’s VIREB success is a reflection of tremendous collaboration.

“The recognition is shared. This was a massive project for the Tourism Tofino organization, but it was a big project for the whole community, so we want to make sure we acknowledge everybody that had a hand in making this a success,” she said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Tofino officially opens new $2M visitor centre at Cox Bay

READ MORE: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation says more resources needed to keep Tribal Parks open during pandemic

READ MORE: Tofino mayor condemns vandalism against tourists, says bylaw staff also being targeted


Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island this week

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Sibling squirrels in recovery after sap situation leads to tail amputation

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Nanaimo man killed in Highway 4 crash

RCMP say dirt bike turned ‘suddenly’ into traffic

A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
Vancouver Island may not know final election results on Saturday night

Uncertainty stems from high number of mail-in ballots

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

This photo of Wood Elementary School was taken in 2016. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
COVID-19 case reported at Wood Elementary School in Port Alberni

Date of potential exposure was Monday, Oct. 19

Two men were stranded on Snake Island after their small boat was blown away by strong winds Wednesday. (News Bulletin file photo)
Boat blows away, stranding fishermen on Snake Island in the strait near Nanaimo

Marine search and rescue team picked up men on windy afternoon Wednesday

Documents obtained by Esther Callo, co-founder of FOVH, through a Freedom of Information request that shows an eight-metre easement, to make way for a housing development, that spans 192 metres across the grounds which makes the promised eight-lane track impossible.  (Provided by the Friends of Vic High)
Vic High stadium plans drop promised 8-lane track to ‘barely wider than city sidewalk’

Friends of Vic High seek public inquiry into plans for Memorial Stadium Revitalization Project

RCMP are looking for information on the identity of these two individuals, pictured at the Fisherman’s Wharf Dock on Oct. 16, 2020 at approximately 1:30 a.m. Photos supplied by Campbell River RCMP.
RCMP looking for alleged ‘dock pirates’

Thefts, lines cut from Fisherman’s Wharf on Oct. 6.

Nanaimo RCMP arrest man with axe in downtown park. (File photo)
Man seen with axe at Nanaimo park, numerous RCMP officers respond

Incident happened Friday evening at Maffeo Sutton Park

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read