When Victoria is tagged a cool, hip city by Vogue Magazine and Vancouver Island as Canada’s Best Island by Travel and Leisure Magazine, there are bound to be fun holiday activities this Christmas season to live up to the accolades.
Vancouver Island is measuring up to expectations. It is already in the holiday spirit, offering locals and visitors the chance to take in some fun #exploreBC activities on Canada’s far West Coast.
Here are some holiday options to enjoy as 2016 comes to a close:
- Festival of Lights, Ladysmith, opens Nov. 24: http://www.ladysmithfol.com/
- Light up at the Filberg, Comox opens Nov. 25: http://comoxvalley.whatsondigest.com/event/light-filberg-0
- Tofino Winter Lights at Tofino Botanical Gardens, opens Nov. 25: https://tofinowinterlights.com/
- 2016 IEOA Lighted Truck Parade, Victoria, Dec. 3: http://ieoa.ca/?q=2011convoy
- Second Annual Magical Nights of Light, Nanaimo, Dec. 2-3: http://www.tourismnanaimo.com/cms.asp?wpID=event-listing&evID=763871&Mnth=12&Yr=2016&Dy=3
- Winter Wonderland: New Year’s Eve Family Party, Mount Washington: https://www.mountwashington.ca/things-to-do/events-calendar/event/323-winter-wonderland.html
This year is shaping up to be one of the busiest years for tourism in British Columbia. Year-to-date figures show an 11.9% increase in international visitors over the same time period last year (January to September). That represents more than four million total overnight international visitors (4,564,070) that came to B.C. during the first nine months of this year.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, is encouraging British Columbians to make this year an even more memorable one for the province’s tourism industry by supporting local holiday activities through a staycation.
Staycations are a good way to #exploreBC and keep your vacation dollars circulating in B.C.’s economy. By visiting regional events and venues, you’re not only supporting local businesses, you're also helping sustain important jobs in the tourism sector.
Michelle Stilwell, MLA, for Parksville-Qualicum –
“Parksville’s Christmas Light-up and Qualicum’s Winterfest Craft Fair are some highlights to take in over the holidays in my backyard. Whether you live in Parksville, Qualicum or elsewhere on the island, this is an opportune time to support your local economy while enjoying one of the many Christmas activities on offer near you. Take advantage and Explore BC at this time of year!”
Don McRae, MLA, Comox Valley –
“The Comox Valley and the rest of Vancouver Island is alive with holiday spirit. Some highlights include Mount Washington’s fresh snow, Christmas craft fairs in Comox and the Butchart Garden lights near Victoria. We have no end of fun activities to take part in. Get out and Explore your B.C. this season!”
Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination British Columbia –
“The holiday buzz is officially here! People from around the world are choosing to visit destinations across B.C. and participating in celebrations that speak to them at a personal level. With no shortage of events, this is a great opportunity for travellers to authentically experience what life is like in our communities. Regardless of budget, there’s something happening somewhere that will help make this an unforgettable holiday season.”
- British Columbians are encouraged to tag their favourite winter staycation activities on social media using: #StaycationBC and #exploreBC.
- The tourism industry is helping fuel the provincial economy, which is expected to lead the country in economic growth in 2016 and 2017.
- Tourism supports nearly 19,000 businesses and 127,500 employees in B.C. and is a key sector in the BC Jobs Plan.
- The Province supports the sector with a $98 million annual investment across every region of B.C.
- In 2015, 4.9 million international visitors came to B.C. – about an 8% increase compared to 2014.
Find B.C. trip ideas, travel tips and deals to help you #exploreBC: http://www.explorebc.ca/
Watch British Columbia’s brand anthem video, The Wild Within: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNFrZNjs2ng
For more info on Vancouver Island Tourism, visit: http://www.hellobc.com/vancouver-island.aspx