Jan 06 2011
Visitor Centre sees boost in 2010 numbers

 
 
Kristen Douglas/The Mirror

Rhonda Harper (left), manager of the Visitor Centre, and Lindsay Morris, visitor services co-ordinator, were busy this past year promoting Campbell River to all the tourists who stopped by the Visitor Centre.

By Kristen Douglas Campbell River Mirror
The Campbell River Visitor Centre saw an increase in the amount of people passing through its doors last year.
Overall, last year saw 38,875 people come by the
Visitor Centre, that’s up five per cent from 2009’s tally of 37,070, according to Rhonda Harper, manager of the Visitor Centre.
Of those tourists who visited the
centre in 2010, the majority were from within the province but close behind were people from Europe, who made up 29 per cent of the visitors.
Those from Canadian provinces other than B.C. or Alberta were the third most common, at 12 per cent.
The overall number of
visitors to the centre wasn’t the only area which saw improvement in 2010 – numbers were up all across the board.
An average of eight parties per hour entered the
Visitor Centre, an increase of 2.8 per cent over 2009. The Visitor Centre also fielded 28 per cent more phone calls and mailed out eight per cent more information packages to potential visitors than in the previous year.
“It was a really good year,” said Harper. “And you could attribute that to almost anything. It could depend on the weather – if there’s sunny weather for more than three days in a row in the summer it will be busier. Plus, there’s a lot of great events here in the summertime.”
Harper also credits local adventure companies and fishing guides who have worked hard to recruit people from communities south of Campbell River to come up for the day.
Harper figures that could be why the majority of
visitors she saw in the summer were one-day and same-day tourists.
Harper says one of the best things to come out of the increase in
visitors this year was that the Visitor Centre was able to expand its hours.
“In 2007 to 2008 our hours were reduced but we’re slowly starting to bring our hours up again,” said Harper.
On average for the year, the
Visitor Centre’s hours increased about two per cent over 2009.
Harper says most people that come in are drawn to Campbell River for its adventure recreation opportunities and its attractions such as the pier, Maritime Heritage
Centre, parks, waterfalls and waterfront.
The museum is also a popular tourist spot and this year, for the first time, the
Visitor Centre will track how many people visiting Campbell River plan to stop by the museum.

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