A wildlife scene from earlier this month near Parksville that one might encounter from a boat.

A wildlife scene from earlier this month near Parksville that one might encounter from a boat.

Marine tourism gets a web boost

The sector is estimated to generate $200 million/year in B.C.

  • Mar. 31, 2015 6:00 p.m.

As a major marine tourism hub, the Parksville-Qualicum region is about to get a boost to its economy, according to a news release issued by a group that has the backing of the Crown corporation, Destination B.C.

April 15 marks the launch of a website (www.ahoybc.com) devoted to attracting marine tourists to B.C. coastal waters and its communities. According to the release, AHOY BC will lure visitors to British Columbia’s coast with vivid photos, suggested routes, inter-active trip planning and things to do in every coastal community.

Each coastal region will have its own section where visitors can select marinas and communities to visit, find services and learn what each community has to offer.  The AHOY BC brand aims to align with the provincial tourism brand and its “Wild at Heart” brand essence.  Few places on earth can offer an experience of wild, living coastal waters with services and amenities never too far away.

Until now, every travel region in the province had a marketing organization, except the sea.  AHOY BC markets the marine travel region. According to David Mailloux, Chair of B.C. Ocean Boating Tourism Association, “The tourist in a boat has very different needs than the tourist in car. The launch of the AHOY BC website makes British Columbia a world leader.  No other place recognizes the marine tourism market like we do, and no other place can offer our mix of amenities and wild nature.”

The marine tourism sector is a $200 million dollar a year industry. The need to market the Coast as a world-class boating destination has been recognized for many years.  Nearly $25 million has been spent on marina expansions on B.C.’s coast over the past six years.  AHOY BC adds value to this investment by, as Project Manager Michael McLaughlin put it, “putting more boats in berths.”

Destination British Columbia, the Crown Corporation responsible for destination marketing, supported the birth of AHOY BC through the planning and building stages. Additional funds came from Island Coastal Economic Trust, Coast Sustainability Trust and Northern Development Initiatives Trust.

B.C. boaters should be happy about this site, too, according to the release.  The website includes guides on environmental stewardship, safe boating, fishing, B.C. Marine Parks, Aboriginal tourism and has lots of links to things to do.  As Mailloux said, “The site opens up the opportunity to explore new places.  But, the biggest lure will be to people who have never been here.  Wait until the world sees what we have to offer.”

According to Project Manager McLaughlin, “Until now, the marine tourism sector had little opportunity to collaborate in a B.C. coastal brand that markets our super, natural coast as a destination product.  Collaborative marketing will increase appeal and attract more tourists.  Working with the private sector, AHOY BC hopes to expand the season of travel and stimulate more boating in northern and remote regions”.

— Submitted by AHOY BC

Just Posted

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read