The Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre is celebrating its fifth anniversary. (Citizen file)

Visitor Centre celebrating fifth anniversary

In the last five years, more than 128,000 visitors have dropped into the Visitor Centre

In the last five years, more than 128,000 visitors have dropped into the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre looking for tips on where to eat, good places to shop or simply directions to another interesting Vancouver Island stop.

Today, Friday, Nov. 23, the Visitor Centre celebrates its fifth anniversary with an open house between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Ever since it opened in November of 2013, the “iconic Cowichan Barn” adjacent to the BC Forest Discovery Centre has been a busy place.

“It’s been a touch point on many epic journeys and an important resource centre for visitors planning their Vancouver Island adventures,” suggests Sonja Nagel, executive director of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, the organization that oversees the operation of the Centre.

“We are well on our way to servicing over 30,000 visitors by the end of 2018.”

In addition to being a beacon for North American and international visitors, the Centre’s visitor services team has supported many local events with their mobile visitor services. This past summer, they serviced thousands of visitors attending the BC Summer Games, the 42nd Annual BC Elders Gathering and the Canadian Men’s Amateur Golf Championships.

The Centre provides registration services for meetings, conferences and sporting events and they’ve found set locations for film productions and photo shoots. A team of counsellors make thousands of referrals and hundreds of bookings for Cowichan accommodations, attractions, restaurants, performing arts events and more.

The Centre team also encourages hundreds of newcomers to Cowichan with the help of Duncan and Cowichan Relocation Packages.

Nagel says the visitors have a wide variety of questions and many of them have a specific request.

“Twenty-five per cent of the visitors who come through our doors are looking for maps, indicating that visitors still find value in printed publications, and they want a personal connection when it comes to travel advice,” Nagel notes.

“We have the unique opportunity to showcase all of the communities in Cowichan, translating into more time and tourism dollars spent in our region.”

Nagel is encouraging the public to drop in today to check out the Visitor Centre.

“If you have not been inside the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre, or you would like to learn more about our visitor services, or you want to know more about Cowichan activities and experiences, please join us in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre.

“The Centre team will have cake and coffee and you can also take advantage of special “Black Friday” discounts on a selection of Cowichan inspired gifts and treasures.

“You can shop for holiday hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, gift baskets or other Christmas gifts.”

The Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre is located at 2896 Drinkwater Rd.

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