Tourism management will be shared with the Village of Cumberland with the adoption of a Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) bylaw.
The decision will make Cumberland a part of the Comox Valley Tourism Service. The village was initially part of the economic development service in 2016.
In February, the village said it would participate in the tourism service under contract in a similar way to the Town of Comox.
The tourism service aims to provide destination marketing and efforts to promote Comox Valley as a tourism destination and provide visitor information services, according to the CVRD.
In early August, the village found the following benefits could be found by joining the service:
- The cost and value of the services provided as a formal participant.
- The ability to participate in the administration of the service via the Service 550 Administrative Committee.
- Full involvement in the services strategic planning process, including opportunities to provide review and input on service-related work plans, budgets and/or schedules.
- The opportunity to participate and/or benefit from the disposition of service-related assets, such as the Visitor Information Centre.
- Participation and inclusion within an expanded CVRD Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) program.
Economic development is now handled by individual jurisdictions.
Councillor Jesse Ketler says the system has benefitted the area and is looking forward to working with the regional district and Tourism Vancouver Island (4VI).
“It has saved the region quite a bit of money and I think it’s much more in line with the values of local governments that we have now,” said Ketler. “4VI is a social enterprise and they’ve been doing really good work with the village even though we’re not a paying participant as of yet.”
Councillor Vickey Brown says the system will help the town manage the amount of tourists that are coming to the area in the future.
Mayor Leslie Baird says the process has been long, but has reconnected the village with the rest of the Comox Valley.
“It is important to all of us, the tourist dollar, and what we have in celebrating our uniqueness from each other,” said Baird. “We are a diverse valley and we will need to be there to talk about the future of tourism.”