Tourism: A key economic driver for Hornby Island

Tourism is a key economic driver for Hornby Island. There are few businesses and households that do not benefit from the influx of cash that visitors provide or from the services and events that would likely not happen without off-island support.

At the same time there is concern among some residents, seasonal residents and visitors that tourism, at its most intense, erodes the very qualities that attract people to the Island in the first place. A survey of residents indicated that over 80% believe that the carrying capacity of the Island has been reached or exceeded during the summer. The cyclical boom-and-bust characteristic of tourism also presents challenges.

HICEEC has been working with the Recreation and Tourism Research Institute and with those involved in the industry to get a better understanding of this important sector and to develop strategies. This has included a visitor exit survey and resident questionnaire in 2006 and a follow-up visitor survey in 2008.

Hornby's visitors can be characterized as follows:

HICEEC is interested in working with partners to improve the quality of tourism in the summer (for both residents and visitors and to increase the quantity of tourism in the "off" season (particularly in the spring). If you are interested, contact us.

To these ends, HICEEC has hired staff to interface with visitors in the summer to help them to become aware of products and services and Island character, to encourage off-season visiting and to develop an electronic mailing list to keep them connected to Hornby. HICEEC is also marketing Hornby as a spring destination through the Comox Valley Visitors, Guide, Tourism Vancouver Island and other media.

You can view the following pertinent information here: