Cowichan Bay (CND) - Cowichan one of Top 20 best in Canada
The Cowichan Valley has been named as a Top 20 Place to Visit in Canada by vacay.ca's travel experts, something local tourism operators say is significant to continue to build the region's profile. In their fourth annual list, the travel website places the Valley at No. 13.
Cathy Mailhot, marketing coordinator for Tourism Cowichan, said she's delighted because she knows the area is noted "not only for our festivals and events, but also as an unheralded and unique travel destination. It is the merits of our year round experiences - unique and authentic activities that visitors can be a part of - that put us on the list.
"It is exciting and gratifying that the entire region is being recognized as a destination. Most of the others on the list are well known, established cities with huge marketing budgets. Cowichan Valley is the only Vancouver Island destination to make the list," she said.
Vacay.ca journalists came to review the region with high expectations - for example, they are familiar with Cowichan Bay's international Cittaslow designation and they weren't disappointed, Mailhot continued.
"Our agritourism experiences scored very high with the journalists who judged the Valley. They only had time to visit a few including Merridale Cider, Venturi-Schulze Vineyards, Teafarm and True Grain Bakery, but they are also so impressed with what's going on at other agriculturally
significant operations like the Alderlea biodynamic farm cafÃ©, OUR Ecovillage, Saison Market, and Fairburn Farm, and others, that they want to return," she said, adding, "Words like tranquil, relaxing, charm and personality were used repeatedly in their reviews."
Marilyn Venturi of Venturi-Schulze Vineyards, has only one quibble with the list.
"I think we actually should be way up higher," she said. "I'm a Canadian but born in Australia and my husband's a Canadian but born in Italy. We moved here back in 1987 and wouldn't live anywhere else."