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  • Erin Norberry

The Rise in Tourism in Nelson, BC Over the Past 20 Years

“What makes a place remarkable?” This is one of the key factors in determining where the best place is to invest your time, energy, and money. People have always been in the search for the next place to be. With social media being a powerful driver to bridge the gap between travel destinations and adventure seekers, it has enabled endless opportunities for countries to capitalize on their natural assets as well as community offerings.

The tourism sector of British Columbia jumped on this opportunity by simply showcasing their wide range of offerings to all types of tourists. You’ll be able to experience the full spectrum from winter, spring, summer, and fall, unraveling right before your eyes. Regardless of the season, if British Columbia is your choice, there’s an adventure that awaits you and will make your time worthwhile.

Nelson, BC as the central hub

What is the first place to consider as you kickstart your adventure to British Columbia? Setting your course to Nelson, BC. With over 350 heritage buildings, home to 11,000 residents, and surrounded by lush mountain ranges, Nelson offers its tourists a snapshot of heritage, culture, recreation and creativity as its initial offerings.

This small town is home to historic architecture, an active creative art scene, and thriving small business communities that work together to provide that homely experience to those who will come by and visit.

The unique trait of Nelson is the personality of its people: a funky mix of hippies, creative types, and rugged individualists. They carry a brilliant charm heavily influenced by the collective effort to look after its natural habitat while incorporating modern concepts. People from all walks of life are naturally drawn to Nelson’s charms. Some even decide to leave their city and start their life here simply because of Nelson’s focus on slow-paced living.

Remaining True to Its Natural Roots

There was a period where Nelson suffered a devastating economic downturn when the local Forest Products sawmill shut down. Modernization is inevitable. Through time, the need to adapt to the technological changes has been set as an opportunity for Nelson to grow. This growth, however, wasn’t as quick as major cities. Being situated between mountain ranges and miles away from the city, Nelson had to embrace the idea of living an unhurried lifestyle and settle on a pace that allows them to relish what is in and around their town. There’s growth, but it was growth that had enabled them to relish their roots and preserve what was naturally accessible.

Although there are commercial establishments around, it has never been the local community’s top priority. There was a time when downtown merchants suffered because of commercial institutions such as malls that had sprouted around, but they’ve managed to remain true to its roots by showcasing local establishments ranging from retail, food & beverage, and services. The reinvention of Baker Street, which highlights these businesses, created an impact in making sure to champion homegrown resources rather than allowing commercialism to take over.

This was the natural choice considering most adventure seekers come from the big cities and seek to experience something different from what they have at home. They are treated to a more laid back life of living and encouraged to take things more intentionallyThis has given Nelson a spike in real-estate as this kind of pace was what some families needed. The need for a slower pace of lifestyle has resulted in a spike in real estate as more and more families choose to migrate to Nelson.

Impact of Destination British Columbia

Destination British Columbia, a campaign conceived to introduce British Columbia's offerings to the world, has served as an entry point for travelers to discover the many things that await them should they decide to make the trip here. This website fills you in with all the details that you need to know as you plan your trip.

Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination British Columbia explained, “With our awe-inspiring natural assets, solid infrastructure, remarkable experiences, and world-class customer service, these results clearly demonstrate that tourism continues to be a strong and growing economic driver for our provincial economy. With global tourism forecast to double over the next 20 years, we believe B.C.’s tourism industry is well positioned for even greater economic success in the years to come.”

If you browse the website, you’ll eventually fill your travel bucket list with things that will captivate your interest, encourage you to pack your bags, and set a course for your trip to the West Kootenays. Their honest offerings and down-to-earth approach to tourism will surely make you say yes to booking that trip. How can you say no when there’s a right mix of nature, culture, and history in a single destination? It’s all in here!

The Inevitable Growth Moving Forward

It’s undeniable that there’s a strong growth in the tourism sector. The key points to this progress are having more direct flights to BC from the U.S., a strategic marketing campaign through “Destination British Columbia”, and huge investments in tourism-related businesses.

“It’s the kind of place that draws people that want to feel connected to be part of something meaningful,” one of the locals has mentioned this about Nelson. This holds true, especially for tourists, because there are tons of things to see, do, and eat. The only way to fully enjoy the place is to invest time in immersing in its offerings.

Nelson is remarkable for many reasons. It caters to the quality of life of its locals while ensuring that its visitors are taken great care of. It’s only a matter of time until more and more people discover this quaint, magical place, and make it a top priority in their next travel adventure. It’s only a matter of time that the word gets out and the power of social media and storytelling can push Nelson, DC to greater heights.

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