The Comox Valley is already a successful tourism destination in BC and its major assets include Mount Washington Alpine Resort, the Comox Valley Airport and WestJet service, and the presence of high quality resorts such as The Kingfisher, Crown Isle, The Old House Village, and Coastal Trek. Additional transportation links include the BC Ferries route between Comox and Powell River on the Sunshine Coast, part of an overall Circle Route for tourists and Via Rail. The scenic coastal location on the Strait of Georgia and the presence of the Beaufort Mountains provides a wide range of outdoor adventure, recreational and ecotourism opportunities.
The area's inventory of hotels, motels, cabins and bed and breakfast operations is more than 95 properties with over 1,000 units. There are 22 campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks, with a total of more than 1,100 sites, mostly located in the Saratoga Beach area.
There are no dedicated convention facilities in the Comox Valley, but there are a number of conference and meeting facilities available. Mount Washington resort has a bed inventory of approximately 3,500. The Valley has over 90 food service operations, including specialty restaurants, teahouses, full service dining rooms and cafes. Excluding hotels and pubs, restaurants in the Valley provide 4,900 seats and employ nearly 900 staff.
The hospitality/tourism industry currently provides employment for approximately 1,800 people. In
terms of the local economic base, tourism ranks third in importance in the Comox Valley behind the
public sector and forestry. Expenditures by visitors generate $85 million annually. In terms of markets,
four-season tourism has a major influence on the economy of the Comox Valley.
With Mount Washington, the area has built a valuable winter product that provides the hospitality sector with visitor volumes outside of the summer season. The Comox Valley International Airport is a growing tourism asset with its new terminal. The establishment of new inbound tour operators is an indication that the Valley is packaging its cultural and adventure products. Strathcona Park remains a major draw for visitors, especially among overseas markets.