Its unique mix of mix of wilderness and and ocean gives Vancouver Island a leg up on much of the competition when it comes to its attractiveness as a tourism destination.

Its unique mix of mix of wilderness and and ocean gives Vancouver Island a leg up on much of the competition when it comes to its attractiveness as a tourism destination.

Vancouver Island named top island destination

City of Victoria, Wickaninnish Inn, Bear Mountain Resort, Magnolia Hotel and Spa all saluted by readers of Travel and Leisure

The acclaim may have become routine, but it is never boring.

Not when it involves going to New York City and listening to people from some of the most beautiful places on Earth tell you how great you are.

The readers of Travel and Leisure magazine have once again voted Vancouver Island as Canada’s top island destination, headlining a fistful of honours collected by Island tourism professionals in the prestigious annual World’s Best Awards, honouring the finest tourism destinations in the world. Vancouver Island has finished among the top three in its category every year since 2001.

“Island life in Canada is perhaps a road less traveled: the island destinations that our voters rated are a departure from the aqua-blue water, piña coladas, and white-sand beaches you typically imagine when you daydream about your next island getaway,” writes Travel and Leisure’s Ellie Storck. “What these oases do provide is quite unique: natural Canadian beauty, ample opportunity for adventure, local island charm, and some of the best seafood in North America.

“Equal parts romantic and wild, Vancouver Island has nabbed the number-one spot for two years in a row. As one reader says, ‘from wilderness to the culture of Victoria, the island offers a wide range of activities in a small locale.’ Visitors have the opportunity to see Vancouver Island from many perspectives: approach by seaplane, summit craggy mountains blanketed in dense forests, or take an epic whale watch. For those undeterred by the possibility of storms or persistent fog, Vancouver Island is an incredibly rewarding — and deeply Canadian — destination.”

The World’s Best awards are selected by Travel and Leisure readers, who are asked to rate destinations on a variety of criteria, including natural attractions, beaches, activities, sights, food, friendliness, and overall value.

waterfallThe data was gathered through single-ballot digital polling through a four-month period that began in November of 2015.

Victoria was named the third-best city in Canada, behind Vancouver and first-placed Quebec. Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn finished third and Langford’’s Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa tenth in the Canadian Resort Hotel rankings, while Victoria’s Magnolia Hotel and Spa was seventh in the Canadian City Hotels category.

Tourism Vancouver Island’s Heather McEachen is off to New York July 20 to accept the top island award on behalf of TVI. While rubbing shoulders with tourism promoters from across the world in a Big Apple gala will be fun in and of itself, she is also looking forward to an opportunity to further spread the word about our great part of the globe.

“There’s a a lot of hard-working people on this Island and we’re blessed with such a beautiful area to work with,” she said.

According to McEachen, the recognition translates into a tangible benefit for Vancouver Island. Travel and Leisure has a huge global reach and its World’s Best Awards has an influence on travel choices world-wide.

“We are delighted that the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine have once again selected Vancouver Island as the number-one Island in Canada. This is a reflection of the beautiful destination that Vancouver Island is and the delivery of fantastic hospitality that our tourism operators provide,” TVI CEO Dave Petryk said in a media release.

That same release lauded North America’s largest Pacific island for its “irresistible mix of pristine wilderness and top-ranked food and lodging.”

McEachen said the Island’s tourism industry has seen consistent growth since the dog days of the 2008 recession and this summer looks poised to continue that trend.

“If you look at most of our communities, there’s not a hotel room in sight,” she said. “Last year was great, but this year is even better.”

Follow me on Twitter @JohnMcKinleyBP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance at Saanich staff meeting

Sidney firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

A worker covers up racist graffiti along the West Shore Parkway. (Courtesy of Anna Young)
RCMP investigating racist graffiti spotted off West Shore Parkway

Hateful vandalism is rare, says Langford bylaw enforcement

Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team and Victoria police executed a high-risk warrant arrest on Jan. 22. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police arrest man wanted on multiple warrants

Warrants include drug trafficking, theft and possession of firearms

Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre will reopen Feb. 1 after a nearly 10-month closure to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre gears up for safe reopening in Victoria

Recreation facility opens Feb. 1 with reservation system to prevent crowding

Coun. Jack McClintock said he would have voted for a proposed statutory holiday recognizing residential school survivors if he had had all of the information. (Black Press Media File)
North Saanich split over statutory holiday recognizing residential school survivors

Legislation would recognize Sept. 30 as National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Most Read