I realize the money and the political attention is now focused on Victoria as a retirement community obviously, for the upcoming wave of retiring boomers, but tourism is still pretty vital to downtown, at least to the merchants who make up the tenants downtown. Everything is connected to everything else economically at some point isn't it? The economic activity generated through tourism benefits everyone; not least because it publicizes the city to folks who may want to move here and buy one of those condos.
As a Victoria native it seems to me that very little has been done to build on our strengths as a tourist destination and we are not talking about updated versions of Miniature World and the Undersea Gardens. Look at something as basic as Thunderbird Park: dilapidated, poor signage or none; it's actually worse than it was 40 years ago. Or take Mile 0; a shabby little wooden sign without even a map of the Trans-Canada Highway, and yet tourists stop there by the thousands for photos every year. Is that the best we can do? Or the Pavilion rotting away on top of Beacon Hill? Wouldn't it make a good interpretative center or viewpoint?
Yes, we Victorians feel we lost nothing when we lost Fable Cottage, and not much more when the Olde Englande Inn went, but maybe we shouldn't sneer if enough tourists enjoyed visiting those places? Fact is, we don't have much else! Every modern city maintains a core of attractions, public, private and joint, and a city with a significant tourist industry like Victoria should be doing better than average. Compare us to cities in Europe; it's embarrassing frankly. The Princess Marguerite used to bring in over $6M a year in tax revenue from tourists, for a subsidy cost of less than $2M a year. Most countries in the world consider that good business sense. (I'm no NDPer and I had no connection to the vessel by the way)
The reason to put the Maritime Museum into the old Terminal was it would allow moorage next to the Museum and create something interesting and historic right on the waterfront. When we travel most of us want to visit more than restaurants and shops. The people that come here are no different. The little things add up, in a good way, or in a bad way.
Are we ever going to get a proper cruise ship terminal? Maybe we ought to dig out some of that vast infill parking lot and create a couple more berths? The industry the land was filled in for is long gone after all.
Edited by Old Esquimalt, 03 December 2013 - 12:41 AM.