Uniquely Cowichan

The purpose of the Tourism Cowichan Society (TCS) is to promote the desirability of our region to potential visitors by telling the story of Cowichan in a way that taps into the essence of the area.

This portal exists to provide Tourism Cowichan stakeholders with resources, information and marketing tools. On this page, you will find information on how to become a registered stakeholder, how to claim a website listing, a guide to social media amplification, tourism research and reports, updates on stakeholder events, and more. 

Destination marketing is always most effective when it is industry-driven. We will be using your input to continuously increase the effectiveness of our destination marketing initiatives.

Thank you for being an active part of Tourism Cowichan Society!

About Our Organization

Tourism Cowichan Society is managed by a service contractor, 4VI (formerly Tourism Vancouver Island), and is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of regional tourism stakeholders. Tourism Cowichan Society was formed in 2002.

Tourism Cowichan Society (TCS) is a Community Destination Management Organization.

Vision: Tourism in the Cowichan region is a significant contributor to the region’s economic and social well-being, with the region being recognized as a premier destination for leisure getaways and vacations.

Mission: Contribute to increasing the economic and social benefits of a thriving tourism industry through focused, industry driven and professionally managed marketing and promotion of the region into the nearby markets; and supporting the efforts of regional, provincial and national destination marketing.

The role of TCS is to represent the Cowichan Region as a destination and support the long-term development and well-being of our communities through tourism strategy:

  • Act as the official source of travel information for the Cowichan region
  • Coordinate regional tourism marketing to increase overnight stays and visitor spending
  • Support sustainable economic development through tourism

TCS receives funding through three primary sources: Municipal & Regional District Tax Program (MRDT), Destination BC Co-op Marketing Partnership Program (application-based), and the Cowichan Valley Regional District. To learn more about the MRDT program, follow the link below.

Learn More About MRDT
Learn More About DBC Co-op Marketing Program

Tourism Cowichan provides regional tourism marketing services through a number of activities. Marketing tactics are focused on increasing length of stay during off-peak times (fall, winter, spring). Key target markets are short-haul travelers from BC, Alberta, and Washington.

  • Brand development
  • Seasonal marketing campaigns (fall and spring)
  • Print, broadcast, and out-of-home advertising
  • Digital marketing (consumer website, organic and paid social media, display and native advertising, email marketing)
  • Travel media and travel trade hosting
  • Cowichan Visitor Guide
  • Consortium marketing partnerships (Golf Vancouver Island, BC Ale Trail, BC Bird Trail, BC Farmers’ Markets, Paddle BC, Mountain Biking BC, AhoyBC)
  • Consumer show exhibits
  • Image and video acquisition
  • Written content
  • Market research and evaluation
  • Events and Festivals Fund

To learn more about our marketing initiatives, check out our 2023/2024 Destination Marketing Plan below.

2023/2024 Destination Marketing Plan

Strong leadership and guidance is provided to Tourism Cowichan Society by its Board of Directors, representing a broad spectrum of Cowichan’s tourism industry. These board members volunteer their time and contribute extensive knowledge and experience to ensure that the organization is supported by its members, transparent, and effective.

Interim Chair: Bob Day, Ts’uubaa-asatx Nation

Past Chair: Janet Docherty, Merridale Cidery & Distillery

Treasurer-Secretary: Leif Bogwald, Vancouver Island Expeditions

Director: Josh Handysides, Malahat Nation

Director: Evelyn Gates, Farm Table Inn

Director: Shawn Kosmuk, Oak Bay Marine Group

Director: Ian McPherson, Brentwood College School

Director: Brennan Colebank, Stillhead Distillery

Director: John Chilton, Cowichan Lake Chamber of Commerce/Cowichan River Lodge

If you are interested in board opportunities with Tourism Cowichan Society, please reach out to kenzie@tourismcowichan.com

Board of Directors Handbook

Stakeholder Benefits

Are you a tourism or hospitality-focused business operating in the Cowichan Region? Join Tourism Cowichan Society in showcasing Cowichan as a destination.

Stakeholder Registration form
Sign Up for Stakeholder News

Networking Opportunities

Collaboration is key! Engage with other tourism-related businesses in your area to learn more about their challenges, successes, and collaboration opportunities.

Voting Rights

Have your say. Registered stakeholders hold voting rights.

Access to Tourism Cowichan Events Calendar

Submit your events and festivals to our events calendar for amplification.

Opportunity for Consumer Newsletter Mentions

Our consumer newsletter highlights seasonal offerings and mentions of specials and events.

Recognized as a Travel Media Partner

Tourism Cowichan works with 4VI & DBC in the Travel Trade and Travel Media sector, occasionally hosting international groups and writers.

Online Listing Of Your Business

Your business will receive a free listing on the Tourism Cowichan consumer website.

Social Media Amplification

Use the hashtag #ExploreCowichan on Facebook and Instagram to have your content featured on the Tourism Cowichan social channels.

Access to Image and Video Assets

Gain access to Cowichan images and videos to use for your own marketing purposes.

Featured in the Cowichan Visitor Guide

Your business could be featured in the Cowichan Visitor Guide which is distributed widely throughout the province.

2024 Events & Festivals Fund

The Events & Festivals Fund invests in the creation and enhancement of events and festivals that attract visitors to the Cowichan Region and improves the region’s competitive appeal as a preferred multi-night destination on Vancouver Island.

The first intake of the 2024 Events & Festivals Fund is now closed. A second intake for events taking place between September 1–December 31, 2024 will open in mid-April 2024.

Please read through the Program Guidelines in detail prior to submitting your application. Tourism-related businesses, non-profit organizations, and Indigenous organizations in the Cowichan Region are encouraged to apply. Completed applications must be submitted by e-mail to kenzie@tourismcowichan.com

2024 Events & Festivals Fund Program Guidelines

(PDF)

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2024 Events & Festivals Fund Application

(Fillable PDF)

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This program is funded through the Municipal & Regional District Tax (MRDT) revenues from the Cowichan Region’s tourism sector. The $100,000 fund will be available on an annual basis and is designed to fund out-of-region marketing activities for festival and event organizers to:

  • Increase visitation and overnight stays in the Cowichan Region;
  • Increase the economic and social benefits that flow from tourism to residents of the Cowichan Region;
  • Drive seasonal dispersion through the off-peak seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring);
  • Position Cowichan as a preferred multi-night tourism destination; and
  • Ensure that tourism makes meaningful contributions to the social, cultural, and/or environmental well-being of the Cowichan Region.

    Applicants may apply to receive a maximum funding contribution of $10,000.

    If you have any questions about the Events & Festivals Fund, please contact: Kenzie Knight, Tourism Development Specialist at kenzie@tourismcowichan.com or (250) 667-8558.

    Upcoming Stakeholder Events and Workshops

    Network with fellow tourism operators in the Cowichan region, or expand your knowledge with a tourism-related workshop.

    Submit an Event

    If you would like your visitor-related event or festival featured on the Tourism Cowichan events calendar, please submit it below. 

    Submit Event Here

    Marketing Resources

    Tourism Cowichan is pleased to provide the following marketing resources to benefit our stakeholders. We actively work with stakeholders, partners and the community to shape the future of a sustainable tourism economy and deliver our brand promise to each and every visitor.

    Tourism Cowichan Brand Guidelines

    Become familiar with Tourism Cowichan’s brand guidelines including our story and values.

    download

    Social Amplification Toolkit

    A guide to amplifying your social media content through Tourism Cowichan’s channels.

    download

    Visitor Guide

    Pick up print copies of the 2024 Cowichan Visitor Guide at the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre to share with your guests.

    download

    BC Content Hub

    Access image and video assets from Destination BC and Tourism Cowichan, to promote your tourism business.

    Learn More

    Destination BC Learning Centre

    Destination BC’s centralized hub for free tourism resources, tools, videos, guides, templates, and more!

    LEARN MORE

    Destination BC Tourism Business Portal

    Create a free HelloBC business listing and promote your travel offers on HelloBC.com

    LEARN MORE

    BC Tourism Sustainability Network

    1-on-1 support to help integrate sustainability into business operations and storytelling.

    LEARN MORE

    Biosphere Commitment Program

    Free sustainability certification program for Vancouver Island tourism businesses.

    DOWNLOAD

    Are You Travel Trade Ready?

    Self-assessment checklist designed to help you assess your readiness to work with travel trade.

    download

    Google My Business Listings

    Learn how to claim and optimize your Google My Business listing to easily attract guests.

    LEARN MORE

    Tripadvisor Listings

    Creating and optimizing a Tripadvisor page is key to ensuring success of your tourism business. Learn how by clicking here!

    LEARN MORE

    Tourism Digital Academy

    Free 8-week program for BC tourism businesses wanting to build their digital marketing skills.

    Learn More

    Reports

    Read the destination development strategies below to learn more about the direction of tourism for Vancouver Island and the Cowichan region.

    South Central Island Destination Development Strategy

    A ten-year destination development strategy completed in 2018 for the South Central Island Region of Vancouver Island.

    download

    Vancouver Island Destination Development Strategy

    A ten-year strategy developed to enhance the tourism competitiveness of the Vancouver Island region from 2019-2029.

    Download

    Cowichan Lake Region Hiking & Cycling Tourism Action Plan

    A framework completed in 2018 to build the Cowichan Lake Region into a remarkable and sustainable hiking and cycling destination.

    Download

    Tourism Research

    Market and industry research are critical for decision-making and tourism planning. Learn more about the research Tourism Cowichan has gathered and find research from our tourism partners.

    Cowichan Resident Sentiment Study

    A study was conducted in 2023 to better understand resident perceptions towards tourism development.

    download

    Cowichan Visitor Sentiment Study

    Visitor incercept data was collected in 2022 to gain insight on visitors and their perceptions of the Cowichan region.

    Download

    2021 Mobilescapes Visitor Analysis

    Mobile movement data was collected to better understand Cowichan visitor origins, EQ types, and PRIZM segments.

    Download

    2015 Cowichan Visitor Profile

    Visitor intercept data was collected in 2015 to understand the type of visitors travelling to Cowichan.

    Download

    BC Tourism Impact Portal

    Central data portal providing key insights on tourism development in BC to support well-informed decisions for a sustainable future.

    Learn More

    Vancouver Island Positioning Study

    A study that determines how to position the three regions of North Island, Comox Valley and Cowichan to attract tourism.

    Download

    Destination BC Research

    Tourism research that provides industry with data to enhance the effectiveness of marketing and development projects.

    LEARN MORE

    Contact Us

    For further information about Tourism Cowichan, please contact Kenzie Knight, Tourism Development Specialist: