Inns Magazine Issue 3 Vol. 18 Fall Escapes 2014 - Page 20

owichan Valley is definitely one of British Columbia’s gems. Located on Vancouver Island less than

an hour's drive from Victoria or Nanaimo, it includes the Malahat, Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Cobble

Hill, Duncan, Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Station and Crofton areas. You will undoubtedly fall in love with

the rolling countryside of farmland and forests, lakes and rivers, ocean beaches, and estate vineyards in a growing wine country.

Over twenty years ago B&B owners in Cowichan realized that tourists and outdoor enthusiasts migrating to this area for vacations were looking for quality accommodations to match their experiences. They banded together and formed the Cowichan Bed and Breakfast Association (StayCowichan.com). Collectively, they represent over 50 rooms and several self-contained suites available to travelers for nightly or weekly stays. Each property offers a different experience and the beauty of the association is each B&B owner, besides taking individual reservations, refers guests to other accommodations if theirs is not what guests are looking for. All inquiries are looked after efficiently and guests easily find the “right” place to stay.

CBBA members together have a larger presence and can market the region more effectively by leveraging joint print brochures and advertisements out of range for single B&B operator budgets. With approximately 20 B&Bs in the association’s membership, likely to expand to 30 next year, the group offers travellers a unique experience in this diverse region. Guests get the benefit of speaking and arranging stays with hosts that live in the area and know it best!

Cassandra Barfield, association president opened her B&B and was looking for others to collaborate with to learn from their experiences and gain bookings. At meetings fellow members shared ideas and that was what she needed. “In the first year of joining over 50% of our bookings came from the CBBA referral system.”

The Cowichan offers diverse experiences from the famous wine region to raptor centre, whale watching, walking/hiking trails, historic trestles, water in any form for sports or swimming – all year-round. The list is endless but you’ll want to end your day with superb food from fine dining prepared by world-renowned chefs or casual dining in innumerable restaurants. It’s all amazing!!

To book your next stay visit: www.staycowichan.com. For information on the area check out www.tourismcowichan.com and treat yourself to an experience like no other!

By Mary Hughes

Cowichan Bed and Breakfast Association

A Real Family

of B&B Operators!

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Inns E-Magazine / Fall 2014

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