Royal visit, PGA, UBCM amounted to “one amazing week”

With delegates from the UBCM, the PGA tour and the Royal visit, the chamber of commerce said it amount to an amazing week.

Kate emerges to the delight of wellwishers in Victoria.

Kate emerges to the delight of wellwishers in Victoria.

It’ll still be a while before the final numbers are added up to reveal the economic impact of the royal visit for the capital region. But with delegates from the Union of B.C. Municipalities and the PGA tour also flooding into the city during that time, Catherine Holt, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said it all amounted to one amazing week.

“The tourism operators, especially the hotels, were talking about the fact that it was maxed out. All the rooms on the lower Island up to Duncan were occupied,” said Holt about hosting the three major events all at once.

“The main thing I think the (royal) visit did for Victoria was make us look like an amazing place, so that’s more of an investment in future visitors than the immediate.”

From florists and catering to transportation and restaurants, businesses were buzzing throughout Victoria as the region showcased the finest it has to offer. During their week-long visit to B.C., where Government House was used as a home base, Prince William and Kate made several public appearances, including the B.C. Legislature, the Cridge Centre for the Family and sailing a tall ship with the Sail and Life Training Society into the Inner Harbour on their final day.

Their movements were closely tracked by a horde of international media, which lit up during the children’s party at Government House, where the couple let their two young children waltz into the spotlight to play with local youngsters. But when the couple toured other locations (without their children), such as Bella Bella and Haida Gwaii, the focus was largely on photo ops and what Kate was wearing instead of where they were going or what they did.

Nonetheless, as many as 1,000 members of the media came to Victoria to cover the royal visit, which also attracted hundreds of fans from across the province and south of the border.

Tourism Victoria covered the visit by posting live video on its social media sites from every major event. Video of the royal couple arriving was the best performing Facebook post ever with more than 51,000 views.

“As the destination marketing organization for Greater Victoria, we could not have asked for a better opportunity to show our region to the world,” said Tourism Victoria President and CEO Paul Nursey in a written statement.

“We know from reaction of media and tour operators that there is interest in coming back to Victoria. Time will tell how much business we are able to achieve because of knowledge gained from the royals visiting our destination.”

For Marc Holescher, a partner at Peetz Outdoors Limited in Victoria, the royal visit provided a rare opportunity to deliver a unique artifact to the royal collection. To commemorate their visit, the Victoria branch of the Monarchist League of Canada selected one of its Artist Series wood fishing reels as a gift for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Carved by renowned Kwagiulth artist Jason Henry Hunt, the reel’s design contains an orca, salmon and moon that’s meant to bring focus to the majestic West Coast species that depend on healthy Pacific salmon stocks for their existence. The reel is one of the six artist proof reels from the 2016 artist series commissioned each year that aren’t available for sale to the public. Instead they’re reserved to support the fundraising efforts of organizations focused on salmon conservation and habitat rehabilitation.

Holescher thought the reel was fitting since the couple went fishing during their visit with First Nation in Haida Gwaii. Prince Andrew also used Peetz wood fishing reels to catch salmon off Pedder Bay during a visit in July 1977.

“Whether they use it or it ends up as an artifact in the royal collection, either way we were honoured,” said Holescher. “It was a perfect fit.”

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

This property, at 1980 Fairfield Place, is adjoined to Gonzales Hill Park and is the centre of community opposition and a B.C. Supreme Court case as owners are looking to build a single-family home on the lot. Jake Romphf/News Staff
Home construction near Victoria’s Gonzales Hill Park spurs legal battle

Gonzales Hill Preservation Society worried about impacts to the park’s wildlife, rare fauna, views

Traffic heading south on Highway 17 and looking to turn left onto Beacon Avenue wait for the light to turn Tuesday morning. A report finds the intersection is experiencing “failing levels of service” for certain movements during the morning peak hours as well as the afternoon peak hours. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Major Sidney intersection already deficient predicted to get worse

New report also finds area’s pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in need of improvement

The artist rendered Sadie with a few more ribs and wrinkles than she had in real life, and with the fading of her paint she looks a little sad. But real-life Sadie was an energetic hunting dog, her owner Cliff Curtis said. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Dog sculpture at Glen Lake Park based off a happy hunting hound

Sadie the dog was not as old as the concrete art looks almost 20 years later

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read