The Madden family, Zoe, 7, Otis, 1, Karyn and Chris visited Tofino from Victoria over the weekend and enjoyed their stay at family-friendly Crystal Cove Beach Resort. The resort was recently named TripAdvisor’s top Canadian destination for families. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Tofino’s Crystal Cove Beach Resort earns TripAdvisor’s top family destination honours

“Being the number one family resort in Canada, that is pretty special.”

Tofino’s Crystal Cove Beach Resort has been awarded TripAdvisor’s best family destination designation.

The website recently released its 2019 Travellers Choice awards and Crystal Cove leads the list of top 25 hotels for families in Canada.

The resort placed second in the same category last year—behind 2018’s winner the Great Wolf Lodge of Niagara Falls—and is celebrating a successful award streak having earned the Tofino Long Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the year award and an Eco Star Award for water conservation in 2018 and a Vancouver Island Business Excellence Award earlier this year.

“Being the number one family resort in Canada, that is pretty special,” the resort’s general manager JJ Belanger told the Westerly News.

“It just goes with this whole year of accolades that we’ve been getting so it’s pretty cool. Nice way to sort of wrap up the awards season.”

Belanger said he was ecstatic with the TripAdvisor honour because the resort’s online reputation is vital to its success.

“Tourists are looking online for everything. People don’t go online anymore, they live online,” he said.

“It’s so important for businesses to understand that your online reputation management is crucial to your overall business well-being now…It’s something that we take extremely seriously. We monitor on a daily basis, we course correct where needed and we take pride in the accomplishments of being highly rated. We don’t sleep until we make sure that we’ve done everything we can to get there.”

He added that Tofino is a bastion of strong accommodations and attractive shops that help boost Tofino’s profile as a unique and popular destination.

“Everybody in Tofino stands out. We are very fortunate to have some amazing businesses in this town and to be nominated within that category is very humbling because everybody here tries,” he said noting Tofino has a population of roughly 2,000 people, and over 500 business licences.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is insane. It’s bigger than probably any other per capita city in Canada and everybody pours their heart and soul into their operations and they work their butts off…To be at the pinnacle of that is very humbling because there are so many great businesses that I look up to in this town and I’m very happy to be part of that business community. Any kind of accolades that Tofino gets benefits the community.”

He said the resort enjoys a 60 per cent return visitation rate and works hard to turn first-time West Coast experiences into fun family traditions.

“We’re seeing this multigenerational shift here. The people who used to come here 30 years ago are now coming as seniors with their kids and their grandkids,” he said. “I can attribute that solely to our staff and our team because without them, none of this would be possible. We also have become family with our guests. The ones that come back year after year they come into the office and give us a big hug. You’re treated like family,” he said. “The whole family dynamic has gone beyond just the guests that are coming here with their families, we’ve created our own Crystal Cove family with them.”

READ MORE: Tofino scores at Business Excellence Awards

READ MORE: Tofino’s Crystal Cove and Ocean Outfitters win Vancouver Island EcoStar Awards for green steps

READ MORE: Tofino and Ucluelet are popular spots for weddings and proposals



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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