Tofino’s Crystal Cove Beach Resort has kept its crown as Canada’s top family vacation accommodation.
TripAdvisor announced the recipients of its Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best awards last week and Crystal Cove earned Top Family Resort honours for the second year in a row.
“I’m very proud of our team. Without our team, none of this would happen. They’ve just been troopers. It’s been a very busy summer and I’m super proud of them,” the resort’s general manager JJ Belanger told the Westerly News.
The awards are based on a year’s worth of Tripadvisor reviews and the website’s Chief Commercial Officer Kanika Soni congratulated this year’s recipients.
“Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travelers as the world begins to venture out again,” Soni said through last week’s announcement.
Belanger said Crystal Cove’s family focused model has been especially appreciated by guests this summer as its spaced out log cabins and RV sites bordering a sheltered and secluded portion of MacKenzie Beach have brought peace-of-mind to travellers wanting to stay safe while vacationing during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s a big thing in people’s lives, especially with what we’re going through, to have family close and to go vacationing with them because that’s your bubble. We’re seeing a huge demand for Crystal Cove this summer and next summer again. We’ve got everything in place to make sure you’ve got a perfect, safe getaway,” he said. “We really focus on family, including your furry family. That’s very important to a lot of people, their pets are their family and we’re 100 per cent pet-friendly.”
He said part of the resort’s COVID-19 strategy is offering virtual check-in services and providing each guest with a code of conduct three days before their arrival along with a follow-up phone call and a text messaging system to ensure guests are provided with what they need without having to go to the office.
“We miss seeing the guests in the office but, with what we’re going through, we’ve developed a really good plan and the guests seem to be loving it,” he said. “And, when they’re on the resort, they’re behaving. We’ve got guests that are wearing masks, staying within their little bubbles and going down to the beach, coming back and cooking dinner.”
He said Crystal Cove is booked at about 97 per cent occupancy through July and August and Tofino as a whole has celebrated a welcomed surprise surge in its tourism economy in the past month.
“We thought for sure this summer we would have a dip…Now, most of the resorts, if they’re not full they’re pretty close,” he said adding that while Crystal Cove had to cancel reservations from guests outside Canada, travelling British Columbians have filled the void and then some.
“Nobody [in B.C.] cancelled their summer bookings, they needed something to look forward to,” he added.
He suggested the West Coast could be in for booming fall and winter tourism numbers.
“I think a lot of people are maybe not putting the kids in school and are going to take a roadtrip when it’s a little less busy and the beaches are a little quieter. I think you’re going to see a strong push into September and October which is great, especially for the smaller businesses that had to close and lost that revenue during Spring Break and Easter and right through May,” he said. “And, I think we’re going to see a very busy winter in Tofino. Don’t forget there’s 1.3 million snowbirds that go down to the U.S. every year; they’re not doing that this year. Where are they going to go? I think the Island is going to do very well this winter.”