The Cortes Community Economic Development Association (CCEDA) has initiated a new planning process to update the tourism plan for Cortes Island.

The organization has been given assistance from Destination BC in hosting and assessing the needs and desires of the community on a new tourism plan. The last plan that included intentions for tourism on Cortes Island was the LEAP, a five-year Local Economic Action Plan, published in December 2018. Many objectives from the report have been met, like creating an affordable housing initiative, a death-care collective, and local training programs for residents. One of the other objectives of the LEAP was to develop an eco-tourism strategy, an unmet goal.

CCEDA is working with a tourism training company through Destination BC called “The Tourism Cafe.” Lesley Anderson and Nancy Arsenault from The Tourism Cafe facilitated the consultations. There were two in-person meetings last week, one at Mansons Hall, and the other at the Gorge Hall, in Whaletown. The presenters explained how this timing makes sense to draft a new report,

“We also know the world for visitors and travelers fundamentally changed as a result of COVID. In fact, this nation has a national body that takes care of tourism in our country. It’s undergoing a massive understanding”, Lesley Anderson explained at the first Mansons Hall consultation.

This Wednesday, Nov. 1, there will be an online consultation to widen the accessibility of community input. The in-person presentations also mentioned a group of appointed stakeholders to be consulted.

Lesley explained the timeline for the process to about 20 people attending at Mansons Hall last week.

“In November, December we’re going to be taking all that information in, kind of synthesizing it and figuring out how we can prepare a draft report with some preliminary findings and recommendations,” she said.

“And one of the benefits of a plan is just really preparing,” she added. “There are visitors coming, lots of them.”

Arsenault also spoke to community members.

“Guests come, they arrive with whatever those preconceptions are, which some people may know you around the world because of Hollyhock.” 

The first presentation of findings from the initial consultation will be in January 2024. The final plan will be revealed March 2024. Those still interested in offering input may attend the online meeting by contacting

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