More than 10,000 people walked through the doors of the Peachland visitor centre last year.
Most of the visitors were local or from B.C., but the centre had visitors from elsewhere as the year progressed, a report presented to council on Tuesday revealed.
“As COVID restrictions lifted, we began to see a change in our demographic,” the report said. “We welcomed an array of fellow Canadians, mostly Albertans and Quebecois, and were delighted to see many Western Europeans, mostly from Germany.
Of course, the warm-weather months were busiest with more than 1,000 monthly visitors from May to October. The busiest month was August with 1,319 visitors.
Twenty-two per cent of visitors were seeking maps or directions to other locations, and 20 per cent were interested in food and wineries.
Fifteen per cent wanted information on parks and hiking. Another 15 per cent were looking into attractions and adventure. People also asked about shopping, emergency information, First Nations and community services.
The centre’s Trina Shields noted the tourist season wasn’t affected by any natural disasters last year, but there was a heat wave.
The visitor centre is expanding its line of Peachland-labelled clothing and consigned offerings in an artisan gift shop.
More co-operation with the Westbank First Nation is in the works.
“We plan to add an enclosed glass display case for artifacts and creations of local Indigenous artisans. We will sell artwork, jewelry, souvenirs, books, clothing, etc.
“We plan to create a slideshow presentation with historic information of the Syilx Nation, reflecting their culture.
“Finally, throughout the year, we will invite members of the Westbank First Nation to hold special events and workshops, such as storytelling, drumming, beading techniques, medicinal plants/healing, Language/Historical sessions, and guided Indigenous nature walks,” the report said.
The centre will offer downtown historical walks for the third year.
The organization had seven volunteers and two summer employees last year. They’re looking for volunteers again and will apply for federal funding for summer staff again.
Peachland attractions include the Little Schoolhouse, the Peachland art gallery, which is in the other historic school along with the visitor centre and a colony of bats, and the eight-sided museum.
The visitor centre is run by the Peachland Community Arts Council.