Tourists say the darndest things!
Tourism season in Vancouver is fast approaching, and as one of the most popular travel destinations in North America, our city sees its fair share of travellers. But what we often forget is that many of our guests don’t know very much about our region.
Every year, Vancouver sees about 8.5 million overnight visitors, mostly from Canada and the United States. Each July and August, roughly 1.1 million people come to visit, making the summer our busiest time of year. While we are internationally known for our wildlife, mountains and laid back culture, there are some aspects of Vancouver that just don’t translate.
For those with questions about our fine city, there is Tourism Vancouver, located just outside the Convention Centre in Coal Harbour. Their office assisted roughly 200,000 people in person last year and helped another 4,600 online or over the phone. In all their conversations with out-of-towners, they heard some interesting questions that sound pretty ridiculous to us Vancouverites.
We’ve all been oblivious tourists before, but why not share a laugh over some of the funniest questions Tourism Vancouver has heard over the years.
Tourism Vancouver receives a good number of questions about wildlife; unfortunately wildlife has their own agenda, such as:
“I’ve heard there are a lot of racoons in Stanley Park, I didn’t see any when I was there. Where can I go so I can see them? I really want my son to see one and get a photo.”
“What day to they wake the bears up at Grouse Mountain?”
“What day do the whales arrive?”
“I’m looking to go for a hike somewhere where I am likely to see a bear…”
Travelling around Vancouver can be confusing:
“How do I get to Victoria Island?”
“I can’t find the ‘C’ Bus!” (Seabus)
“Is that the United States (pointing to the North Shore Mountains)?”
“No, Do I need my passport to go to Capilano Suspension Bridge?”
“How long does it take to walk to Seattle?”
“Why is the Skytrain called a ‘sky’ train if it’s underground?”
“Why do people keep telling me to look for the mountains when I want to head north?”
A gentleman from Chicago asked whether Vancouver was in Canada…
We’ve had a few guests come into the Visitor Centre that were having difficulty trying to locate their hotel they booked in Vancouver…..Washington.
We received a letter with a newspaper clipping of a photo of a lighthouse, with a post-it saying “I want to go here” – it ended up being somewhere on Vancouver Island.
On occasion they get asked questions that their knowledge of the city and region really can’t help with:
“Why is there no Medieval Times in Vancouver? It reflects the culture and tourism of the city so well!”
“Where in Vancouver do the artists live and work?”
“I’ve heard there are certain types of baby formula banned in Canada, what types of baby formula can I bring into Canada?”
“Where can I purchase a dog?”
“I am planning to visit Vancouver in the Summer, does my bunny need a passport?”
“I want to eat moose, where can I eat moose? Can I hunt moose in Vancouver?”
“Where can I see First Nations people?”