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Vancouver Island lands on CNN’s list of 20 best places to visit in 2020

For your next romantic getaway, rugged outdoor adventure, First Nation art and culture, foodie pilgrimage, nature nirvana, or surf safari.
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Vancouver Island is one of CNN's picks for the 20 best places to visit in 2020. Photo: San Josef Bay, Cape Scott Provincial Park, Northern Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada/Shutterstock

Vancouver Island’s tourism offerings have caught the attention of U.S. television network CNN, which named the Island one of the 20 best places to visit in 2020.

Greater Victoria and the Island are used to cropping up in international destination lists but getting this kind of attention is “massive,” Paul Nursey, chief executive of Destination Greater Victoria, said Thursday.

“What I’m particularly pleased about is that it referenced Victoria and Tofino specifically.”

Nursey, who used to work with the Rocky Mountaineer, which runs a passenger train service in B.C. and Alberta, said a CNN feature story in the mid-1990s provided a big boost for the company. CNN counts its global audience at more than 100 million.

“The United States is our second most important source market behind Canada, so we are absolutely tickled pink,” Nursey said.

The network’s list of 20 best places to visit in 2020 also included Copenhagen, Denmark; St. Petersburg, Russia; Zambia; Jamaica; and Wyoming.

CNN described Tofino as a “pretty fishing village with excellent but affordable dining options. It’s also popular for its whale watching, which you can see up close from a boat or overhead in a seaplane taking off from the harbour.”

As for Victoria, it lauded our “stately Edwardian architecture,” “high-class” dining, shopping, green spaces and sights such as the Royal B.C. Museum. “Be lulled to sleep on a floating cottage in the harbour and take the small water taxis into town.”

It recommended the Island for “a romantic getaway, rugged outdoor adventure, First Nation art and culture, foodie pilgrimage, nature nirvana, surf safari” or a combination.

“You’re unlikely to find a treasure chest as bountiful as British Columbia’s Vancouver Island on the west coast — a 290-mile stretch of pristine forest and beaches punctuated by small, artsy towns and a cosmopolitan capital city,” it said.

Read more from the Times Colonist