Visitors from all over Vancouver Island flock to the Cowichan River to enjoy the 2.5- to-3-hour float from Saywell Park in Lake Cowichan to Little Beach on Greendale Road. Between the two tube rental companies in Lake Cowichan

Visitors from all over Vancouver Island flock to the Cowichan River to enjoy the 2.5- to-3-hour float from Saywell Park in Lake Cowichan to Little Beach on Greendale Road. Between the two tube rental companies in Lake Cowichan

Repeat tubers swell the Lake’s visitor numbers

Tourism in Cowichan Lake a 13.5 percent leap but it’s harder each year to obtain the funds needed to keep the visitor centre operational

The number of tourists in Cowichan Lake is on the rise.

But it’s becoming harder each year to obtain the funds needed to keep the visitor centre operational, says a Cowichan Lake visitor’s centre press release.

This June there was a 13.5 per cent increase in visitors to the Cowichan Lake area, said visitor centre co-ordinator Katherine Worsley.

“We have not had many repeat visitors this year,” said Worsley. “Except for tubers, we have had lots of them return.”

The tourist season runs from Jan. 1, until Dec. 31. Last year there were 24,954 visitors reported in the Cowichan Lake area. So far this year, there have been 14,274 visitors, officials say.

“Lots of B.C. residents seem to be coming to this area,” said Worsley. “We are also getting a lot of local people looking for vacation spots, and tourist things to do in their own town.”

Though the tourist season is going strong, the visitor centre needs to fundraise to continue providing services.

This year the centre has held two hot dog sales, raising $715. Supporters are also planning to host two bottle drives. Last year the centre raised $1,800 between the hot dog sales and bottle drive. It would like to double that this year.

“The visitor centre is a vital asset to the communities, and the businesses around the lake,” said Worsley.

“Funding is an important component to making sure that the services offered are not decreased or discontinued.”

The bottle drives will take place in Saywell Park, underneath the gazebo on Aug. 10, and Sept. 7.

If you wish to donate to the bottle drive, you can drop them off at the visitor’s centre, or call 250-749-3244 to arrange a pickup.