Quite the coup for Vancouver Island’s tourism sector and the island in general.

The island has been selected as a Top Region by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022, and the only Canadian destination to make the annual list of top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit in the year ahead.

The notable achievement was recommended by the globally recognized guidebook and travel publishing company.

Lonely Planet’s number one region for 2022 is the Westfjords, Iceland; West Virginia, USA comes in second; and Xingshuabanna, China is third. 

Vancouver Island is number nine of ten. See all top 10 lists here.

“We are honoured to receive such positive recognition for Vancouver Island at a time when our tourism industry is embarking on a road to recovery,” says Vancouver Island Tourism (TVI) president and CEO, Anthony Everett. “As international visitors begin to travel again, they will look to trusted travel authorities such as Lonely Planet for direction on which destinations to choose first.”

Everett told Vista Radio that it’s always nice to be recognized by Lonely Planet: “I’m not surprised from the perspective that other organizations and travellers are identifying what we all know here is a great place to live and visit. It’s a pleasant surprise, put it that way.”

Everett added that the island’s natural beauty makes it a desirable destination for international travellers.

“I think people are looking more and more coming out of the pandemic for what we offer: mountains, ocean, trees, and wilderness. It’s all quite accessible and at the same time there are a lot of remote parts to it. I think this is a tremendously important recognition to achieve… moving through this pandemic. What is critical is international visitors come back when it’s safe and convenient to do so,” Everett said. “The secret is out and it’s been out for some time about our destination.”

Best in Travel 2022 is Lonely Planet’s 17th annual edition. 

TVI says this year places “particular emphasis on the best sustainable travel experiences, ensuring travellers will have a positive impact wherever they choose to go. Each destination is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices.”

“This criteria is particularly meaningful given Tourism Vancouver Island’s dedication to developing and promoting responsible and sustainable travel in the Vancouver Island region,” adds Janet Docherty, chair of TVI’s board of directors. 

“We thank the residents of Vancouver Island for contributing to making the region a special place to live and visit.”