(work in progress)
It may seem unlikely, but possibly the best free travel brochure that I've ever come across is the 2012 Official Nanaimo Tourism Guide.
What makes it so good? Well, quite simply, it is an outstanding example of a town putting its best foot forward by promoting its unique combination of attractions in an original and positive manner. I think that even the most die hard residents would forgive me for saying that Nanaimo isn't a first division tourist destination, but what this guide does it to present a quirky and original take on what the city has to offer.
For example, the guide uses the Nanaimo Bar (a local biscuit/cake hybrid) as a vehicle to promote the 'Nanaimo Bar Trail', featuring diverse takes on this local speciality. Not only does this include the bakeries and delis that you'd expect (including a deep fried version), but also a cocktail inspired by the combination of tastes and even a piece of furniture in the local museum - utterly inspired!
Similarly, it also showcases Commercial Street, which was named by the Canadian Institute of Planners in 2011 as Canada's greatest shopping street (even though it somewhat amusingly forgets to mention the street's name!).
In fact, my only complaint about this super guide is that it perhaps overplays its hand a little and makes Nanaimo sound a little more large and exciting than it actually is. It's a nice town and well worth a visit (especially if you're catching a ferry to/from nearby Departure Bay), but unless you have the luxury of a relaxed schedule, I wouldn't personally devote more than a day to the town itself unless you're planning to use it as a base from which to explore the surrounding area.
2290 Bowen Road,
Nanaimo, British Columbia,
- Tel.: (+1) 800 663 73 37
- Tel.: (+1) 250 756 01 06
- Fax: (+1) 250 756 00 75
- E mail: email@example.com