Wanderlust winds its way into Whistler this weekend, with its impossibly bendy people, its meditative air, and its music and other events.
Bringing together the world's leading yoga teachers, top musical acts and DJs, renowned speakers, top chefs and winemakers in a yoga festival on this scale is a first for the resort, especially in terms of attracting new types of guests.
As anticipation builds it looks like it will be a good fit for the resort, said James Buttenshaw, research manager for Tourism Whistler.
"The pace of bookings coming into the weekend are stronger than they were last year for this weekend, so the festival appears to be having an impact. It's over 10 per cent busier," Buttenshaw said.
"Obviously, the festival wasn't here last year and it's difficult to see where it finishes up because some visitors will book at the last minute, but at this stage it is looking really positive coming into the weekend."
The dozens of relatively smaller festivals of a day or weekend in length have been bringing in new types of visitors to the resort, and although yoga is very much part of the Whistler scene, an event on the scale of Wanderlust is an exciting development.
"The thing with Wanderlust is that it does fit well with Whistler - it's a celebration of healthy outdoor lifestyles. That's Whistler - there's a very good brand alignment there. The music also fits really well, but it's great to have that variety in the events offered throughout the summer."
Buttenshaw said it is always challenging to know how a new event like Wanderlust will impact the resort.
"We always track the room and accommodation occupancy levels and in terms of the specifics of Wanderlust we will look at ticket sales, which will help us evaluate how much of a success it is."
A spokesperson for the Resort Municipality of Whistler said the RMOW contributed $100,000 of augmentation funding for the Wanderlust music program in Whistler Olympic Plaza on three evenings: Thursday, August 23; Friday, August 24; Saturday, August 25.
While this is the first time Wanderlust has come to Whistler it is already established in a couple of other locations including Squaw Valley, Calif., and Copper Mountain, Col.
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