B.C. tourism focuses on skiing, Asia

The B.C. government has revamped its tourism strategy, with a more modest growth target than than the one set before the 2010 Olympics.

Whistler and a dozen other B.C. ski resorts will benefit from a $1.1 million marketing effort this winter



VICTORIA – The B.C. government has revamped its tourism marketing strategy to focus on areas of strength, with a more modest growth target than than the one set before the 2010 Olympics.

Premier Christy Clark announced a new five-year strategy at a tourism industry conference in Victoria Tuesday. Its goal is to increase B.C. tourism revenues five per cent each year until 2015, rather than doubling tourism by that time as was ambitiously projected before the Olympics.

“It recognizes that the world economy is in rough shape, and I think we need to be more real about the goals that we set,” Clark told reporters after the speech.

The strategy focuses eight kinds of tourism where B.C. has an advantage: touring vacations, city experiences, skiing and snowboarding, aboriginal tourism, conventions and outdoor adventure-ecotourism.

“It’s a switch from promoting B.C. generically to promoting specific activities, the reasons why people come to British Columbia,” said Pat Bell, minister of jobs, tourism and innovation.

This winter’s ski promotion has a budget of $1.1 million, half of which will go to advertising in Ontario. The rest will be shared between Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where B.C. has long promoted its “super natural” attractions in generic campaigns.

Longer-term efforts will be directed to emerging markets in China, India and Mexico, in addition to Japan, South Korea, Australia, Germany and the UK.

Clark also promised a new destination marketing organization with industry representation will be developed. The B.C. government surprised the industry with its 2009 announcement that it would disband Tourism BC and bring the post-Olympic tourism marketing program back into the government.

NDP tourism critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said the new agency is an admission that the government made a mistake that alienated the tourism industry.

“They got rid of tourism industry leadership and put politicians and bureaucrats in charge,” Chandra Herbert said. “The industry knows better than a political partisan how to market B.C. because their success depends on it.”

The NDP cited statistics from this summer showing tourist visits below those in 2009, despite an increase in international visits. Clark said a weak U.S. market, a high Canadian dollar and world-wide economic uncertainty have made the job of attracting tourists much more difficult.

Just Posted

New way to connect with South Okanagan-Similkameen family physicians

Patients who do not currently have a primary care provider can add their name to a centralized list

Biggest First Nations cultural event in the South Okanagan returns

Third annual pow wow at the Penticton Indian Band is this weekend

Cross Canada horseback riding sisters trek through Cawston

Sister duo is raising money and awareness about the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides

South Okanagan Eagle Bluff wildfire classified as held

BC Wildfire crews will still work on Eagle Bluff blaze for some time

RDOS considers agreement with region in southern France

Benefits could include student exchanges, winemaker exchanges and marketing opportunities

Osoyoos woman who threatened mom and baby with butcher knife sentenced

Sharon Constance Forner pleaded guilty to one criminal charge and was sentenced

Cross-country Jeep tour to drive home donations for food bank

The Jeep Okanagan club will also raise donations at its Rally Through the Valley event in September

Concerns raised about crossing in Okanagan Falls

RDOS director says safety issues have been raised

Injured hiker rescued in Peachland

The woman fell while hiking Pincushion Mountain on Friday

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Car of missing Victoria pair found in Vernon

RCMP encourage people to call with information, not just post on social media

Families receive support from ‘Living Flag’ fundraisers

A young man and a boy who both live with limited mobility were supported by the Canada Day events

Haida artist to perform at George Ryga Festival in Summerland

Interweavings features music from Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and Bill Henderson

Most Read