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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Additional Penticton washrooms open in time for weekend

Washrooms at Riverside, Skaha Lake Park, Okanagan Lake Park, more, now open

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Carmi principal Dave Ritchie.

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read