Visitor Guide launched

The first quarter of the year is a busy time for tourism activities.

The first quarter of the year is a busy time for tourism activities.  Summer marketing efforts are being organized, media calendars updated, new materials being produced and resources being ordered.

One of the key publications for Tourism Summerland is the annual Visitor Experience Guide.  The 2016 Guide was delivered to homes along with the new Telephone and Business Directory this past Saturday and will be formally introduced to our business members on March 17.

Each year the guide continues to change.  Planning starts the previous summer with a discussion of our image bank.  What key pictures do we already have and what images are missing from our collection?  Once we’ve determined that, we book a full summer day with our lead photographer and organize potential models – usually local people representing a variety of ages and family groupings.  This year, because of weather challenges, we re-scheduled the entire shoot 3 times in order to get a perfect day.

Then, before Christmas, we determine a layout and style for the guide and what the cover photo will be.  The guide itself is grouped into key sections covering activities, shopping, dining, beaches, wineries, etc.  Each section features large, and we hope compelling, photos that illustrate what you can enjoy when you visit our community.   Our thanks to all our models and local photographers for their contributions to the new guide.

This year we have made some significant changes to the written content. We know that people don’t want to read long segments – in a digital age, we all do best with information in short form and bullet points.  So we confined the content to two main components:

First, In order to invite our guests to share new experiences we are inviting them to make a memory by trying out some different activities that we have suggested in each section.  And second, for 2016, we’ve gotten really personal by inviting local residents – likely you know some of them – to write short statements about a particular section.  I’m happy to say that each section has turned out beautifully.  I want to thank the following people who each wrote about a different section for us: Mike West – wineries; Kim Lawton – dining; Graham Filek – attractions; David Finnis – arts and culture; Brandy Maslowski – shopping; Julianne Diubaldo – markets; Connie Denesiuk – outdoor adventure; Erin Trainer and Erick Thompson – hiking and biking; Shannon and Dalton Brilz – camping; Amanda Brown – beaches; Lisa Jaager – accommodations; Ellen Walker-Matthews – festivals and events; and Sophia Jackson – living in Summerland.

Our thanks also to the Summerland Review who sells the advertising, handles layout and publishes the guide, and to the many local advertisers, without whom the guide couldn’t be produced.  We’re glad you’re getting your message out to the thousands of people who enjoy the guide.

All in all, this is very much a local product and a reflection of what makes Summerland so special.  I hope you’ll pick one up, learn something new about all there is to see and do in Summerland and become a tourist in your own town this year.

To see an even bigger array of everything Summerland please visit www.tourismsummerland.com and follow us on Instagram @visit_summerland.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at cpetkau@summerlandchamber.com  or our Chamber President, Kelly Marshall, at president@summerlandchamber.com.

Christine Petkau is the Executive Director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.