April 29, 2015 - 6:11 PM
PENTICTON - The City of Penticton is anxious to pursue its tourist initiatives, and hopes a renewed association and common goals between three organizations involved in tourist marketing in the city will help rebuild Penticton as a tourist destination.
Less than a year ago, three separate entities were fighting with each other for tourism dollars and administrative control. Today, collaborative agreements between Tourism Penticton, the city and the Penticton Hospitality Association are leveraging opportunities to promote the city and the region based on common goals.
“We need that collaboration to bring Penticton back as a premiere tourism destination,” Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit says.
The recent Canadian Sports School Hockey League Championship tournament, which saw 43 hockey teams spend the weekend in Penticton in March, was the first example of the new spirit of cooperation that now exists between the three groups, Jakubeit says. The three partnered with Global Spectrum to host the event.
The city’s tourist promoters now want to encourage visitors — whether athletes or convention-goers — to come a day early and stay a day later. They would also like to expand and grow grassroots events in the city and region.
On the economic development side, the city sees sport and events tourism as great opportunities for residential and business recruitment. They hope once visitors see and experience the area, they can be convinced to relocate here.
Jakubeit points to other regional centres like Kamloops and Kelowna, noting Kamloops reputation as 'sports capital of B.C.', and the fact Kelowna has a festival and events development position on city staff.
“Penticton could become the province’s festival events capital,” he says.
Funding is in place for the hiring of a multi-year contract position with Tourism Penticton for a new tourism development position. The position is jointly funded by the hospitality association, who have contributed $40,000 to the hiring initiative. The city is providing $55,000 for the position.
The joint resources funding is a first for the three entities, another sign of change and better times in the three organizations' quest to improve tourism opportunities.
“A year ago the Penticton tourism industry was dysfunctional, nothing was happening. Now we’re busy working on opportunities to rebuild Penticton as a tourist destination,” Jakubeit says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015