Tourism Kamloops shifts permanently to street engagement teams - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Sunny
15.1°C

Tourism Kamloops shifts permanently to street engagement teams

Downtown Kamloops.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
June 30, 2020 - 5:28 PM

For those visiting Kamloops, learning about the best sights, restaurants and hikes will be quite different this year.

“For this year, what we’re going to be actively doing is pop-ups throughout various locations in the city to be where the visitors are,” says Monica Dickinson, director of industry relations and communications with Tourism Kamloops.

Rethinking the traditional visitor’s information centre led to a change that is likely to remain in place for years to come. Rather than be stationed at the brick and mortar location, staff and volunteers will be hitting the streets to chat with visitors.

Dickinson says that staff will be able to engage with more visitors by being set up at frequently visited locations like the B.C. Wildlife Park, wineries, the downtown core and at the trailhead for Kenna Cartwright Park.

“Over the past number of years, and I’m dating back to when I actually worked in the visitor centre in the late 1990s, we used to welcome over 20,000 guests a (year). And as recent as last year, out numbers came down to between 10,000 and 12,000 visitors annually,” Dickinson says.

Dickinson says the pandemic pushed the organization to rethink their structures, and they realized they could have a greater reach with their current budget.

“The opportunity to actually have meaningful interactions with these guests were few and far between...the abilities to help with booking on stays, recommending experiences like wine tours or walking tours or directing people to our hiking and biking trails, we really only had about 1,500 meaningful interactions last year of 10,000 to 12,000 guests,” Dickinson says. “So from a business model, when we looked at the cost of servicing each individual interaction, that would actually remain in the community and be an active visitor, it was about $120 per interaction.”

Dickinson said the organization turned to international research and stakeholder engagements to find a more effective way to use their money. The on-the-ground and mobile approach seemed to be an obvious fit moving forward, and a grant from the federal government has allowed them to hire three temporary seasonal staff members.

“They’d help them with directions, help to find places for lunch or dinner, we always helped with finding campgrounds and hotel rooms… and for those road tripping, we would help them to find similar information as they visit peripheral communities, like Wells Grey Park or into the Okanagan.”

While the Visitor Centre will be closed to the public, staff will continue to work on digital marketing and other projects within. The sani-station, dog area, picnic tables, community garden and electric vehicle charging station will remain available for public use.

Dickinson says the organization is always looking for volunteers to help guide visitors around Kamloops. To learn more about Tourism Kamloops and to get involved, check out their website here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020
iNFOnews

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile