City slams PHA for marketing ineffectiveness - InfoNews

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City slams PHA for marketing ineffectiveness

The Penticton Hospitality Association has been ordered by the city to give up its taxpayer-fueled marketing funds to Tourism Penticton. Mayor Garry Litke said association is in breach of contract by not spending enough on marketing.
November 05, 2013 - 11:19 AM

PENTICTON - The Penticton Hospitality Association has failed to effectively market the community according to city officials who ordered the association to give its funding to Tourism Penticton.

"In our view the contract was not being adhered to," Mayor Garry Litke said at Monday night's council meeting.

The association signed a five-year deal with the city in 2012 to use a two per cent additional hotel room tax to market the community and the 40-plus hotels and other services it represents.

Association director Tim Hodgkinson told council in May it has about $300,000 for marketing with $150,000 of it earmarked for projects. Coun. John Vassilaki and others have criticized the association of sitting on its hands and ineffectively marketing the city's 2013 summer season.

Corporate officer Dana Schmidt said the association "is in breach of its obligation" and the city "encourages" it to co-operate with Tourism Penticton.

"Council does not take this kind of decision lightly," Litke said. Discussions and mediation were used with the association to make sure the hotel room tax was being well spent. Audited financial statements obtained by the city however showed a large amount of money was unspent and this was "contrary to the destination marketing strategy."

Council re-assigned the administration of the two per cent accommodation tax to Tourism Penticton on Oct. 31.

Litke declined to give an opinion on the possibility of the association looking for an appeal or starting a lawsuit.

To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at, call 250-488-3065, send tweets to @shannonquesnel1 or @InfoNewsPentict. You can also check out Shannon Quesnel or Infotel News on Facebook.

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