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

Drugs, stolen bike and cheques seized during RCMP search in Castlegar

Two men were taken into police custody during the search warrant

Morning start: This is the fastest growing city in the Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Monday, May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Mountain Pineapple defers application for new cannabis store in Rossland

The application was originally going to be reviewed by city council on May 19

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Most Read