Valley tourism groups get access to online resources

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is launching a major project to develop a comprehensive Online Tourism Resource Centre for all communities, businesses and individuals involved in the region’s $1.75-billion tourism industry.

The Resource Centre, located in TOTA’s recently revamped website, will provide a one-stop-shop that will give tourism operators quick access to a wealth of materials that will help them develop their destinations, generate more effective marketing, grow their businesses, and attract more visitors to the Thompson Okanagan.

A major portion of the project’s funding is being provided by the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust  through a recently approved $50,000 grant.

“We sincerely thank SIDIT for its support,” says TOTA CEO Glenn Mandziuk.  “Creation of the Online Tourism Resource Centre is another crucial step forward in our strategy to aggressively promote tourism growth.  And, since the tourism industry is a key driver of the economy throughout the Thompson Okanagan, this project will directly help businesses, communities and people across the region.”

Mandziuk says the Resource Centre project is the latest in a series of TOTA initiatives designed to enable the region’s tourism industry to compete globally.  Other recent  initiatives include: its adoption of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s leading-edge ‘Explorer Quotient’ program which focuses tourism marketing according to traveller types and social values; its earning of international accreditation recognizing TOTA’s operational excellence; and its co-ordination of the grassroots development of a bold new Regional Tourism Strategy to grow the region’s tourism industry, which will be completed in the spring.

TOTA Community Development Specialist Simone Carlysle-Smith will lead the Resource Centre project.  She will conduct a survey of those involved in the industry in the near future to determine their wishes and needs from a comprehensive Online Tourism Resource Centre.

“SIDIT is proud to support TOTA’s Online Tourism Resource Centre,” says Ron Hovanes, SIDIT’s Vice-Chair.  “Stronger local economies are created through the ripple effect that tourism has on communities by increasing job creation and economic diversification.”

Mandziuk adds, “We are excited to move forward and build this Online Tourism Resource Centre, and I am confident that it will become a valuable ‘go-to’ resource for the thousands of tourism stakeholder businesses and communities across the Thompson Okanagan.”

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