Online tourism resource centre launched
The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) 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 on TOTA’s recently revamped website, will provide a "one-stop-shop" that will give tourism stakeholders 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 (SIDIT) through a recently approved $50,000 grant.
“Creation of the Online Tourism Resource Centre is another crucial step forward in our strategy to aggressively promote tourism growth," said TOTA CEO Glenn Mandziuk. "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.”
He said the resource centre project is the latest in a series of TOTA initiatives designed to help the region’s tourism industry to compete globally.
“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," he added.
Other recent TOTA 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 international accreditation recognizing the association's operational excellence and its co-ordination of the grassroots development of a new regional tourism strategy to grow the region’s tourism industry. The strategy is expected to be complete by the spring.
TOTA community development specialist Simone Carlysle-Smith will lead the resource centre project. She will conduct a survey of tourism stakeholders in the near future to determine their wishes and needs from a comprehensive Online Tourism Resource Centre.
“Over the next year we will expand the resource centre’s content to eventually provide a rich source of materials and tools for people to develop their tourism destinations and their businesses,” she said.
“This accessible one-stop-shop will include examples of best practices for all aspects of tourism operations. For instance, it will contain marketing toolkits, research findings, professional development for tourism staff and managers, business tips, forums for people to share questions and insights, profiles of each of the 10 geographic areas within the Thompson Okanagan, and a broad range of other resources.”
She thanked the dozens of communities across the region that supported TOTA’s grant proposal to SIDIT and added the project should produce tangible economic benefits throughout the Thompson Okanagan.