Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) has been invited to share insights on our region and its innovative Regional Tourism Strategy at the Southern Queensland Country Annual Conference later this month in Toowoomba, Australia.
“I am pleased and honoured that Southern Queensland Tourism has asked our organization to present what we are doing in the region and our strategy at their annual conference,” said Michael J. Ballingall, chair of the board for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.
“Our core philosophy as an organization is one of inclusiveness and strategic alignment. This invitation exhibits that our strategy is not only benefitting the TOTA region and British Columbia, but we now have the confidence of one of the greatest tourism brands in the world by their reaching out to learn more about the strategic philosophies our plan brings to the tourism table.”
Ballingall and president and CEO Glenn Mandziuk signed a memorandum of understanding with Southern Queensland Country Tourism (SQCT) CEO Mary-Clare Power at TOTA’s annual general meeting last year. This landmark information-sharing agreement was the first international region-to-region tourism partnership ever formed.
“With the development and implementation of the 10-year Regional Tourism Strategy for the Thompson Okanagan and the creation of new partnerships and approaches to marketing, TOTA is being noticed because of the initiatives we’re taking,” said Mandziuk. “There are many comparisons between our two regions on the globe and there is much we can learn from each other.”
In addition to being invited to the conference, plans are underway to have meetings with the Minister of Tourism for Australia and the board of directors of Southern Queensland Country. Travel costs to attend and participate at the conference will be covered by Southern Queensland Tourism Country.
Within British Columbia, the Thompson Okanagan is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. Tourism in the region generates over $1.7 billion to the regional economy and attracts over 3.5 million visitors per year, and employs approximately 15,000 people in the region.