Members of the Ogopogo Rotary Club's Adventures in Tourism cohort for 2012 get set to learn about the golf industry at the Harvest Golf Club.

Kelowna becomes tourism example for Rotary kids

The Ogopogo Rotary Club hosted students sponsored by Rotary Clubs from around the world this week for their Adventures in Tourism program.

  • Mar. 14, 2012 5:00 a.m.

A group of youth from all over the world are checking out Kelowna’s tourism industry this week.

The Ogopogo Rotary Club is hosting a delegation of high school students interested in how the tourism industry works in this part of the world.

“We highlight a lot of the tourist venues to give the students a look in behind the scenes…We go inside the Grand Hotel. We see the laundry room; we see how a hotel operates and then we see the front, what the tourist sees, and we relate the two,” said Paul Cleland, director of the Adventures in Tourism program.

Cleland worked in sales and marketing with IBM Canada until he retired to Kelowna and started the first Okanagan Wine Tours bus and the Kelowna Dragon Boat Festival.

The festival was a huge success right out of the gate.

“That first year Walter Gray, who was the mayor then as well as now, and council wrote us a letter saying they estimated we brought in $1.5 million into the economy that weekend,” said Cleland.

Cleland then taught tourism marketing at Okanagan College, a role that primes him for working with the students sent on this trip, like Alana Kakuk.

KakukKakuk said her mother is in Rotary and, knowing she has been looking at tourism jobs as a potential future path, helped her get a spot in the experience.

“I’ve gone to a bunch of places and stuff, but I’ve never done anything really involving tourism. It’s a lot of fun,” said the Drumheller resident. “I guess this is sort of like an eye opener.”

ManningFor Melissa Manning, of Western Australia, the trip marked her first time as a passenger on a plane and an opportunity to put some of her studies to practice. The 18-year-old is doing a travel and tourism diploma program and had to win her position with an essay.

“I love it. The plane over, I actually got my breath taken away. I’ve never seen snow before,” she said. “It’s been a big experience. The jet lag is finally wearing off now. All of our speakers have been really good and have given us an explanation of how tourism works in Canada.”

Manning said the experience got her interested enough to want to come back to Canada, possibly to work in a ski resort.

The Adventures programs offered by Rotary features a variety of professions applicable to the regions that operate each program. Prince George hosts one on forestry, for example, and there is one on government in Ottawa.

The students visiting Kelowna saw the airport, the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, the Mission Creek Regional Park Environmental Education Centre, H2O Fitness Centre, Sparkling Hill and Harvest Golf Course to name just a few of their stops.

This year students from Scotland, Japan and Australia joined those from across Canada.

Just Posted

Peachland ready to fly the flag on Canada Day

The district is gearing up for its annual Canada Day celebration July 1

Kelowna culinary student cooks her way to Italy

Okanagan College’s Erin MacDougall has won an expenses-paid trip after winning cooking competition

Line break shuts off agriculture water in Black Mountain

BMID says no outdoor watering allowed until repair to line is complete

Young boy struck by car in West Kelowna

Boy, believed to be aged 6, treated at the scene by paramedics

Kelowna’s Pandosy Village Business Association looks to attract shoppers

Merchants to hold their annual Love Our Village Day promotional event Saturday

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Horse put down, 1 person in hospital after hit by car in Lower Mainland

Accident along 132nd Avenue in Maple Ridge Friday afternoon

Electoral reform vote in B.C. includes $500,000 each for pro and con groups

A mail-in ballot referendum will take place Oct. 22 to Nov. 30, asking two questions on voting

83-year-old inmate dies at medium-security prison in Mission

Correctional Services Canada says Ralph Whitfield Morris died in custody

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Most Read