Tourism Kelowna predicting strong growth

Hotel occupancy in Kelowna rose 3.3 per cent with notable increases in the spring and fall months.

Big White is a key cog in the region's tourism. Tourism Kelowna announced its board at its AGM.

Approximately 100 industry stakeholders, business community members, staff, and volunteers were in attendance as the Tourism Kelowna Society held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Wednesday night at the Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport Hotel.

Between September 2015 and August 2016, hotel occupancy in Kelowna rose 3.3 per cent with notable increases in the spring and fall months.

Other highlights of the AGM included an update on the proposed new visitor centre to be located at the Queensway Jetty, a clean audit report, updates on hotel occupancy statistics and other tourism indicators, and a summary of Tourism Kelowna’s 2016 sales, marketing and visitor service activities and results.

Tourism Kelowna’s strategic plan sets out a goal of attracting 2.5 million overnight visitors by 2019. Early in 2017, Tourism Kelowna will receive an economic impact report that outlines the number of annual visitors and the tourism industry’s growing contribution to the local economy.

Tourism Kelowna Society’s 2016-17 Board was also confirmed. The Board of Directors consists of a maximum of 18 Central Okanagan tourism industry representatives. Twelve are elected by the voting stakeholders of the Society while a maximum of six are appointed. The Tourism Kelowna Society thanked departing directors Tony Stewart of Quails’ Gate Winery and Heather Schaub of Casa Loma Lakeshore Resort. The list of directors follows with the Executive Committee positions identified.

  • Chair: Daniel Bibby, Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort
  • Vice-Chair: Thom Killingsworth, Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport
  • Past-Chair: Stan Martindale, Ramada Hotel & Conference Centre
  • Treasurer: Tanya Stroinig, Prestige Hotel Kelowna
  • Secretary: David McFadden, Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm
  • Katie Balkwill, Big White Ski Resort
  • Sean Coward, Kelowna Hotel Motel Association
  • Debbie Dupasquier, Distinctly Kelowna Tours
  • Nathan Flavel, Kelowna Actors Studio Dinner Theatre
  • Penny Gambell, District of Lake Country
  • Gail Given, City of Kelowna
  • Donna Faigaux, Gray Monk Estate Winery
  • Debra Harding, UBC Conferences and Accommodation
  • Dan Matheson, Okanagan Golf Club
  • Rosemary Paterson, Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites
  • Sam Samaddar, Kelowna International Airport
  • Heather Schroeter, Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel & Villas