Letter: Tourism business supports visitor centre ‘where the customers are’

Tourists in Kelowna 'don’t plan all of their activities until after they’ve settled into their accommodation.'

To the editor:

On behalf of our family company, Prestige Hotels and Resorts, I fully support the relocation of the tourist information centre to the Queensway Jetty downtown Kelowna.

The Harvey Avenue visitor centre location served our city for a number of years, but the location on Highway 97 is no longer necessary, as today’s travellers possess all the necessary technological tools to find a visitor centre that is better located for other purposes.

Today people know how to get where they are going from the moment they start planning their trip, but they don’t plan all of their activities until after they’ve settled into their accommodation.

Our visitors start to explore Kelowna downtown; as such, a visitor centre must be available to them at this point in their stay in order to showcase all of the things that make Kelowna really great.

We know first-hand that visitor centres help our guests enhance their stay by influencing them to see and do more. This means more money is spent at all of our businesses and our guests return home with positive reviews of their trip; this, in turn, creates more visitors.

There is a basic rule in business: You go where the customers are, and the tourism industry’s customers are walking in our downtown and waterfront areas. They are hungry for information on the things to see and do and it’s the job of the visitor information centre to provide this on behalf of our 320 local tourism businesses.

Tourism Kelowna is not reinventing the wheel. Already most major cities situate their visitor centre in major tourist zones. We strongly support doing the same for our great city.

Joe Huber, Kelowna