To support its development of strong new marketing for travel to this region from around the globe, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) has produced an impressive new video encouraging its 3,200 stakeholder businesses to work together to tell powerful stories about the area's world-class tourism destinations.
TOTA CEO Glenn Mandziuk says the fast-paced, high-definition, five-minute video – entitled 'Building the Tourism Experience' – shows stunning scenery and exciting activities from across the region, and features more than a dozen tourism business owners talking about why, in today's competitive international tourism market, it's essential that stakeholders partner to develop and market their compelling visitor experiences.
"In our beautiful and diverse region we have travel destinations second to none in the world," Mandziuk says. "As we work with our stakeholders to launch a new tourism strategy this spring, we're recognizing that our competitors aren't across the street or in the next town. We are competing with destinations in Eastern Canada, in the U.S., in Europe, Australia, Asia and elsewhere for the domestic and international traveller. We are now using the latest research on people's travel motivations and we're collaborating more and more in the Thompson Okanagan to find ways to tell our stories and show people the outstanding and unique experiences they can have in our region."
Mandziuk says the purpose of the new video is to reinforce that message to stakeholders, government leaders, and travel-trade representatives – and to underline the importance of tourism to the region's economy. The video notes that the tourism industry here attracts 3.5 million visitors each year, generates more than $1.7 billion annually, and directly employs 15,000 people.
"The video shows that, across our region, tourism stakeholders believe that by working together and being more focused in getting our message out to the world, we can be more effective in attracting increasing numbers of visitors," Mandziuk adds.
The video presents fast-cut images of dozens of activities across the Thompson Okanagan – including skiing, golfing, winery visits, vineyard tours, culinary experiences, agri-tourism, heli-touring, whitewater rafting, skiing, snowmobiling, high-country backpacking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, power-boating, wakeboarding, jet-skiing, swimming, camping, rock climbing, fishing, ATV touring, aboriginal cultural performances, spa visits, and music festivals. It shows off the scenic mountains, lakes, beaches, forests and other landscapes of the region – and it highlights some of the key tourism sectors that will help to spur future growth, such as wine, culinary, First Nations culture, agri-tourism, sport tourism, trails development, and destination events.
The testimonials from stakeholders in the video make points that TOTA wants to share:
Senator Nancy Greene Raine, Director of Skiing at Sun Peaks Resort, says, "The Thompson Okanagan region really has it all ... we've got beautiful lakes, we've got fantastic ski areas, farms, wineries ... you name it ... bicycle trails. We have something for every demographic."
Prestige Hotels & Resorts President Terry Schneider notes, "Today's guest is looking for more than just an overnight stay and a place to sleep ... they're looking for an experience."
Quails' Gate Estate Winery proprietor Tony Stewart says, "This region has the ability to define the culinary in Western Canada; it can be the Tuscany of North America."
Cameron Smith, who with Dana Ewart owns Joy Road Catering, says, "This is a truly amazing region – we have world-class wine, phenomenal food, gorgeous views ... We need to work together to create a complete package for our customers, the tourists, so that they choose us over Napa Valley, over Bordeaux, over Oregon. We really are at a world-class level, and the more we work together, the more we can get there."
Other testimonials on the video come from: Hans-Peter Mayr, President & CEO of Sparkling Hill Resort; Russell Critchlow, owner of River Safari in Blue River; Ron Sanders, President of the Merritt Walk of Stars; Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie; Ed Kruger, President of Monashee Adventure Tours; Ian Robertson, Director of Corporate Communications for Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours; Brad Pelletier, Vice-President of Okanagan Wesbild (Predator Ridge Resort); Ingrid Jarrett, TOTA Chair and General Manager of the Watermark Beach Resort; Michael J. Ballingall, TOTA Past Chair and Senior Vice-President of Marketing for Big White Ski Resort & Silver Star Mountain Resort; and Sam Samaddar, Director of Kelowna International Airport. Mandziuk thanks everyone who participated.
The video was produced for TOTA by Allen Jones, of Ace Film Company, and Tracy Cobb, of Sky Communications.
It can be viewed on TOTA's YouTube page at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVI6aYfx1iQ&context=C3fb1c97ADOEgsToPDskLZAs1zSn-ElpjQjzPDflry
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FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Glenn Mandziuk, CEO
250-860-5999 ext 216