role + strategy

 

TOTA is and industry-led organization that represents and supports all business and community tourism interests throughout the Thompson Okanagan. We are guided by our Regional Tourism Strategy, Embracing Our Potential. Committed to fostering a region of remarkable experiences, our goals reflect both the strategic direction of Destination British Columbia and the needs and priorities of the Thompson Okanagan.

The Association is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of 16 stakeholders representing various industries and regional areas. Our TOTA staff consists of a core team that is supported by both contract and grant employees and are guided through advice and consultation with advisory committees on key initiatives. Our success is based on our commitment to the strategic plan for the organization and support from stakeholders, our key partnerships, and corporate sponsors.

We provide destination development, marketing, industry and experience development, and research services. Key program summaries are noted below. Be sure to register as a stakeholder so we can communicate with you.

 
 

DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT

The Destination Development team works to implement the strategies laid out in the Regional Strategy, with sustainability at the core of all initiatives. Through engagement with the Indigenous communities throughout the region, we continue to deepen our story and build authenticity, while creating more inclusive tourism spaces through ongoing partnerships.

We work with stakeholders to engage in responsible tourism practices through the Biosphere Adhesion program, elevate shoulder season activities with a specific focus on Regional Rail Trails, and build international recognition for the Thompson Okanagan through ongoing certification as a Sustainable Tourism Destination.


DESTINATION MARKETING

The TOTA marketing department works with industry stakeholders and DMOs to share the Thompson Okanagan story. Through digital and content marketing tactics, the team creates, curates, and shares the unique experiences consumers can expect to have within our region. Using a sustainable travel lens, the team endeavours to educate and inspire travellers to the Thompson Okanagan to tread lightly, travel with purpose, and to learn about the history, food, culture, and people when planning to visit and when in region.

Through dedicated consumer marketing initiatives, the team encourages visitation and exploration through various routes and corridors giving travellers as many opportunities as possible to discover exciting communities, events, and businesses.


TRAVEL TRADE + MEDIA

Sharing our region with the world is made easier by working with key travel trade and travel media. By aligning closely with Destination British Columbia, the trade and media staff at TOTA pitch our region to travel trade to be added to travel itineraries and to travel media to be included in stories published in print and online in key markets. Inviting trade and media to the region to take in our experiences first hand is essential to telling our story. Familiarization tours and press trips ensure that tour operators and media can accurately share with the world what is so special about the Thompson Okanagan.

Building relationships with tour operators, wholesalers, writers, and editors is essential to getting our region on the map, particularly in overseas markets.


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CORPORATE SERVICES

The Corporate Services department provides collaborative and progressive support in corporate, financial, informational, and administrative services to support the ongoing operations of the Association. The department ensures that all organizational functions and fiscal responsibilities of the non-profit society are delivered in an accurate, timely, and technologically modern fashion. It consists of financial planning, reporting, and record-keeping; accounting, purchasing, and asset management; organizational analysis and corporate reporting; organizational management and human resources; corporate support systems and administrative functions; administrative support to the Board of Directors; stakeholder relations; and information technology services.

In addition to this wide array of critical functions, Corporate Services are also centrally involved with external communications like the distribution of the TOTA newsletter and press releases, as well as maintaining the official Thompson Okanagan Tourism corporate website. For more information on how this department can assist your business or for any corporate-related inquiries, please contact a member of the Corporate Services team.


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RESEARCH + BIG DATA

The TOTA Community Research Program provides Regional District Level visitor counts using TELUS Insights, with the ability to use that data to customize visitor profiles using Environics Analytics. The combination of these two sources of data provide unprecedented visitor insights to our region.

Additionally, we now offer digital campaign services in partnership with WAR ROOM who will execute and report on programmatic campaigns using the Environics Analytics targeted marketing resources to hyper-target in markets throughout the US and Canada.


regional strategy

Embracing Our Potential is a ten-year tourism strategy for the Thompson Okanagan Region created in 2012. Key programs have been developed to support the implementation of the strategy, to truly embrace our potential. The strategy has been a road map in increasing global recognition of the region and the unique experiences that await our visitors year round - not just during the peak months of the year.

REQUEST FOR REGIONAL STRATEGY

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There is a significant underlying concern with the seasonality of the industry, with parts of the region experiencing dramatic peaks in the summer months. Imagine creating an environment that inspires travellers to visit the region every month of the year. The increased economic impact would be dramatic.