Business

Tourism industry making progress

Members of the Tourism Wells Gray board pose for a photograph following the association’s annual general meeting on Tuesday evening. Pictured are (l-r) chair Gy Ovenden, treasurer Tania Govaert, director Courtnay Sedgwick (holding Coribn Sedgwick), vice-chair Jon Kreke, secretary Holly Louwerse, and marketing manager Stephanie Molina.  - Keith McNeill
Members of the Tourism Wells Gray board pose for a photograph following the association’s annual general meeting on Tuesday evening. Pictured are (l-r) chair Gy Ovenden, treasurer Tania Govaert, director Courtnay Sedgwick (holding Coribn Sedgwick), vice-chair Jon Kreke, secretary Holly Louwerse, and marketing manager Stephanie Molina.
— image credit: Keith McNeill

The number of tourists visiting Clearwater and area continues to grow, according to Stephanie Molina, marketing manager for Tourism Wells Gray.

Reporting to the association’s annual general meeting on Tuesday evening, Molina said that in 2016 the number of visitors at the Wells Gray Infocentre was 115,000, up from 98,800 the year before, a 16.4 per cent increase.

The number of unique page views on the TWG website, wellsgray.ca, went up by 23 per cent to 213,000.

An investment of $12,000 from the tourism association to help support District of Clearwater’s sports coordinator position yield big returns. Hockey and other tournaments sponsored yielded $430,000 in revenues in the community.

Media hits went up from two in 2015 to 30 in 2016 and so far in 2017. These included mentions in articles in the Globe and Mail, Huffington Post Canada and Frankfurter Neue Press.

Major events coming up include the Stargazing Festival in the summer plus the Banff Traveling Film Festival and the return of the Wilderness Gateway Relay in the fall.

In elections, Tania Govaert and Jon Kreke were elected to represent those businesses that pay into the hotel tax, Courtnay Sedgwick will represent accommodations, Gy Ovenden for guiding and activities, and Holly Louwerse for tourism at large. No park use permit holder was elected, but the board has the power to appoint a representative at a later date. Several other board positions are ex officio.

 

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