Tourism Wells Gray (TWG) held their annual general meeting at the Clearwater Ski Hill on Oct. 3. Ted Richardson welcomed everyone attending the meeting and introduced the current board members and table officers of TWG. After the approval of the AGM minutes of earlier this year, the meeting went on to discuss the annual report 2011, and the financial statements with the auditor’s report.
Brad Bradbury, the new tourism manager for Clearwater, presented Tourism Wells Gray’s achievements for 2011 and its mandate for 2012. Among its accomplishments were the first two per cent hotel room tax collected in November 2011. Also, the marketing strategy was strengthened as well as the usual advertising and publication was done. The goal for 2013 right through to 2015 is to have a tourism management approach as opposed to a tourism marketing approach.
Mr. Bradbury then went on to speak about the Economic Impact Study. This study was done to determine the value of tourism in Clearwater and to enable the community to provide potential funding partners with important economical and statistical information. According to this document the “total estimated economic impact of tourism in “Wells Gray Country” in 2011 was $ 22 million.” “This Study is a key document that will bring in business,” Bradbury said. “It is a powerful tool that will be built on.”
Howard Grieve, market experiences specialist from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) did a presentation on the “Introduction to the new “Explorer Quotient (EQ)” marketing program. TOTA helps with media and does story idea research. The EQ marketing program is a fun and interactive way to target the market. “There are five key experience based themes,” Grieve said. “Identifying the iconic, enrich local flavors, expanding personal horizons, revealing the story, and building authenticity.” These themes are brought together in the EQ Quiz, which then identifies three traveller types, the free spirits, the authentic experiencers, and the cultural explorers as well as provides statistical information. Tourism advertising can be tailored to specifically appeal to each of these traveller types.
After Mr. Grieve’s presentation, tourism stakeholders were invited to discuss priorities, issues, and ideas for 2012/2013. TWG made the commitment to work on increasing tourism in the shoulder seasons.
The evening concluded with the election of the new board members and table officers. The incoming TWG board thanked the departing board members for their energy and efforts.