EDITORIAL: Tourism strategy must be regional

Working together in lean times is the key to riding out tourism storm

Efficiency is a buzzword around government these days, as it is in the private sector. In B.C. that scenario isn’t expected to end any time soon, regardless which party settles into office after the May provincial election.

The beleaguered tourism industry in Greater Victoria and the rest of the province continue to be subject to such funding restraints. With sluggish economies prompting people to spend less on travel, local tourism promoters must get even more creative in marketing the area to potential visitors.

That doesn’t necessarily mean coming up with more grabby slogans – remember Tourism Victoria’s “Your search for the perfect orgasm is over” campaign? It means looking at new ways of doing more with less.

Time will tell whether the Liberals’ creation of Destination B.C. is just pre-election window dressing or a serious effort to enhance the marketing efforts of the many regional and community destination marketing organizations in the province.

In the meantime, local and regional groups can take steps to improve their own lot by teaming with neighbouring organizations to market Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland better. Rather than waiting for the post-2010 Olympics ripple to come, why not work together to remind the visitors who came to Vancouver and Whistler, but were focused on the Games, how great our region is?

Tourism Victoria has done a good job attracting people here from relatively nearby locales – Western Canada and the U.S. West Coast. But at a time when gaining a share of people’s limited travel budgets is becoming more difficult and competitive, a consistent, joint action plan – perhaps one that casts the net farther – could attract new visitors and provide enough stimulus to help get everyone through the lean times.

We can’t expect government to lay all the groundwork for the industry and create a perfect environment for entrepreneurship.

That has to be done by businesspeople who see opportunities and work hard to create a place for themselves in an industry that continues to be one of B.C.’s biggest economic generators.

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read