Tourism Kamloops likes this Destination

A new Crown corporation that will market B.C. to international tourists is getting positive reviews from Tourism Kamloops.

Premier Christy Clark and Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell announced this week the creation of Destination BC, an industry-led, taxpayer-supported organization dedicated to advertising the province abroad.

Lee Morris, CEO of Tourism Kamloops, said the new organization is in some ways a return to the pre-Olympics status quo.

Three years ago, the province disbanded the industry-led Tourism BC and took over marketing efforts itself.

Morris said Tourism Kamloops has been advocating for a return to a Tourism BC-style organization for some time, noting it’s “key” that those in the tourism industry drive marketing efforts for the province.

Morris said she’s also happy to see a multi-year funding commitment for the Crown corporation and reporting standards that will make the organization more accountable.

Destination BC will take over marketing efforts on April 1, 2013.

For the first year, it will receive the funding the government has used for its own tourism promotion efforts. After that, it will receive a legislated percentage of sales-tax revenue.

Bell said the new Crown corporation will have an increased focus on marketing to Asia, especially China and India.

Morris said when it comes to international tourists, Kamloops is generally part of a larger travel itinerary that stretches across the province.

“We’re a piece of the picture, which is a visitor coming to Western Canada and they want to see Vancouver, Victoria, then they’re off to the Interior and the Rockies,” she said, adding Kamloops will benefit from an increased push to international visitors.

Tourism Sun Peaks is also applauding the move, with president Christopher Nicolson praising the province for listening to and responding to the tourism industry.

— with files from Black Press



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