The Parksville Qualicum Beach area is officially on the map — the DMAP.
Blain Sepos, Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association (PQBTA) executive director, explained that after a couple years of work, they have been awarded accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP).
Developed by the Washington, D.C.-based Destination Marketing Association International, it is recognized around the world by the tourism industry, which gives the area a high profile stamp of excellence.
“It’s not so much for everyday visitors,” Sepos said, “but when we deal with big meeting planners and tour operators they know they can expect a certain level of service.”
The local tourism destination marketing organization (DMO) is only the third on the Island to earn DMAP accreditation after Victoria and the Island wide organizations.
“It is an honour to receive this prestigious international accreditation, it is also recognition that we’re measuring success in the appropriate way,” Sepos said explaining that they now have a standardized system for tracking and reporting visitors and spending, “which gives us easier benchmarking to compare with other areas.”
“Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism receiving DMAP accreditation demonstrates a commitment to quality and professionalism,” said Robynne Shaw, PQBT board chair. “DMAP accreditation tells the community and potential visitors that our DMO can be trusted and that we do business in a strategic and accountable way.”
The DMAP standards cover many topics including governance, finance, human resources, technology, visitor services, communications, brand management, destination development, research/market intelligence and stakeholder relationships.
The PQBT covers Nanoose Bay to Deep Bay along the east coast of Vancouver Island and inland to Cathedral Grove. It promotes the region through advertising, social media and travel media relations as well as group sales and sport tourism development. It runs the region’s tourism website (ParksvilleQualicumBeach.com) and apps and co-publishes the official Discovery Guide with The NEWS.