The City of Penticton invests in both attracting visitors and recruiting new residents, and to promote them in tandem, the council supported funding for a new Sport and Event Tourism agreement.
Council agreed to support the agreement with $55,000 in funding from the 2015 Economic Development budget. The Penticton Hospitality Association pledged $40,000 in support, which was contingent upon council’s support.
“In 2015, budget was allocated towards economic development, in particular to stimulate growth in number of events and participation; leverage it into resident recruitment,” said economic development officer Colleen Pennington. “You’re feeding a much bigger opportunity for the City of Penticton – one that allows us to differentiate ourselves from other destinations.”
In rallying support from the city, Penticton Tourism Society, and the PHA, “We worked collaboratively on that effort with all of us sharing the common goal of it being good for the economy,” Pennington said.
Barb Haynes, president of the PHA, said that the organization was happy to support the effort, and asks only to be included in discussion
“I think this is not only a true example of collaboration, but also teamwork from different departments,” Coun. Tarik Sayeed said.
Pennington didn’t say what the money would be used for. She said that based upon feedback received, she didn’t think it was appropriate for the city to dictate the new agreement, but to rather set out goals and objectives.
“Wo we’re going to hand it over to the experts at Tourism, and going to hold them highly accountable for the delivery of results,” she said.
Chris Bower, executive director at Tourism Penticton, said that the money will be used to hire somebody for the position. The position will initially be for a one-year contract, and Mr. Bower said that he’s going to bring the revisit the matter before council next September, and seek a long-term funding agreement.
“I’m beyond happy to see this come forward now,” Coun. Max Picton said. “I think its a huge win for our city to finally have our tourism components working hand in hand.”
Among the many attributes, the agreement will allow sport and tourism organizations “to create opportunities for people to come a day earlier or stay a day later,” Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said.