New tourism group starts working

  • Feb. 5, 2010 2:00 p.m.

The new Haida Gwaii Tourism Advisory Committee held its first meeting January 18. The meeting saw the official hand-over of the Haida Gwaii Tourism Associaton’s mandate to the HGTAC, according to Travis Glasman of the Misty Isles Economic Development Society. “We didn’t decide committee positions, we reviewed the documents, and there was some dialogue around how (advisory committee) was established,” said Mr. Glasman.The new group is an advisory committee to MIEDS and was formed after two years of consultation with tourism stakeholders. The transfer means more funding will be available through provincial programs such as the Hotel Tax and Resort Region Program.”We are researching accessing tourism funding, provincial funding, that will aid us with tourism marketing and infrastructure such as trails and signage,” said Mr. Glasman.TAC’s objectives are to implement the existing plan and not reinvent the wheel, according to Mr. Glasman, who also said they already have things under way.Recently the Northern BC travel guide was released and features spots on Haida Gwaii, and soon, ads will also be placed in the Northword and VAN DOP (an arts and cultural guide to BC) publications.”We will also be launching a large campaign in conjunction with BC Ferries,” said Mr. Glasman, “as well as releasing new materials about community markets”. MIEDS released similar materials in 2009 when the cruise ship The World was here. These should be available throughout the summer.Tourists and islanders can also look forward to the launch of a new marketing website on Feb. 11.Tactics and materials from previous years will also be used by TAC. There’ll be a visitor pull-out map and business directory released in the spring, the art route will continue to be marketed and the committee is now working on the Olympic venue and promotion. The committee is also looking at engaging in partnerships with Community Futures and the Hecate Strait Employment Agency for education that would address quality control. In other words, it would train tourist workers to understand tourists’ expectations when visiting the islands and would help to provide visitors with the best possible experience.”This is one of the most collaborative efforts so far,” said Mr. Glasman, “by having an organisation that is providing consistent support and staffing, it will help to achieve consistency in implementing priorities that previous volunteer efforts have had problems sustaining”. TAC’s next meeting will be in March.