Tourism association seeks input

  • Sep. 30, 2005 10:00 a.m.

The Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA) is seeking input on how to better serve the region, says Andrew Merilees, president of the Haida Gwaii Tourism Association.
NBCTA will be holding information sessions on island this month to find out what tourism operators and others involved in tourism have to say.
Currently the organization is membership driven, where individuals or businesses pay a fee to receive benefits, such as on-line advertising, travel guide listing and brochure racking.
Three hundred businesses across the north are members, but that doesn’t cover everyone.
Jay Graham, marketing and trade coordinator for the Prince George-based group says his mandate is to promote members, so when he’s at trade shows he finds himself unable to talk about some important northern businesses.
Mr. Graham says the organization is looking at moving to a stakeholder model where different interest groups are represented. They will ask for direction from the current membership at the upcoming annual general meeting on Oct. 12-14 in Prince George.
“We will be asking if they want to do away with fees,” he says.
Mr. Graham says a tourism association on Vancouver Island increased its membership from 300 to 3,000 when they switched to the stakeholder model.
“Our job is to promote Northern BC. The more companies we have knowledge of, the more we can promote them around the world,” says Mr. Graham.
Also of interest to local tourism operators will be discussions about the $2-million funding NBCTA received to market northern BC.
The meetings on the islands will be in Masset on October 24 from 1-4 pm at the village office and from 4-7 pm on October 25 at the Visitor Info Centre in Queen Charlotte.

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