Tourism association to focus on promotion

  • Jan. 10, 2003 5:00 a.m.

The troubled Haida Gwaii Tourism Association is going to focus on one thing only in the coming months- promoting the islands as a tourist destination- members decided when they met Thursday (Jan. 9) in Port Clements.
The association ran into problems in the spring when newly-elected president Graham Evenson resigned over the hiring of a manager to run the Queen Charlotte visitor centre, director Rolf Bettner quit at the same time, and the association looked like it might disband.
But in June, members vowed to carry on and now, they’re vowing to get back on track with a ‘new, improved’ version of the association.
“The key thing is the promotion side of things”, Masset member Art Lew told the meeting, adding the group should “Â…really focus on what tour operators want now.” He said if the group sticks to that, membership will grow as more tourism business operators will want to get involved. “Do what you can do best,” he said, “build a strong foundation on that.”
“We should move on and focus on promotion,” Queen Charlotte member Patrick Lemaire said, “let’s go back down to zero and let’s rebuild,” while Urs Thomas of Port, who chaired the meeting and has acted as president since June added “the moment is here to just focus on promotion”.
“People need to start communicating at a very serious level. It is important to the survival of these islands of Haida Gwaii,” Delina Myles from Port told members, “we need to come up with a solution to draw in more of the people who are in business.” She characterized the association’s problems as ‘growing pains’ and said “if we get back into synch, we (can) focus on what we are doing”.
The association passed a motion vowing to focus on marketing and promotion of the islands as a tourist destination. One of its first acts under the new plan will be to work on a calendar of advertising opportunities so that members will have advance warning of when they need to have ad material prepared.
The association also decided to holds its annual general meeting on the first weekend in March in Port Clements.