Tourism group ends operations

  • Jan. 11, 2010 8:00 p.m.

Submitted by Andrew Merilees-After 14 years of promoting the islands, the Haida Gwaii Tourism Association has concluded its final season of marketing and will be handing its responsibilities over to the recently formed Haida Gwaii Tourism Advisory Committee, also known as TAC. This group is an advisory committee of the Misty Isles Economic Development Society and emerged through Tourism BC’s Community Foundations Program after two years of consultation with the islands tourism stakeholders. The change now means tourism promotion will have greater access to ongoing funding due to the direct links to all of the islands governments and the establishment of more cohesive marketing efforts.”It will be the first time that everyone is in the same canoe in regards to promoting our islands, we now just need to work on our stroke,”said outgoing HGTA president Andrew Merilees. The HGTA has been responsible for the off-island promoting and marketing of the islands and has had enormous success for a community volunteer group with an annual budget of less than $1,000. Partnerships have been key and literally millions of dollars in print media has been generated for the islands through partnerships with the NBCTA and the donations of HGTA members.In addition, the HGTA has developed an islands website with free listings for all islands businesses, offers free racking for materials at the Prince Rupert visitor centre, constructed consumer show materials and distributes an annual newsletter to more than a thousand people who have signed onto its mailing list.”I expect most of the programs will be able to continue and even expand under the new model,” said Mr. Merilees. “All of the HGTA’s resources will be handed over to the TAC for the continued promotion of our islands. It will be up to the new TAC to decide how the materials and partnerships are used in the future.”The TAC will be having its first meeting later this month and has good continuation from the former HGTA board, with five former directors being selected to sit on the new committee.