Delegates from across the northwest are converging on Masset for this weekend’s convention of the Northern BC Tourism Association.
It’s the first time the six year old group has held its annual meeting on the islands, and more than fifty delegates are expected. They sail from Rupert to Skidegate Thursday, arriving in Masset late that evening.
“I think it’s going to be good. Lots of sponsors came through for us,” says organizer and delegate, Casey Jarvis. “Everyone who is coming here is in the tourist business, and we’re working together to make the north a vacation destination. I hope people will enjoy their time here and recommend the islands to the tourists they meet.”
She has her fingers crossed for good weather so the delegates travelling from the mainland can enjoy a smooth crossing aboard the ferry.
Highlights of the convention include a tour on Friday of Graham Island as far south as Skidegate, with stops in Port, Tlell and at the Haida Gwaii Museum. Included in the tour will be a 30-minute presentation by Natalie Fournier of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve/Haida Heritage Site. She will highlight upcoming projects like the creation of a marine conservation area and the building of Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre.
“Gwaii Haanas is very aware of our relationships and partnerships with the islands communities, and we want to support the AGM,” says Ms Fournier.
Delegates to the association’s annual general meeting on Saturday will hear several speakers on topics of interest to tourism professionals, including discussion of key marketing strategies, and the election of a new board of directors for the coming year.
Among the delegates will be Brion Bailey of Chinook Lodge in Masset. Belonging to professional associations like the NBCTA matters to Mr. Bailey because they support the industry and people who work in it. He plans to make a motion at the AGM to create a bursary in each community that hosts an NBCTA convention, beginning with Masset, in order to leave a lasting legacy of the association in the communities of the north.
The association represents the tourism industry in the northern part of the province, from the islands to the Alberta border, and from Quesnel north. It was created some six years ago when the province amalgamated several regions. More information on the convention is available at 250 561 0432.
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