Tourism study a gift to the islands

  • Dec. 1, 2006 11:00 a.m.

Queen Charlotte MBA student Sarah Loewen is working on a 100-page tourism marketing plan for the islands, valued at as much as $50,000, and will give it at no charge to the Haida Gwaii Tourism Association (HGTA).
Ms Loewen will finish her studies early in the new year, and the report, also turned in as course work to Royal Roads University, will be given to the association in February.
She chose to study tourism on the islands because she was involved in the industry fifteen years ago, and becauseÂ… “it took a few months, actually. Art Lew and I had had conversations at various times about the fact it needed to be done. I kind of at some point surrendered to that,” Ms Loewen said.
The project will be delivered to the tourism association by February 21, which is also its due-date at the university. It will inventory what exists here for tourism now, will include a market analysis of the British Columbia and Canada tourism marketplaces and will analyse how that fits with what is here now.
“What will come out of it is how do you best market what you have now and what are the best areas for developing, based on market needs,” Ms Loewen said.
The report will also include information on the best marketing practices of other tourism marketing organizations and investigation on how the report could be implemented here in terms of funding and sustainability, according to Ms Loewen.
The study is underway now, in the research phase, with Ms Loewen reading virtually everything about tourism that has ever been published about the islands. Then she will interview the prime stakeholders-industry, local organizations and government. “My hope is that it ends up being something collaborative,” she said.
She estimates the report’s value at about $50,000, based on the 320 hours of her time that will go into it. (That’s $156 an hour, if you don’t have a calculator handy).
She presented an update on how her work on the report is going to the HGTA when it met in Queen Charlotte November 28.

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