Business

City vying for wine bloggers

More than 300 wine bloggers from across North America could descend upon Penticton and the Okanagan next summer, showing off the region to thousands of wine lovers via blogs, Tweets, Facebook updates and more.

Penticton has made the shortlist to host the 2012 North American Wine Bloggers Conference next summer.

Previous conferences have been held in California and Washington, with the 2011 event taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia later this month.

“Last year the conference was held in Walla Walla, Washington, and we know it had a tremendous impact on the local economy, with more than 1,000 room nights booked in just one weekend, not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars in free publicity,” said Jessie Campbell, Tourism Marketing Manager at Penticton & Wine Country Tourism, the organization leading the bid for 2012.

“Penticton and the Okanagan Valley would be the first Canadian location,” continues Campbell. “This is a tremendous opportunity to position B.C. wine country as one of the top food and wine destinations in North America.”

Prepared by local social media marketing firm, All She Wrote Consulting, a formal bid was submitted to Zephyr Adventures, the organizers of the Wine Bloggers Conference, last month. Conference attendees, both past and present, are now being asked to vote on their preferred location for 2012.

“This is a critical time in the bid process,” said Allison Markin of All She Wrote. “We are competing with Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Santa Barbara, California, and need to power up the Internet to show the wine bloggers that we are eager to have them come to the Okanagan.”

A number of wine associations from across the Okanagan, as well as brewers and other potential sponsors and host locations have already agreed to participate should the bid be successful, including the Penticton Lakeside Resort, Convention Centre and Casino, the BC Wine Institute, Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Valley First Credit Union.

To show your support for the Okanagan’s bid, you can post on the bid’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wbcokanagan, or follow the bid’s Twitter account “wbcokanagan.”

Not using those tools? Simply visit the Wine Bloggers Conference website and post a comment about Penticton, local wines, and the warm welcome the Okanagan would provide for conference attendees.

The website can be found at www.winebloggersconference.org/america.

The 2012 location will be announced on the final day of the 2011 conference in Virginia, taking place July 21-24.

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