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Penticton wins bid for major tourism event

Penticton and the surrounding wine country will be hosts of the Carrefour GoMedia Canada Marketplace in 2015. The event will bring international media to Penticton and the surrounding area. - Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission
Penticton and the surrounding wine country will be hosts of the Carrefour GoMedia Canada Marketplace in 2015. The event will bring international media to Penticton and the surrounding area.
— image credit: Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission

International media will be flocking to Penticton and its surrounding countryside in fall 2015 after the city was chosen as the host for next year’s Carrefour GoMedia Canada Marketplace, the annual flagship media event run by the Canadian Tourism Commission.

The marketplace will be held Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and delegates will have time to explore the region, including hiking, walking and biking trails, on special day tours. Attendees will also take part in hosted media tours pre- and post-event across different regions of Canada.

“Penticton will be looking spectacular at this time of the year,” said Diana Stirling, vice-chair of the Tourism Penticton Society. “This is a major media conference where all international tourism travel meet and we will get to show off Canada, and in particular, this region. It is a fantastic win for Penticton.”

Penticton’s reputation for wine, recreation and outdoor adventure are expected to be all excellent ways of helping to stimulate Canadian story ideas in journalists’ imaginations.

Destination BC, Thompson Okanagan and Penticton will mark GoMedia’s 12th iteration. CTC’s largest media show continues to adapt to the changing content-publishing landscape, offering fresh education and inspiration alike to attendees.

Stirling said the bid to host the event has been four years in the making. It was driven by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, who approached the CTC selling the region.

Tourism Penticton then worked with the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre to put a bid together. They were short-listed, along with other communities in the region.

“They did a fantastic job selling the region to get short-listed with other communities but we were the winners. There was a lot of great people working hard to get this to Penticton,” said Stirling.

Each year, more than 130 Canadian and international bloggers, writers, editors and broadcasters from CTC’s 11 key markets gather to hear insider tips from top Canadian travel businesses.

Stirling said the previous conference is estimated to have generated around the equivalent of $34.5 million in advertising for the host. It doesn’t come without a cost though. Stirling said the attending journalists do have to pay a fee to attend and she suspects sponsors will step forward to be showcased front and centre.

“This is such a massive opportunity for Penticton tourism and the businesses that have already heard about this announcement have been blown away. It is going to call so much attention to our region that I can’t see why they wouldn’t want to step up and engage in showcasing the amazing area, facilities and businesses we have here,” said Stirling.

The marketplace has a tried-and-trusted core of quick-fire one-to-one meetings that allow media to harvest as many stories as possible.

“Each GoMedia location offers journalists and bloggers a different perspective of Canada and its experiences, helping them enrich their stories and inspire both their editors and then their readers,” said Ernst Flach, CTC executive director, Global Communications.

“Tourism Penticton will make wonderful hosts for this gathering of international media minds, providing a taste of Canadian outdoor adventure as well as showcasing B.C.’s wines.”

Stirling said a committee has been meeting weekly and getting a team together to do on-the-ground work to prepare for the conference. She suggested anyone interested in getting involved contact Tourism Penticton.

The 2014 GoMedia event will take place in Winnipeg, Man., Aug. 17 to 21.

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