Tourism funding helps spread the word on the South Okanagan
Several South Okanagan communities are going to be adding some new technology to their programs, thanks to funding from the Community Tourism Opportunities program.
“The main concept, if I can bundle it up into one word, is storytelling, telling the story that is going to be the hook for someone to say, I absolutely need to experience that for myself this year,” said Jessie Campbell, of Penticton and Wine Country Tourism.
She describes the digital kiosk as a mobile visitor centre, helping the tourism group to establish a presence at events like conventions where registration is taking place. That, Campbell said, will “ensure that our visitors and delegates are aware of other reasons to stay a day longer and activities to do while they are in the area.”
The other items on the list, Campbell continued, add up to a push to show prospective travellers what they are missing in Penticton.
“The approach for Penticton and Wine Country is creating a story for our visitors,” said Campbell. “That will be done by both enhancing the image bank with high-resolution images to engage visitors, but also enhancing the video library with short vignettes of experiences awaiting visitors to the area.”
A similar approach is being taken by Summerland, where $2,000 has been earmarked for a “video story of locals” and another $2,000 for website enhancements.
Campbell said it is all about enhancing the Penticton and Wine Country brand.
For us, our positioning line for some time has been ‘Time to Breathe.’ We have stuck true to our brand for years, and as a result we are seeing Penticton being positioned at the heart of wine country in the South Okanagan,” said Campbell. “Our visitors are telling us, and have been telling us, that we are in the top 10 places to visit for 2012. We are going to stick to that strategy to ensure that Penticton stays on the bucket list of travellers around the world.”
This is the fifth year the CTO program has been in operation, with over $1 million in funding from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation being distributed by the province’s six regional destination marketing associations. Successful applicants to the program must have matching funds for their projects and they receive their funding after successful completion of the projects.