Penticton Western News

Penticton Tourism jobs cut

A change in tourism dynamics has cost three Visitor Information Centre employees their jobs.

Specifically, Tourism Penticton CEO Jessie Campbell noted the increase in online interaction with the public was in large part responsible for the decision.

“We have re-described what the role of the visitor centre frontline staff needs to look like,” she said Thursday. “That now strongly incorporates the online (visitor) and therefore (we took) a really hard look at how we are reaching out to those guests and not simply sitting back and waiting for them to walk into the visitor centre.

“In addition, there is a really strong focus on sales and connecting our guests’ wallets with the tourism businesses within Penticton and Wine Country so it’s a different expertise.”

The three staff, all of whom have worked at the facility for a number of years, were notified in late November last year of the changes which take place March 2.

“Tourism Penticton needed to take a fresh-start approach to our human talent needs for 2013,” said Campbell. “The new positions are called travel experience specialists, and in addition to the standard role of helping our guests find perfect places to stay, things to do and events to experience, these roles are really moving to much more of an online role.”

The three year-round positions will gradually be filled by three to five part-time staff which the CEO believes will provide additional strength and greater seasonal flexibility.

She added the departing employees were offered retraining on an “individual basis” and are welcome to apply for the new jobs.

The changes will not impact the current wage budget.

Annual funding for Tourism Penticton comes from the city in the amount of just over $350,000.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision, these staff have dedicated significant effort and commitment and enthusiasm over the years but it’s what I needed to do to serve the needs of Penticton and Wine Country stakeholders.”


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