Penticton tourism aims to boost revenue

New CEO says Penticton must remain competitive with resort communities like Osoyoos

With the addition of a $324,080 contract from the City of Penticton and other revenue added to the additional hotel room tax, the new Penticton and Wine Country Tourism society is controlling a budget of nearly a million dollars.

Using a conservative estimate of $400,000 for the AHRT ($420,000 was collected last year) and another $124,000 from other sources, the group’s projected budget for 2012 is $848,000. A total of $461,000 is earmarked for tourism marketing, with another $386,500 for payroll and general expenses, including staffing and operation of the Visitors’ Centre.

But that may not be enough for the society’s new CEO, Jessie Campbell, who presented the 2012-15 business plan to city council on Monday, just a week after council approved awarding the contracts for the visitor centre and tourism marketing to the new group.

Generating more revenue is going to be a focus of the society, according to Campbell, with the aim being to make Penticton more competitive against communities like Osoyoos. As a resort community, Osoyoos receives a grant from the provincial government matching the AHRT collected in the community.

“They do have a larger budget, substantially so. We are competitive and we have seen in our research a narrowing of the gap, catching up to destinations like Kelowna as being seen as a wine tourism destination,” said Campbell. “However, Osoyoos is gaining on our heels as well because of some of the work they have been able to do, they do have a significant budget. That is one of the main reasons that the objective of this organization is revenue generation.”

One possible source of revenue mentioned in the marketing plan is the addition of a destination marketing fee, an additional one per cent levy that would be collected by all participating tourism businesses.

Unlike the AHRT, Mayor Dan Ashton explains, this would be a voluntary levy, aimed at getting other businesses that benefit from tourism, like wineries, restaurants and retail, to contribute financially to Penticton and Wine Country’s tourism budget. It’s a system, he said, that is already being used in other communities, like Vancouver.

“It’s a broad spectrum trying to bring additional revenue to the committee for targeted marketing,” Ashton said, using the Naramata Bench as an example. “A lot of the bench is outside of the City of Penticton and they garner a terrific amount of traffic from people staying in Penticton.”

If a destination marketing fee is developed in Penticton, Ashton added, it would be separate from the city, and administered directly by the tourism society.

Along with their budget, Penticton and Wine Country Tourism is also going to benefit from a $7,500 provincial grant. Among the eligible expenditures for the grant are upgrades for the visitor centre, which Campbell says is a priority.

“Ensuring a consistently excellent customer service experience is vital,” says Campbell. “Since the visitor centre is often the first impression for our visitors, it’s important we’re always putting our best foot forward, whether that means ensuring our staff have the best training or ensuring our centre’s esthetic is more current and welcoming.”

Other eligible expenses for the grant include materials, supplies and services that assist in reaching provincial tourism goals.

 

Just Posted

Sandra Krauer, Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki and Barb Hoolaeff were in Skaha Park to announce the return of Ribfest for September, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Ribfest returns to Penticton

Festival runs from Sept. 17 - 19 at Skaha Lake Park with proceeds going to new splash park

Fiery crash on the Okanagan Connector between two semis. (Facebook)
One dead after fiery Okanagan Connector crash between two semis

DriveBC estimates road won’t be open until 5 p.m.

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Turn out is high in advance voting for the Penticton by election taking place Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Screen shot)
Over 2,500 already voted in Penticton by-election

General voting day is Saturday, June 19

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Lady Dia, pictured with her son Glory, is a Kelowna artist. She recently received $10,000 in funding for her podcast MoM:ents. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Lady Dia selected as City of Kelowna’s artist in residence

Dia will release a project designed to discuss and shape the future of a more inclusive Kelowna

Birch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

(Black Press Media stock photo)
RCMP name 2015 homicide victim near Creston, investigation ongoing

26-year-old Clint Wolfleg was found dead in a private residence on May 31, 2015

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits he failed to supervise his staff and find or report the shortages

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Friend running to raise funds for Armstrong woman’s new prosthetic leg

33-km Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

The Okanagan Eatery owner Chelsea Enns brings with her years of front-of-house and management experience to Vernon’s newest restaurant. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Vernon’s newest restaurant serves up Okanagan eats

Trio brings passion for locally sourced dishes and smash burgers to the table

Most Read