Tourism organizations toss around campaign slogan ideas

Tourism stakeholders a glimpse into what a new tourism marketing organization might look like.

Negative and positive feedback are both good, but the chair of Tourism Penticton said the conversation about creating a unified organization for tourism marketing in Penticton can’t stop there.

“This is about moving forward. We are done with hearing that’s awful, end of conversation,” said Diana Stirling.

Stirling said she was happy with the results of an April 11 meeting that gave tourism stakeholders a glimpse into what a new tourism marketing organization might look like, along with a peek at what route the group might take to develop new tourism branding and messages.

“That is critical for this entire industry to hear. We are moving forward and if you don’t like it, come forward with a solution to assist us, because we are simply all volunteering our time. Let’s settle on something, let’s not be paralyzed.”

This was the first meeting since both Tourism Penticton and Penticton Hospitality Association members voted in favour of creating a unified marketing voice at their annual general meetings in March. The initial proposal is for the board to have 16 members, with seven of the seats devoted to accommodators. Other seats would be dedicated to winery, agritourism and the Penticton Indian Band, along with two non-voting seats for the City of Penticton and the Chamber of Commerce.

Stirling said this structure is common for many destination marketing organizations, and stressed what they presented wasn’t a final structure, but a recommendation intended to generate feedback from the 65 people attending the meeting, to which all tourism stakeholders were invited, not just members of the two organizations.

Stirling said the marketing information presented at the meeting, which included two logos “Penticton Wow” and “Penticton – Twice as nice” were very preliminary ideas, intended to generate discussion.

“The wonderful thing about marketing is that you can never get agreement on marketing,” said Stirling. “Everybody has a very strong opinion, especially as we were so bold as to show designs. That is very risky to do, because people get locked on a font, for instance. But we need to put something forward to be a starting point.”

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit was in the audience and thought some of the ideas presented showed potential, especially the idea of promoting Penticton as a place for experiences off the beaten path. He added that when looking at these concepts, people need to keep an open mind as they are trying to reach markets such as Vancouver, Calgary and beyond; people that have never heard of Penticton or never thought of vacationing here before.

Stirling said the idea of experiences is something Penticton needs to own.

“When people come to Penticton, they truly are wowed by the uniqueness, going in the back door instead of the front door, getting to know the business owner and the story behind what they are experiencing. It is what they rave about online,” she said.

Stirling said there will be more meetings to follow up on this one. Though there was a healthy turnout, she notes there are up to 700 tourism stakeholders in the area, and she would like to see more involved as the new organization develops.


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