As part of Travel Penticton’s Youth Influencer Program, Grade 8 students have been sharing their thoughts by blogging on the tourism website about their favourite things about Penticton. Western News file photo

Travel Penticton taps into youth influencers

Grade 8 students in Penticton helping drive campaign to appeal to a younger demographic

By Brennan Phillips

Special to the Western News

In an effort to connect with the youth demographic, a campaign spearheaded by Travel Penticton is using young influencers to share their favourite things about the region.

“Tourism is a major contributor to economic and environmental stability of Penticton. Whether they know it or not, youth (have) a huge influence in this arena,” said Thom Tischik, the executive director of Travel Penticton and architect of the new program. “Often they are the key consideration in deciding where families vacation.”

In early fall, Travel Penticton began work with KVR Middle School on the Youth Influencers Program. It aims to drive engagement with the youth demographics while also imparting skills in the students for future use.

One of the aims of the program is to have Grade 8 students encourage tourism in the community while giving them the opportunity to develop social media and marketing skills that will be transferable to job roles in the future. The students will write blogs and social media posts, as well as create videos and design marketing materials for the region. The program also plans to encourage stewardship of the environment and enjoyment of an active lifestyle.

One of the student bloggers wrote about why Penticton is the best place for a family summer vacation.

“If you want to take a vacation this year, you better come to Penticton or else you are missing out. There are plenty of amazing and fun activities and sport to do here in Penticton,” wrote Shane Kozak. “If you like to drink wine you can send your children to the community centre for a swimming lesson or day camp and go for a wine tour … if you take a trip to Penticton, I guarantee you that it will be the highlight of your year.”

Another student, Ellen Ball, wrote about what she knows best.

“I love Penticton. The nature is so beautiful and there are so many more colours than anywhere I have been. I don’t exactly live in Penticton though; I live in a little town on the outskirts that is like a paradise. It is called Kaleden.”

Rochelle Hannon, computer studies teacher at KVR Middle School, expressed some of her pride in the program.

“This is the first project of its kind that we know of, and the students and school are excited to be leading the way The initial projects are underway and the work produced so far has been impressive.”

To see some of the Youth Influencer blogs that have been posted, go to visitpenticton.com.

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