Undiscovered Penticton is the marketing brand for Travel Penticton.

Undiscovered Penticton is the marketing brand for Travel Penticton.

Travel Penticton working to secure funding

The newly-formed Travel Penticton is working hard to secure the funding they need.

Now that the merger of Tourism Penticton and the Hospitality Association has been finalized, the newly-formed Travel Penticton is working hard to secure the funding they need.

Speaking for the new group, Barb Haynes said they are on a tight timeline. The current five-year agreement to collect the Municipal Regional Destination Tax (formerly known as the additional hotel room tax) runs out on June 30, 2017.

Read more: Tourism marketers combine to form Travel Penticton

The tax is returned to the city to be used to fund external tourism marketing initiatives.

In order to continue, an application has to be filed with the provincial government by Jan. 1, 2017.

The application process set by DestinationBC is lengthy and includes a number of components according to the city’s chief financial officer, Jim Bauer.

Several parts of the application require consultation with the tourism industry and demonstrated support that funds from the MRDT are incremental to other sources of tourism funding such as the city’s own investment in tourism.

That investment comes in the form of  a five-year financial commitment, leading to a Travel Penticton request that council approve their funding ahead of the budget talks, which take place later this year.

Travel Penticton requested a continuation of the Tourism Penticton’s funding level of $354,000 for 2017, dropping to $300,000 from 2018 to 2021.

Haynes said there are a number of projects they need to complete in 2017 to set up the new organization and brand, including digital media, their organizational structure and a new vision for visitor services.

After 2017, they expect cost reductions from having a single tourism marketing organization to kick in.

According to CFO Jim Bauer’s report to council, city staff are confident Travel Penticton can find cost savings in their budget and reduce the level of annual funding needed. This revised funding level will represent a total commitment of $1.554 million over the five-year period and a savings for the city of about $2.2 million.

The MRDT has been in several hands over the last five year term, part of the disruption in tourism marketing since late 2011, when the council of the day stripped the contract for tourism services from the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and awarded it to a private organization, the Penticton Business Development Group, which collapsed in Feb. 2012.

Tourism Penticton and the PHA have been operating in separate silos. Both groups were running campaigns to market the city since 2012 when the city signed a five-year contract giving control of the additional hotel room tax funds — about $400,000 to $450,000 per year — to the PHA.

Since then, there have been attempts to align the groups or to create a single tourism marketing board, which finally succeeded with the creation of Travel Penticton this year.

Haynes said gaining a commitment from the city is just one step in the process.

“We need to work through the process of renewing  that opportunity,” said Haynes, explaining that renewing the two per cent hotel room tax also requires significant engagement with accommodators.

There are two components to gaining accommodator approval: 51 per cent of the registered members, but also 50 per cent of the room accommodation inventory in Penticton.

Haynes said she doesn’t think there will be a problem gaining the needed support for the MRDT, explaining they have been laying the groundwork for the renewal while developing the new, unified organization.

“We have been very diligent going out there and engaging with our stakeholders over the summertime,” said Haynes.

Travel Penticton’s request was passed with a unanimous vote.

Once all application requirements are completed city staff will return to council  on Dec. 6 with the application requirements for the MRDT and proposed bylaw, allowing adoption of the bylaw before the Jan. 1, 2017 deadline.


Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sue Birds captured this sunset photo that took place in between the rain and thunder Monday night, June 15, 2021. (Sue Birds)
Stormy sunsets over Okanagan Valley

Monday night had thunder, rain and stunning sunsets

Owner Daren McWhinney is really excited about the new location of Angry Vegan which just opened up at 536 Main Street. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton’s Main Street turns into foodie heaven

Angry Vegan, Wild Ginger, Twisted Chopsticks and Gratify recently opened

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon Elks Lodge secretary-treasurer Maureen Sather says special relief funding for the organization courtesy of Community Futures North Okanagan has been just that: a relief. (Photo submitted)
Zero funding for Vernon Elks club

Once-in-100-years grant denied after back and forth with city for support

Lyndsay Fillier and Braden Taylor have been living the van life for four years and they've detailed the first year of their adventures in a new book. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Okanagan couple details first year of van life in new book

Lyndsay Fillier and Braden Taylor have been living the van life for four years

The cannabis dispensary store, located at 1024 Clark Drive in East Vancouver. (Instagram/Budwayonclark)
Vancouver pot shop owner ordered to pay $40K for copying Subway

Store’s mascot is a red-eyed, cannabis-filled smoking sandwich

A young child was taken to hospital after being struck by a vehicle on 30th Avenue in Vernon Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Child OK after being hit by car in Vernon

Father says daughter was back home by supper time

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read