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Posted: November 5, 2012

Tourism marketing Crown corp re-established

British Columbia’s tourism industry is going to get a royal boost.

Premier Christy Clark earlier today (Nov. 5) announced Destination BC, a new industry-led, formula-funded Crown corporation that will work collaboratively with tourism stakeholders across the province to market B.C.’s tourism resources.

“Our government is listening to members of the tourism industry and has established Destination BC, which will market our beautiful province to travellers around the world,” Clark said. “What’s most exciting about this new organization is that it was designed by tourism operators who know first-hand how a tourism marketing organization should be structured to help them grow their industry and create jobs.”

The provincial tourism industry has been without such a marketing entity since autumn 2009 – six months before the beginning of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Developed in partnership with tourism stakeholders, Destination BC’s structure will provide greater responsiveness to the tourism industry and increase accountability to taxpayers.

The creation of the new Crown corporation follows through on commitments Premier Clark made during her leadership bid, which were then reinforced in Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan and in government’s tourism strategy, Gaining The Edge, notes a press release from the Premier’s Office.

“B.C. faces fierce global competition for each and every tourist dollar,” said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “But we also have an incredible opportunity as new markets, especially in Asia, emerge. Our new tourism Crown corporation will help the tourism industry take advantage of this opportunity by working better with each other, and with government, to market B.C. as a world-class destination.”

As part of The BC Jobs Plan, government invited the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) to strike a task force charged with providing options for a new tourism marketing organization to government. The model chosen was one of the options presented by the TIABC task force.

Destination BC was established on Nov. 2, and will take full responsibility for operations on April 1, 2013. For the first year of operations the Crown corporation will receive the full funding that government has used for tourism marketing. After that, funding will be set based on a percentage of annual sales tax activity and enshrined in legislation. This move does not impact the government’s fiscal plan.

“This is a priority issue for B.C.’s tourism industry and we are extremely pleased with Premier Clark’s announcement today of a new provincial tourism marketing organization,” said Dave Butler, chair of TIABC’s task force and director of sustainability, CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures. “My colleagues on TIABC’s task force, working with government, have expended significant time and resources over the last 15 months to make this a reality. We are excited that this new Crown corporation will now have the opportunity to truly show the world what Super, Natural BC is all about.”

“I want to congratulate the TIABC task force and the B.C. government for working collaboratively together to bring about a new tourism marketing organization for B.C.,” said TIABC chair Lana Denoni. “This new organization will make it possible for us to compete against our competition and grow our tourism revenues. We have the product, and we have the people, and now we have the organization to make it happen. Well done!”

The new tourism Crown corporation will continue to be responsible for marketing, research and training activities. Government will continue responsibility for tourism policy.

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