CEO Message

CEO Message Archives

Okay stop what you are thinking…… for all of you that were about to wish me well and thinking thank goodness that Mandziuk is gone…I have some very disappointing news…I’m still here! However we are sad to announce that a very familiar voice on the phone at the TOTA office is leaving us and tourism industry after a tremendous six […]

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What do all of the following names have in common…..Android, Blogger, Chromebook, Froogle, Gmail, Myactivity, Doubleclick and Youtube?  If you answered that they all are Google products you would be correct.  Of course that is only a small sampling when compared with the more obvious additional Google services that most of us use daily including […]

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If you remember those words it will likely conjure up a picture in your mind of Lily Tomlin as the telephone operator “Ernestine” which she brought to life on Rowan and Martin’s break out comedy show Laugh-In. Well we have definitely come a long way Ernestine! From party lines to land lines to mobile devices; […]

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Over decades we have seen countless examples of how partnerships between individual organizations, that share a like minded vision, can make significant impacts that might otherwise not have taken place. The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), together with go2HR has seen first hand how beneficial partnerships can be.  In 2016, Arlene Keis CEO of go2HR, […]

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In previous years our region may not have liked being referenced as “Napa North” but I don’t think anyone is upset at the prospect of quickly becoming known as  “Hollywood North”. More and more the movie world is finding their way to the Thompson Okanagan thanks to the hard work of our Regional Film Commissioners […]

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Not everyone wants to escape winter with its crisp cold air and the cozy warmth that blankets you as you relax by an outdoor bonfire after a day of snowshoeing adventures. We learned firsthand through our friends at Southern Queensland Country Tourism in Australia the enormous marketing potential that snow and cold weather can really […]

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Whose foot doesn’t tap along when they hear the words …. CA-NA-DA (One little two little three Canadians) We love thee (Now we are twenty million) CA-NA-DA (Four little five little six little Provinces) Proud and free (Now we are ten and the Territories sea to sea) There are many of us, myself included, who […]

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There is  something refreshing and uplifting about the start of a New Year.  It is as if the magic stroke of the clock at midnight on December 31st changed everything. Briefly there is a clean slate,  a new start, a blank page on which words have not yet been written.  It often has us believing […]

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I can only suppose that if you are reading Manic Monday on this the 26th of December – Boxing Day in Canada – it is because you are done with visiting the relatives, tired of playing with the new toys and gadgets and hoping that you can sit quietly even for a few minutes to […]

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With the temperatures seriously dipping below zero for several days in a row it can only mean one thing…. Ice Wine!  Sitting warm and toasty in my car with the heated seats helping to take the chill out of my bones, my eyes wander to the bright lights on the surrounding hills, the significance of […]

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“Winter will be colder than normal, with above-normal precipitation and snowfall. The coldest periods will be in early and mid- to late December and mid- to late January, with the snowiest periods in early and mid-December and mid-January.” Farmers Almanac 2016/17 One of the most exciting times in the winter season is the opening of […]

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A large factor in realizing the full impact of creating remarkable experiences is having the available wifi for guests to readily “remark” and create the word of mouth advertising that is a key objective. Recently while traveling I have been subject to a vast array of wifi connections everything from a downtown city core which […]

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The woman was introduced as a Trail Blazer and over the course of the ensuing 30 minutes she spoke about how her organization, a Regional Tourism Organization similar to TOTA, had managed to bring together 3 councils, several levels of government, a number of Indigenous communities  as well as a variety of special interest groups […]

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Stakeholders work together to create memorable and remarkable experiences This past week TOTA, together with Destination BC, hosted our first session of this year’s Remarkable Experiences Program. My team, who were there, have shared with me the results and I’ve come to understand that mother nature could not have been kinder as she provided the […]

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Over the past several months we have had an amazing group of young people in our office taking our social media and digital presence up significantly. Through a federal grant we were able to hire 5 individuals that we often refer to as “the kids” but who in fact are mostly recent graduates of UBCO. […]

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Do you take the time to consciously reflect on the importance of this season and the marking of Thanksgiving. Whether you spend this time enjoying the outdoors, relaxing with family and friends or simple unwinding from a busy summer this is a very special occasion. Unlike our neighbors to the south Canadian Thanksgiving stands alone. Fortunately for us it does […]

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The problem lies somewhere deep in history of the tourism industry. The adage “better together” while often given lip service, does not, at times, really portray the truth that often exists within the tourism sector. There are absolutely outstanding examples of communities and alliances worldwide that have gotten past their individual egos and issues and […]

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Whether you refer to them as washrooms, bathrooms, comfort facilities, the ladies room, the men’s room, the john, the lavatory, the restroom, the outhouse or simply the toilet when you are away from home the availability of “facilities” is of utmost importance! Recently this subject came up for discussion with a group of tourism colleagues […]

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Have you ever taken the time to experience some of our region’s Rail Trails and see first hand what we and so many of our visitors are talking about?  Fall is the perfect time to get up, get out, and hit the trails….. or if you have ridden or hiked them before, find a section […]

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Even without a calendar, the changing of seasons presents itself in so many striking ways. No matter how long the summer heat lingers over the coming weeks, there is always a point (for me, it’s usually around August 15), when everything changes. The shift of season begins and the days get noticeably shorter; sunrise starts […]

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Let it snow …Let it snow…Let it snow… Hard to believe but winter is not far off and as you have heard me say in numerous presentations,  one of TOTA’s areas of focus resulting from the 10 Year Regional Tourism Strategy is elevating our tourism visitations in the winter season. Our Wonder of Winter initiative, […]

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