Manic Monday – Memorable and Remarkable Experiences

Midnight Musings from Our CEO

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 group with a back drop of fall colors and sunshine that was nothing less that remarkable.

It is additionally gratifying to have a fully subscribed workshop which was capped at 25 business participants. Without exception, the group was engaged and there was a tremendous level of enthusiasm and sharing around the concept of creating experiences that touch guests emotionally, enhance the overall visitor experience, and ultimately motivate guests to share and positively “remark” online.

One of the key learnings from this past week’s session highlights the fact that creating a remarkable experience for guests does not have to be expensive or difficult to create and it is very often the simple and unexpected that has the ability to reach our guests at an emotional level.

What has been shared with me that two examples of just how that can occur came at the start and the finish of the two days. Greg Hopf, the Aboriginal Tourism specialist with TOTA and AtBC, explained to the participants the importance of thanking the land and people when you come onto territorial lands. He shared tobacco with each of the group and asked them to go out into the Vineyard and give thanks or find gratitude in the place, the opportunity and the potential of the day. Each in turn did this and throughout the next 48 hours commented often on the impact of that moment.

At the conclusion of the event Frank Antoine from Quaaout Lodge was asked to close the two days and he did so with a very moving honor drumming. He commented that not often do you see a large group bring so much energy and joy into the work they are doing and honoring this gathering of people was moving for him. Again all that participated realized first had the remarkable experiences they were part of.

Our thanks to the team at Destination BC, Eva Gutsch the facilitator, and Quails’ Gate Winery for their facilities and service. However, mostly thank you to all of the participants for taking the time to not only attend but really engage in the process, without you there is no remarkable experience.

…..and finally thank you to mother nature for putting on a spectacular show and adding a stunning backdrop that helped generate creativity.

A Few Highlights From This Weeks News Centre

Congratulations to everyone that worked hard to create the new Travel Penticton entity which was voted on just over a week ago.  Exciting opportunities are ahead for Penticton and  stakeholders as this new organization moves forward (read more). Destination Osoyoos representatives are traveling to Nova Scotia in November to attend “Devour” which brings over 25,000 people into the community of Wolfville. Plans are under way to bring a similar event to Osoyoos this May (read more).  Destination BC is looking for interested stakeholders to let their name stand for the Tourism Marketing Committee. These positions are in place for is a three year term starting January 2017. For more information on this, read more.

Read all of this weeks New Centre stories at

We hope you keep following and contributing on TOTA’s Facebook and twitter sites throughout the week; send us your stories, photos, events  and remarkable experiences. Make sure the industry knows what is happening around our region and be sure to use the #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories from around the region.

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