TOTA Summit

Manic Monday – If you weren’t there …we missed you and more importantly you missed out!

Midnight Musings from our CEO

Did you really mean to miss the updates from Destination BC and TIA BC about how our industry performed in 2016 and where it is heading? Are you sure that you did not want to listen to War Room tell us about the trends in path to purchase, the impact of mobile and how you risk losing purchasers right before they book? Or what about how to incorporating First Nations and Sustainable practices into your tourism experiences and offerings….these are just but a few of the things you didn’t hear about if you weren’t in attendance at this years TOTA AGM and Summit.

Hosted in the new conference centre at Predator Ridge on Nov 23rd and 24th, a record number of stakeholders did attend our annual AGM and Summit and by all accounts they did not walk away disappointed.

The staff and management at Predator Ridge as always did an excellent job from beginning to end ensuring a smooth delivery and providing great food and beverage including a “Turkey Lunch”, with all of the trimmings, in honor of our American friends and their Thanksgiving. Who knew we would have to diet prior to Christmas!

Our thanks as well to the presenters at the AGM including Destination BC- Marsha Walden, CEO and Alison McKay,  Manager Destination Development; as well as TIA BC – Walt Judas, CEO.

Notably at our Summit this year every presenter was a TOTA Partner actively engaged in moving our 10 year Regional Strategy forward. We have already received a lot of positive feedback and an overall commentary that the insights and information presented was invaluable and provided relevant context for planning for 2017 and beyond.

None of this would be possible of course without the tremendous support of our stakeholders who again this year did attend in record numbers and our ongoing sponsors who time and again assist with prizing and in-kind support to ensure the event is a success.

The new board was announced and we are excited to have a variety of new faces joining the current board:

  • Frank Antoine, Cultural Co-ordinator, Quaaout Lodge (Chase)
  • Erik Fisher, General Manger, Monte Creek Ranch Estate Winery (Monte Creek)
  • George Hanson, Owner Seven Stones Winery (Cawston)
  • Kevin Howlett, Senior Vice President, Regional Markets, Air Canada
  • Bryan Pilbeam, Vice-President/General Manager, Hotel 540 (Kamloops) – Chair
  • Andy Schwaiger, President, Kanata Adventure Specialists (Clearwater)
  • Kathrin von Andrian, Owner, Myra Canyon Ranch B & B (Kelowna)

The new board members will be joining the returning directors who are completing their 2 year term:

  • Michael J Ballingall, Senior Vice President, Big White Ski Resort (Big White) – Past Chair
  • Don Brogan, General Manager, Walnut Beach Resort, (Osoyoos)
  • Gene Covert, Co-Owner, Covert Farms Family Estate Winery (Oliver)
  • Glenn Grant, General Manager, BC Wildlife Park (Kamloops)
  • Lyndie Hill, Owner, Hoodoo Adventure Company (Penticton)
  • Christine Latimer, General Manager, Best Western Plus Valemount Inn & Suites (Valemount) – Secretary-Treasurer
  • Brad Pelletier, Vice President — Okanagan Region, Wesbild Holdings, parent company of Predator Ridge Resort (Vernon) – Vice-Chair
  • Steve Rice, Chair, Gold Country Communities Society (Spences Bridge)

If you weren’t in attendance, we missed you and you missed some great opportunities for learning and networking.  Don’t let it happen again!

Next year we are heading to Kamloops and look forward to seeing even more of you join us. Dates will be announced early in the New Year.

Once again thank you to everyone who played a role in delivering an important two day event for the tourism industry in our region.

A Few Highlights From This Weeks News Centre

Congratulations to the Thompson Okanagan’s  own Sandra Oldfield, named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women (read more); hats off to the province in recognizing the growth in Camping adding 1,900 new sites provincially (read more); great numbers coming in for 2016 with over a half a million more international visitors to the province (+11.9%) in the first nine months over the same period last year (read more).

Read all of this weeks News 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.

All News