Manic Monday – Going Over-Board

Midnight Musings from our CEO

Remember some of the wild questions from when you were a kid, like “what has 7 legs and is covered in hair”? I’m not sure but is it crawling up your back…!!!

Here is one for the adults…

“what has 30 legs, 15 heads, represents 3,500 tourism stakeholders operating in excess of 15 of them and sleeps on average less than 5 hours per night”?

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
Board of Directors!

It amazes me that when you look at almost any volunteer board it is always comprised of some of the busiest individuals you will meet.

This statement could not be more true of those that have let their names stand for the board of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

Representing the diversity of tourism product and geography within this region they bring the voice of industry to the table ensuring all aspects are heard, considered and ultimately acted upon in the best interest of tourism.

These are individuals from the passion sectors including ski, golf, wine/culinary and outdoor adventure; Indigenous partners; accommodation providers from resorts to bed and breakfasts; the airline industry;  touring and guiding operators; as well as community associations, who are collectively concerned for the health of the tourism industry region wide and focused on ensuring the Thompson Okanagan is a leader in the province of British Columbia.

To be sure these are also the people that are never just at TOTA Board meetings, as without exception they each work with committees and boards of other regional, municipal and special interest groups. They are the people you will find attending meetings with the Airport Authority or Ministry of Transport discussing access or signage concerns, reaching out to government officials on topics such as foreign worker policies, employment issues as well as sourcing funding and grant opportunities. Without fail they are also a group of individuals who always make themselves available to me as the CEO when I need support, direction, input or simply encouragement.

This very active and engaged board has traveled the region from Valemount and Mount Robson to Osoyoos and everywhere in between meeting with stakeholders, visitor centers staff and guests. Celebrating with you when you have success and always listening to the concerns and challenges that come with delivering on a world class tourism product.

They have held formal meetings in airports, buses, boats and even had an in camera meeting on a hydrofoil, and yes, once in a while, they even get together in a regular boardroom. As recently as March 15th the board met in West Kelowna at The Cove for their annual two day retreat which provided them with a very full and demanding agenda. Topics and presentation highlights included: TOTA’s three year strategic direction and priorities, Destination BC’s marketing plan presented by Vice President Maya Lange, go2HR’s Arlene Keis updates on the past year’s partnership activities,  AtBC’s Will Harding shared their strategic plan, the 2017/18 TOTA Business plan was reviewed and adopted and the year in review from each of the TOTA departments. There was even time set aside for a governance workshop. In addition they toured some of the surrounding area  meeting with a few local stakeholders enjoying the hospitality of Quails’ Gate Winery and experiencing an in-depth presentation at the Westbank First Nation Sncəwips Heritage Museum.

This board works for all of us tirelessly and they do so willingly and with enthusiasm and by the way for free.  They show up and participate and take their board work very seriously while at  the same time running their own businesses which is not always an easy balance.

The next time you are in the company of  one of our board members…or any individuals who you know to be on any board…take the time to consider the important role they have, the time and energy it takes to be involved and please take them time to thank them…..they will be surprised and more than a little energized from your comments.

TOTA Board of Directors


A Few Highlights From This Weeks News Centre

The ongoing strength of the region is evidenced by a number of significant developments including the tremendous announcement last week by Sun Peaks Resort of a multi million dollar investment in infrastructure that will very positively impact overall guest experience (read more); Osoyoos Indian Bands’ Chief Clarence Louie will be honored at a luncheon this Wednesday March 29th. Chief Louie has been an outstanding leader in his community and recognized across Canada for his progressive approach to strengthening First Nations economies, he was also recently named to the Order of Canada (read more); Christina Lake is proud to announce they have been successful in their bid to host a Canada 150 Celebration event on July 8th with support from the Government of Canada (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.

REMINDER:  please us send your 150 Celebrations activities and events to

All News