Manic Monday – We can’t hear you if you don’t participate…..

Midnight Musings from our CEO

It is difficult to focus on much else besides the wildfire and smoke conditions that are negatively impacting almost everyone in our region and throughout the province, but I am going to take a bit of pause and talk about participation and engagement.

Last night, I took the time to review the results from the Survey that we have been sending out for to our stakeholder base for several weeks. A survey that asks industry to provide feedback on the economic impact that has been felt as are direct or indirect result of this year’s fire season and the related negative media messaging.  Shockingly, in a region that boasts over 4500 tourism industry stakeholders, where I am hearing that business is dramatically down this summer, and where phones calls are being fielded daily as to what will be done to assist industry; a mere 124 stakeholders to date have forward the survey information back to us.

We have an immediate opportunity to ensure that Destination BC, and in particular our new Provincial Government, is aware of the financial impact that closed parks, roads, fires and smoke have had on our visitor volume and our tourism revenues and the importance of additional funding requirements to keep businesses open and to build back what has been lost.

Understandably, many are still in the throes of the fire situation while others are working hard to keep the business they have in hand. We are a region of small business owners and entrepreneurs working long hours and hands on. But I do implore you to take a few moments of your time to provide us the feedback that could ultimately make a dramatic difference in the near in future.  The survey is not just for those areas that have been evacuated or are on alert but for any part of the region that has seen a decline in visitor volumes related to this summer’s challenging situation.

It is easy to not participate in opportunities that are presented by Destination BC, TOTA, your local communities DMO’s and Chambers. And it is always unfortunate to see how often the same individuals attend meetings, volunteer, register to participate in programs or just generally supporting Tourism initiatives. We are an important industry and vital to the economic health of the region and the province. Can you imagine the impact, the difference, the voice that the Tourism Industry would have if even 50% of the stakeholder base took an active role, no matter how big or small in moving things forward.

This fall, there will be Destination Planning meetings around the region, our own AGM and Summit in November, the Remarkable Experiences Training workshops in the fall and numerous other events that you may be called upon to attend or consider. Take the time, get involved, participate. We can only hear if you participate…In the meantime, grab a coffee, tea, local wine, craft beer or whiskey and send us back this survey…we can’t assure you of what will happen if you do but we can assure you that nothing will happen if you don’t…



A Few Highlights from this Week’s News Centre…

Most of us are not quite sure how to describe the spring and summer that we are living through however regardless of the scourge that Mother Nature has thrown our way this year the one thing that isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future is our staffing challenges.  TOTA is working closely with go2HR on 3 specific projects including a new recruitment video and brochure which will be ready in early September as well as a fall recruitment trip to Alberta, details of which will be out shortly.  In addition our friends at Mobilize are also available to assist and have placed over 450 young people into positions over the past 3 years (read more); fall really is not that far away and we are very pleased to announce that the Remarkable Experiences training workshops will once again being hosted in our region. TOTA together with DBC and our partners at Tourism Kamloops and Tourism Sun Peaks will be offering the program on October 18 /19 and November 22/23. For more information or to sign up go to (read more); it is always exciting to hear about expansion plans and this week in the news there is another Penticton development seeking approval for a new 75 room hotel tower which, if it moves forward, will be the fourth  in the South Okanagan over the past four years (read more); things are looking up, literally!

Join us for this year’s Golf Tournament August 29th, 2017 at the Golf Course in the Alpine at Sun Peaks Resort.  All registered participants are eligible to win 2 passes on Air Canada to anywhere they fly in North America including Hawaii. To register for this year’s tournament go to our website.

Read all of this week’s 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 #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories from around the region.

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