City to establish new board with tourism focus

The City of Campbell River is moving on to the next phase of re-tooling delivery of Rivercorp services

Having already chosen to amalgamate the economic development function of Rivercorp into City Hall, the city is moving on to the next phase of re-tooling delivery of Rivercorp services.

A new, independent tourism board will be established by the end of the year as part of a restructured Tourism and Campbell River and Region corporation.

“With council confirming (in April) that the economic development function will move into city operations, it is now time to establish a new board with a sole focus on tourism,” Mayor Andy Adams said. “We hope to have a new board with a new tourism focus established before the end of the year that will build on past efforts and set the direction for effective tourism marketing and promotion.”

The planning for the new delivery model began following the election of the current council last year, with a review and consultation with the current Rivercorp board.

“The Campbell River Economic Development Corporation fully supports the restructure of local economic development and tourism promotion and the establishment of a new tourism board,” says current board chair Donna Hains. “The existing economic development board had a wide-ranging mandate with a number of responsibilities, and I am pleased that council is providing the opportunity to continue to support tourism promotion in a more focused way.”

Tourism projects currently underway will continue through 2015 through the existing tourism leadership committee, which includes members with expertise in large and small accomodations, adventure and recreation, food and beverage, attractions and events, retail and transportation.

“Right now we’re in a bit of a transition status,” said Ron Neufeld, acting city manager. “We’re not anticipating any changes until the new board is populated. Campbell River Economic Development Corporation has staff that provide the tourism function now, and they will continue to work on the projects they have under way.”

The city expects to begin advertising for new board members early in the fall. Once it is formed, its mandate will be to create and implement a renewed tourism strategy.

The new tourism board will include a cross section of industry members representing the accommodation industry, tourism operators, the Tourism Leadership Committee, and potentially other board members who have indicated a desire to contribute to the new tourism model.

“We have already begun talking about how to enhance and support Campbell River’s 2016 tourism strategy to meet the needs of tourism operators and attract visitors to the region,” said Hains. “A key aspect of the tourism board’s success will be to seek new sources of funding to further enhance promotion and marketing initiatives.”

Adams acknowledged the review, assessment and ultimate reconfiguration of Rivercorp have created uncertainty and stress for current economic development and tourism staff and board members.

“Council is very grateful for their continued patience and professionalism throughout the past few months,” he said. “We would like to thank the Campbell River Economic Development Board for their continued dedication and cooperation while we transition to the new structure over the next few months and look forward to continued close cooperation with the many other organizations that work to promote the region, including local First Nations, Tourism Association of Vancouver Island and Island North, Destination BC, and other tourism agencies and organizations.”

Upcoming changes for economic development and tourism promotion:

  • Integrate economic development function within and across city’s operations;
  • Establish a new Tourism Campbell River and Region corporation;
  • Recruit members and establish a Tourism Campbell River & Region board; and
  • Create and implement a renewed tourism strategy.