Visitor Centre transitioning

'The prongs of the whole new strategy are very focused on visitor services'

Campbell River’s city manager is dispelling rumours that the Visitor Centre is closing.

City Manager Deborah Sargent said the notion that the city would permanently shutter the tourist information centre couldn’t be “further from the truth.”

Sargent did say, however, that there may be a temporary reduction in visitors services while the city is transitioning to a new model for delivering its tourism and economic development functions.

“The Visitors Centre may be closed for a short period of time, possibly in January, possibly in February, but that hasn’t been decided,” Sargent said.

She stressed that any reduction would be temporary and perhaps similar in nature to when the centre was closed last winter for renovations and visitor services were temporarily run out of the city’s Enterprise Centre. But Sargent said the Visitor Centre isn’t going anywhere and in fact will play a key role in the city’s new long-term economic development strategy.

“The prongs of the whole new strategy are very focused on visitor services,” Sargent added.

The city is currently working to transition to a new economic development strategy that involves a five-year marketing plan, a nine-member advisory committee and a three per cent local hotel tax. The transition was prompted by the dissolution of the city’s former economic development arm, Rivercorp, after the decision was made to bring the city’s economic development function in-house and under City Hall.

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