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Regional Tourism Conference in Nelson

Monday • October 31, 2016

The Tourism Industry Conference and 39th Annual General Meeting of the Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association was held in Nelson BC on October 4 & 5. 

Over 85 delegates attended the 2 day event. After the 39th Annual General Meeting proceedings, the delegates were warmly welcomed by Mayor Deb Kozak of the City of Nelson.

The first presentation was an overview of regional programs and activities from Kathy Cooper, CEO of Kootenay Rockies Tourism speaking about ‘Our Journey Together – The New Tourism Roadmap.’

Maya Lange, Vice President Global Marketing followed with insights into how Destination BC is ‘Raising our Game’, including how they are evolving their strategies in an ever-changing landscape.  For a copy of the 2017-2018 Marketing Plan, please email

Gary Ross, Director Global Content talked about ‘DBC’s New Approach to Content Marketing’ with an outline of changes to the way we think about content, including how DBC can help regions and tourism operators amplify their message and drive business.  Gary suggested that industry send your newsworthy content submissions to the regional office rather than directly to Destination BC. Please send these submissions to so we can ensure that your content is received.

The delegates were then separated into smaller groups and headed uptown Nelson!  The ‘Dine Around & Art Walk’ event featured 6 restaurants, each with a local artist and live entertainment.

A huge thanks to Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism for their assistance in organizing this event. The restaurants outdid themselves with food sampling, special drinks and wine pairings.

Walt Judas, CEO of TIABC speaking on the ‘BC Tourism Matters Initiative’ opened the second day.  As CEO, Walt’s responsibilities include leading multiple advocacy files and he reminded all of the stakeholders in our region to send your ‘Tourism Matters’ stories to TIABC.  The annual industry conference takes place on February 22-24, 2017 in Victoria and TIABC is looking for speakers and presenters.  Send your stories and suggestions to

Sarah Breen of the Applied Research & Innovation Centre, Selkirk College, presented an overview of the recently published Regional Tourism Sector Business Retention & Expansion Report.

Andrea Hinck, Manager Industry HR Development for go2HR reviewed the many new regional initiatives to help address labour challenges as well as useful recruitment tips and tools.  Don’t forget to submit available jobs in your business to go2HR through this link: go2HR Job Board

Dan Wilson, Sustainability Planner & Tourism Specialist with the Centre for Sustainability in Whistler wrapped up the second day with the ‘Collaborative Economy & Tourism Workshop’.  After a great presentation on the Collaborative Economy, the delegates separated into 2 groups to further explore Collaboration, Community & Commerce – a collaborative economy innovation lab or AirBnB and the case for short term rentals.

For copies of the presentations, including the Kootenay Rockies Tourism FY2015-2016 Annual Report please email: or click on this Dropbox link:

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