Published On: Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Victoria Tourism: Proactive Event Attraction Efforts Paying Dividends

Victoria Tourism: Proactive Event Attraction Efforts Paying Dividends

- Paul Nursey is the President and CEO of Tourism Victoria.

GREATER VICTORIA - It’s still early in 2017 but one of our key areas of strategic focus is starting to pay dividends.

A couple of years ago, our organization shifted focus to make sure every initiative had a hard ROI. We have embedded rigorous research, target setting and accountability for business results in everything we do

There have been hard decisions, but, by placing scrutiny on investments and ensuring we are driving measurable hotel room-nights, we have a strong sense of where our industry is going.

Consider the following:

  • This year is shaping up to be very strong for city-wide conferences (at least 400 delegates, requiring multiple hotels over multiple days). In fact, we expect this to be the strongest since 2007, and possibly set the record for city-wide conferences in Victoria. We’re also booking conference into 2020 as well.
  • We have won major sports tourism events, including the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in partnership with Vancouver. The event runs from December 2018 through to January 2019 and will result in tens of thousands of hotel room-nights. As well, Tourism Victoria is playing a major role in the return of the PGA Champions Tour at Westin Bear Mountain Resort.

Here are some of the bookings so far:

  • Canadian Housing Renewal Association will host its 51st annual conference in April 2019. This will bring 600 people over three days, and result in 1,000 room nights
  • Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada is booked for May 2018, bringing 800 people over four days and filling 1,200 room nights
  • College and Institutes Canada has confirmed for April 2018, with 700 people staying three days and filling 1,600 room nights.

We are doubling down on our investment in our team to make sure our sales pipeline is always full. Tourism Victoria now has dedicated in-market sales reps based in three geographic areas:

  • Vancouver: An ideal location to serve our key markets in BC, Washington State and Alberta.
  • Ottawa: The nation’s capital is the headquarters for 5,600 associations and 60 sports associations; nearby Toronto has Canada’s greatest concentration of corporate headquarters, while Montreal has a vibrant cluster of pharmaceutical corporations.
  • San Francisco: This is where we need to be to tap into the technology and bio-tech meetings pipeline, as well as the broader California market. It’s also a strategic location to cultivate the growing Texas market, which has shown strength for us.