The District of Lake Country has made a new partnership that recognizes Tourism Kelowna as the official community destination marketing organization for Lake Country.
“Tourism Kelowna has been working with Lake Country attractions for many years,” said Ryan Roycroft, Lake Country’s economic development manager.
“The District of Lake Country believes that a formal partnership will further enhance the marketing effectiveness for these and other Lake Country businesses in a highly cost-effective manner,” Roycroft said.
Lake Country and Tourism Kelowna have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow the district to leverage the $2.5-million annual budget that Tourism Kelowna works with.
This will dramatically expand Lake Country’s external marketing reach in the area of tourism, in addition to work done with local partners for local marketing, according to the district.
Tourism Kelowna president Nancy Cameron says the agreement is a natural fit.
“The District of Lake Country will have representation on the Tourism Kelowna Society board of directors,” said Cameron, president and CEO for Tourism Kelowna.
“Attractions and services located in our neighbouring communities are marketed within the Kelowna brand to leverage its high level of brand awareness and the resulting drawing power.
“Those visitors attracted to Kelowna will travel throughout the area, regardless of municipal boundaries, and through their exploration will discover neighbouring communities such as Lake Country and more fully understand the identity and sense of place of these unique communities.”
The operation of the Lake Country Visitor Centre is not included in the scope of services defined in the MOU with Tourism Kelowna. District of Lake Country staff and council continue to work on visitor centre options and are looking for a solution that will provide a high value per dollar spent on visitor services.
“Considering the extensive cuts and staff workload impacts from the implementation of a business systems review earlier this year, efforts are being made to ensure that every proposition is a value proposition,” said Roycroft.
Meetings are scheduled during December to work on an economic development strategy to explore and pursue opportunities for growth.
The District of Lake Country remains committed to working together with Lake Country Chamber of Commerce, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Tourism Kelowna to find sources of funding and ensure that valuable visitor services are available in the community so people are aware of the many tourist and recreational opportunities in Lake Country.
The goal continues to be an increase in marketing exposure and visitation to Lake Country businesses.