TOTA provides destination development, marketing, industry and experience development, and research services. Key program summaries are noted below. Be sure to register with us as a stakeholder so we can communicate with you! Also check out the resources and TOTA Events section and let us know how we can assist you.
In 2015, as part of a new mandate with Destination BC (DBC), the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) realigned resources to create a Destination Development Department.
Through the Thompson Okanagan Regional Strategy, “Embracing Our Potential”, completed in November 2012, TOTA was well positioned to execute on the new destination development priorities put forth by DBC. This ten-year strategy, implemented in 2012, provides a “road-map” to direct the development of tourism in the region over a ten-year period, with completion targeted for 2022. More than 1,800 stakeholders participated in the development of the strategy, which took over 18 months to complete.
TOTA in concert with DBC will continue to update and evolve the strategy within defined areas to enhance the delivery of product experiences and increase overall long-term competitiveness of the destinations within the region.
The Experiences Development Department was also established as part of this portfolio to focus specifically on the enhancement of a number of key themes identified within the “Regional Strategy”.
Recognizing the objective to drive tourism visitation and revenues outside of the traditional summer season, specific tourism experience areas were identified and are the priorities for the Experiences Development team including:
- Regional Rail Trails
- Wonder of Winter
- Indigenous Tourism
- Remarkable Experiences
- Charter of Sustainability
TOTA and DBC, in partnership with regional stakeholders, continue to work on new ways to develop tourism products, enhance visitor experiences, and deliver a high standard of services and amenities to generate and sustain long-term demand for this region’s tourism industry.
As part of the Destination BC Co-op Marketing Reserved Pool program, which has replaced the former “Tourism Partners” program, TOTA offers its stakeholders a number of opportunities throughout the year in which they can participate in at a subsidized cost. The program is designed to support strategic marketing priorities that are fundamental to the provincial and regional brand and supporting the 10 year regional tourism strategy objectives. Working in partnership with Destination BC, TOTA’s marketing efforts under the Reserved Pool program will be focused on touring and exploring marketing initiatives.
The co-operative marketing program offers co-operative advertising in both partnered programs and TOTA programs.
In partnership with Destination British Columbia, TOTA works with Travel Trade to build destination awareness in our top markets. Efforts are focused on attracting new business to the region and to increase overnight stays with existing key accounts. TOTA engages with our regional partners to research export-ready new product, fulfilling image requests, detailing travel logistics, and hosting travel trade in the region. In addition to our Advisory Committee, TOTA also works directly with stakeholders and industry associations.
The Travel Trade Program provides opportunities to participate on marketing and advertising on the Online Travel Trade Planner and ‘Our Story’.
In partnership with Destination British Columbia, TOTA works with journalists, freelance writers, social media influencers, editors and broadcasters on travel-focused stories to build destination awareness in our top markets. TOTA prepares, and pitches story ideas during Media Marketplaces and Events. TOTA hosts Travel Media familiarization trips in regions to research ideas that are picked up. In the Travel Media Program, the industry can engage with TOTA to attract journalists and editors to write about Thompson Okanagan experiences by providing us with news about your business, supplying images, and agreeing to host media when you are in the region for research.
The Corporate Services department for Thompson Okanagan Tourism provides collaborative and progressive support in corporate, financial, information and administrative services to support the ongoing operations of the Association. The department ensures that all organizational functions and fiscal responsibilities of the non-profit society are delivered in an accurate, timely, and technologically modern fashion. It consists of the following main areas of responsibility:
- Financial planning, record-keeping and financial reporting
- Accounting, purchasing and asset management
- Organizational analysis and corporate reporting
- Organizational management and human resources
- Corporate support systems and administrative functions
- Administrative support to Board of Directors
- Stakeholder relations
- Information Technology Services
In addition to this wide array of critical functions, Corporate Services are also centrally involved with external communications like the distribution of the TOTA newsletter and press releases, as well as maintaining the official Thompson Okanagan Tourism corporate website.
For more information on how this department can assist your business or for any corporate-related inquiries, please contact a member of the Corporate Services team.