Cities pick up project funds

Vernon and Armstrong are among cities across the province receiving financial support from Destination B.C. for pilot projects

Vernon and Armstrong are among cities across the province receiving financial support from Destination B.C. for pilot projects that test and document innovative approaches to providing visitor services.

Destination B.C. is doling out more than $200,000 to communities that will pilot innovative visitor services concepts in the coming months.

New visitor services delivery approaches include roaming visitor counsellors, mobile information displays, state-of-the-art touch screen kiosks and the use of social media channels.

“Our research tells us that visitors’ information and trip planning needs have changed,” said Marsha Walden, Destination B.C.’s CEO.

“New technologies and delivery of information to visitors where they are and when they need it are fundamental to evolving the visitor services model. We applaud the communities that are embarking on these exciting initiatives and are looking forward to the results of these pilots.”

Visitor services, such as trip planning and information delivery, help extend visitor stays and spending by introducing new travel ideas to visitors while in province.

As part of its corporate strategy, Destination B.C. conducted a consultation process with more than 100 community-operated visitor centres between November 2014 and July 2015 to explore ways to modernize the delivery of visitor services around the province.

Following the consultation process, communities were encouraged to submit project proposals to test some of the innovative ideas that arose during the consultation.

The results of these pilots, as well as case studies on some existing innovative approaches, will be presented at the Visitor Service Network conference hosted by Destination B.C. this October in Vancouver, and will be available for other communities to learn from and build upon during the next few years.