Mary Jo O’Keefe (from left)

Mary Jo O’Keefe (from left)

MJO Tours hooks recognition

Vernon’s MJO Tours earns inclusion with the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Signature Experiences Collection (SEC).

Mary Jo O’Keefe of Vernon’s MJO Tours has reeled in an invite to the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Signature Experiences Collection (SEC).

O’Keefe teamed up with Salmon Arm’s Podollan Inn to offer Salute the Sockeye, a first-rate tourism experience that will be part of the collection. The announcement was made last week in Salmon Arm.

Launched in July 2011, the SEC is an innovative marketing program with the goal of inspiring international travelers to book their next vacation in Canada.

“It was the right fit,” said O’Keefe. “Our packaged experience lets our guests feel and touch one of the most spectacular struggles of nature – the sockeye salmon run at the Adams River.

“When you package this with our cool-climate wines and luxurious accommodations at the Podollan Inn Salmon Arm – you are sure to have a winner.”

O’Keefe believes the tour’s inclusion in the SEC will generate economic spin-offs for local businesses. She credits much of their success to Melanie Tighe Lovsin, director of sales and marketing at Podollan Inn.

Lovsin first learned about the SEC at the Canadian Inbound Tourism Association meeting in Vancouver.

“I immediately felt they were bang on with their concept and approach,” said Tighe-Lovsin. “I wanted our world-class salmon experience to be part of this extraordinary program that markets experiences to 11 countries. It will bring the world to the Shuswap and Salmon Arm.”