We are Christina and Peter Pilarski, founders and leaders of CIPR Communications.
As part of our podcast series on the Value of Tourism, we were very fortunate to welcome Beverley DeSantis, CEO of Tourism Kamloops, as a special guest. Tourism Kamloops is one of our longest-standing clients and we have worked with Bev and her team on many campaigns. Tourism Kamloops was actually our first Value of Tourism client, as Bev called upon us to help educate the local community about the value that tourism brings to the city.
Bringing the Community on Board
When Bev first took the post at Tourism Kamloops, she found that nobody really seemed to be talking about Kamloops’ attractions aside from its sporting facilities. Yet, it was apparent that the city had plenty to offer tourists. This realization started her on her journey of bringing passion into the community itself, helping Kamloops citizens to realize the value of their city’s tourism industry and the role that so many local businesses could play. She understood early on that if the community isn’t on board, no amount of money spent on marketing would help to make any significant difference to tourism.
Bev and her team had an idea of the value of tourism in Kamloops, but they needed the facts and figures to back them up. They launched a study on the industry and found that it contributes around $350 million to the city’s economy. They took the study even deeper and tried to determine how income from tourism affects other businesses in the region – such as farmers who supply their produce to the city’s restaurants. It became clear that the secondary benefits of tourism meant that the industry brought even more into the city’s coffers than had previously been recognized. Bev began reaching out to local politicians to get them to understand the industry’s importance. The elected officials and the business community gradually started to understand the value of tourism and what an important economic driver it was.
Listen to our full conversation with Bev in Episode 8 of our latest podcast series. Read our blog or listen to the rest of our podcast episodes for more information about marketing strategy, public relations, the value of tourism and related topics.