Vancouver’s Tourism Master Plan Revealed

Tourism Vancouver AGM 2013 | BCBusiness
Tourism Vancouver chair R. Gordon Johnson (left) and Mayor Gregor Robertson at the Tourism Vancouver 2013 AGM.

First ever Tourism Vancouver Master Plan calls for improved product development, events, visitor experience design, neighbourhoods, tourism infrastructure development and transportation, and more

More than 300 members of the Vancouver’s $2.7 billion tourism industry gathered at the Vancouver Playhouse yesterday to hear an overview of city’s first ever Tourism Master Plan at Tourism Vancouver‘s 110th annual general meeting.

The concept of the plan, led by Resonance Consultancy and a combined effort by Tourism Vancouver, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Economic Commission, began over a year ago. The action for it stemmed from Rethink Vancouver, a Tourism Vancouver-led industry collaboration that started in 2010 aimed at identifying steps to help Vancouver achieve its goal of becoming a “World City.”

“Rethink Vancouver and the Tourism Master Plan are monumental steps for Vancouver,” said Tourism Vancouver president and CEO Rick Antonson. “We are particularly heartened by how closely the interests of local residents align with the tourism industry.”

The plan has involved more than 180 interviews with tourism industry professionals, an online survey of more than 2,000 residents and industry people, two open house forums and a review of more than 400 documents and reports.

Recommendations in the plan hit eight key areas of focus: product development, events, visitor experience design, neighbourhoods, tourism infrastructure development, transportation, advocacy and public affairs and partnerships and alliances. (A full list of recommendations can be found on the Tourism Master Plan website.)

“Building on the incredible success of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, [tourism] is an industry with vast potential for growth and one that merits the full ongoing support of government partners,” Mayor Robertson said at the meeting.

Recommendations from the plan further include establishing a product development strategy to support existing attractions and create new tourism concepts; creating a dedicated events organization to lead, organize and manage citywide efforts in delivering year-round events; and creating a neighbourhood marketing council with Business Improvements Areas to promote the diversity of neighbourhoods in Vancouver.

The overall goal of the plan is to guide the development of Vancouver’s tourism sector in a more coordinated fashion, ensuring that the industry grows in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. The final plan will be released to the public in July.

The AGM also introduced Tourism Vancouver’s 2013/2014 Board of Directors. Incoming chair Bob Lindsay, owner/operator of Lift Bar, Grill, View will lead a 15-member board made up of prominent members of the tourism industry.