Tourism Victoria Names New CEO

Paul Nursey, Tourism Victoria | BCBusiness
Paul Nursey, who has worked in management positions at Tourism Vancouver and at Mount Seymour Resorts, will be Tourism Victoria’s CEO starting January 20.

Paul Nursey, current vice-president of strategy and corporate communications for the Canadian Tourism Commission, will start January 20

BCBusiness spoke with Paul Nursey about his upcoming role as CEO of Tourism Victoria and his plans to capitalize on the tourism industry’s recovery.

You were most recently vice-president of strategy and corporate communications for the Canadian Tourism Commission and have more than 15 years of experience in tourism-related management. What knowledge will you be bringing to your new position?
The knowledge I am going to bring forward is a very strong focus on marketing strategy and collaborating as a community to help grow the business more dramatically. We are entering into a period of recovery in the global tourism business and we have huge opportunity to grow more than our fair share of the business.

In May, current CEO Rob Gialloreto told BCBusiness that Tourism Victoria needed a new CEO that could market the region to a wide audience and bring players in the hospitality industry together in a unified front. Is that what Tourism Victoria needs?
I am just getting my briefing, but I do have a saying that working together is more fruitful than not working together. Our competition is very well organized and we should be as well. I think we should work together and agree on our prey and hunt as a pack.

How do you plan to accomplish this?
I really focus strongly in all my workings on taking very broad input. I can’t wait to meet all the businesses in the Greater Victoria region and get their input and then mix that with very strong research and environmental scanning and build strategies that we can all agree on.

Overnight visitors to Victoria fell from 3.63 million in 2007 to a low of 3.08 million in 2010. In addition to dipping numbers, what other challenges do you face as CEO of Tourism Victoria?
I think all of us in tourism are being faced with the opportunity of capitalizing on recovery. So far this year occupancy is up, revenue is up and visitation is up. We are seeing strong recovery around the globe and that’s spilling over into Canada and into Victoria. So we are in a recovery phase now. The key questions are: how are we going to position ourselves, and how can we really execute the close of a sale to gain more of our share of the business?

How do you plan to bring in more visitors to Victoria?
I start January 20 and I’m going to take a lot of input from the community. I bring a lot of expertise to the table but I really want to make sure I get the community’s input, so that will be my first step. Then I will make sure we are executing strongly in our tactical plans.

Looking forward, what is your vision for Victoria’s brand?
I think Victoria’s current brand is very strong. The positioning is extremely robust and Victoria is a very important and well-regarded destination. My plan is to make sure we execute excellent sales and marketing strategies and tactics.