The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is launching a new program to provide business support and advice directly to tourism operators in the area.
Many operators have shared that it is increasingly challenging to attend business training and events that take them away from their business.
“While our businesses are emerging from some difficult years of fires, floods, and pandemics, they are doing better and seeing travel happen, but they still face challenges with staff shortages and limited resources, and they can’t get away from their business to attend training and business events,” said Amy Thacker, CEO of the Caribou Chilcotin Coastal Tourism Association, “So in response to this challenge, we’re going to centralize some of how we deliver our programs and assign some of our staff to work in this area to be able to go out for businesses.”
Each of those managers will be the local tourism expert, Thacker said, to help operators navigate the training and business support available to them, including challenges such as updating contingency plans or accessing government programs.
“The transition will start within the next month, so we’re looking to run some training through February for these new destination experience managers, and have them working in the field this spring, in March and April,” Thacker said.
The on-the-ground approach may be new to destination development but it is not new to how the Caribou Chilcotin Tourism Association supports operators.
The model builds on the Tourism Resilience Program that the Center for Trade and Tourism Cooperation is helping pioneer in linking tourism businesses with support programs in the wake of COVID-19.