Vancouver, British Columbia – Destination BC released its new corporate strategy and tourism marketing plan today, and unveiled key elements of BC’s revitalized destination brand that will be used to market British Columbia to prospective visitors from around the world.
Destination BC’s ambitious three-year corporate strategy and marketing plan are designed to strengthen the key drivers behind tourism revenue—marketing and the travel experience—in new ways. The Corporation is also refocusing its operations and spending on its primary role, marketing BC.
The strategy supports the BC Jobs Plan through a focus on revenue performance measures, aimed at growing the tourism sector across the province. The key corporate goals for growth include:
Revenue: Lead Canada in growth of overnight visitor expenditures.
Visitors: Secure the highest Net Promoter Score in North America.
People: Build a collaborative, insight-driven, results-focused team.
The Corporation’s five core marketing objectives over the next three years include:
Achieving annual increases in visitor revenues and volumes from its top ten markets.
Strengthening British Columbia’s destination brand health and resonance.
Increasing brand engagement and traveller advocacy.
Amplifying and strengthening British Columbia’s world reputation as a tourism destination.
Achieving market leader status for travel trade relationships.
Tourism has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world and is BC’s third largest employer. In 2013, just over 132,000 people were employed in tourism-related businesses in BC, up 3% over 2012. The tourism industry also contributed $7.3 billion in GDP in 2013, a 2.1% increase over 2012.
In addition to launching its new corporate strategy, Destination BC also unveiled the revitalized Super, Natural British Columbia® brand, which focuses on nature at its core and showcases the power of British Columbia’s wilderness, and the emotional connection that it makes with travellers. The Corporation embarked on a process to review and revitalize BC’s tourism brand to ensure that it clearly differentiates the province from other destinations, reflects changing consumer dynamics, creates an emotional connection and a sense of urgency to visit, and, importantly, provides a unifying vision and voice for all of BC's tourism industry.
The brand was developed following extensive consultations that included brand discovery research with over 10,000 consumers across international markets, input from over 350 industry stakeholders both at home and abroad, and insights from 115 frontline staff in BC’s Visitor Centres who talk to thousands of travellers each year.
The new brand will first be used in Destination BC’s upcoming ski campaigns in Washington, and Ontario beginning this month and throughout the ski season. It will then be utilized for a series of innovative social media, advertising and PR initiatives moving forward.
Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination BC:
“Since Destination BC’s inception, we’ve been listening to industry’s many voices, gathering perspectives on the best approach to building value for the businesses and people in our visitor economy and seeking direction on the most important role for us in that work. Industry wants bold leadership and a clear plan. They need inspired marketing to draw the world to their doorstep. And, like every business, they want to get maximum value from every dollar in BC’s tourism system. Our new corporate plan lays out the strategy Destination BC will follow for the next three years to help British Columbia reach its full potential as a tourism destination – our plan for how we will win, together.”
The Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour:
“Tourism is an industry that has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. British Columbia is already one of the world’s most inspiring places to live, work, study, invest and visit – and with this new tourism strategy and brand being launched by Destination BC today our province is going to be positioned to take full advantage of our vast tourism potential.”
The Honourable Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism:
“With the launch of the new corporate strategy and brand, Destination BC has the opportunity to make significant breakthroughs in reaching potential visitors by using innovative techniques to connect directly with audiences online, in print and television. We think this can be a game changer for the industry and will go a long way towards attracting visitors, ultimately creating good jobs for British Columbians and memorable experiences for tourists.”
Keith Henry, CEO, Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC:
"The Aboriginal tourism industry acknowledges the new Destination BC strategy and brand. A number of Aboriginal industry leaders participated in the consultations and we fully embrace the brand development and new direction. We understand the importance in meeting visitor interests and as tourism industry leaders, we must now move forward together to ensure BC continues to be a premier destination for visitors throughout the world. We are especially pleased with the continued identification of the importance of Aboriginal tourism, and our marketing activities for 2015 and beyond will embrace and align with the exciting new Destination BC strategy and brand."
Greg Klassen, President and CEO (Interim), Canadian Tourism Commission:
“There is no stopping the demand for tourism around the world, with international arrivals expected to grow as much as 4.5% in 2014, according to the UNWTO. Tourism is Canada’s largest service export, contributing $16.4 billion in 2013. Every 1% increase in international arrivals coming to Canada drives over $800 million in additional trade. Destination BC’s new strategy and revitalized tourism brand promise to make the most of this incredible opportunity.”
Nancy Cameron, CEO, Tourism Kelowna:
“A highly compelling destination like British Columbia demands insightful leadership. Consider the myriad of goals and markets that drive the visitor economy for each tourism operator, community and region that together make up the sum total of tourism in this province. Each piece of this fascinating puzzle has its own set of objectives, so an overarching marketing strategy must resonate and align with each stakeholder in order to keep this puzzle coming together in a cohesive direction. Authenticity, intrigue, and a galvanizing result are important to all of us, and it is clear that Destination BC has listened carefully and has the vision to connect all the pieces.”
Barrett Fisher, President and CEO, Tourism Whistler
“Destination BC has stepped up and is taking a leadership role in raising the profile of tourism in positioning British Columbia as an iconic, emotive and inspiring destination for travelers, and in working with industry to better coordinate investments and efforts. We believe tourism businesses across the province will prosper as a result.”