Williams Lake Visitor Centre
The Executive Summary of Destination BC’s proprietary Visitor Experience Strategy 2018-2020 is now available to British Columbia tourism industry partners. For a copy, please email CommunityVisitorCentres@DestinationBC.ca.
Today’s visitor services are about ensuring exemplary visitor information is available when and where visitors need it, with easy and dynamic access from anywhere in BC, at any time.
More than 100 community-based visitor centres throughout British Columbia comprise the Visitor Services Network. Visitor Information Counsellors have a direct impact on visitors’ impressions of British Columbia, providing real-time, personalized visitor services through the visitors’ channel of choice and inspiring longer stays and travel in all regions of the province. In 2017, the community Visitor Centres served approximately 2.9 million visitors at their physical location and around their community.
Destination BC is working with the Visitor Services Network and the entire tourism industry to expand the delivery of visitor services for the future, by creating more contemporary and innovative approaches to serving our guests’ information needs as they travel throughout the province. Communities are encouraged to evolve their visitor services to incorporate forward-thinking online, mobile and crowd-sourcing channels, alongside traditional visitor centres, as appropriate to each community.
An increase in the use of social media as a trip planning tool as well as a place to share experiences online has created an opportunity for Visitor Centres across British Columbia. Destination BC’s Social Media Visitor Services Program was created to provide an innovative way to connect with travellers online and provide the same level of exceptional service that people are experiencing in Visitor Centres. Visitor services teams are using digital and social media technology to proactively reach out and connect travellers with local tourism experts, answer their questions, and direct them to the many tourism experiences that British Columbia has to offer.
For more information about the Visitor Services Network Program, please contact Karen Tunkara, Visitor Services Network Manager, at 250-356-5630 or email@example.com.
For more information about the Social Media Visitor Services Program, please contact Erin Monaghan, Digital/Social Media Visitor Services Specialist at 604-365-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitor Centre Network Statistics Program
As members of the Visitor Services Network Program, Visitor Centres record statistics using Destination BC's statistics website. To view “Year over Year” reports, please visit www.networkstats.tourismbc.com.
Update on Visitor Services in Merritt
Visitor services are not ending in Merritt, they are moving to a new location in the downtown core. Destination BC is transitioning visitor services in Merritt from a provincial model to a community model, to allow for a more flexible, location-based, customer-centric model aligning to the unique services required by travellers and local businesses in the area. The ultimate outcome will be the continued delivery of exemplary visitor services in Merritt.
The City of Merritt has decided to join Destination BC’s Visitor Services Network Program and will provide visitor services through Tourism Merritt in a variety of ways:
Building and Land at Exit 286:
Coinciding with this transition is the permanent closure of the visitor centre located at Exit 286 at the junction of Hwy 5 and Hwy 97C. The building and land at Exit 286 is owned by the Provincial Government via the Real Property Division, Ministry of Citizen’s Services. Destination BC was a tenant in the building. We don’t believe any decisions have been made regarding the future of the building or land, but we are excited to see what they do at that location in the future. If you have questions about the use of the site, please contact the Real Property Division, Ministry of Citizen’s Services.
The primary use of the Visitor Centre at Exit 286 was to use the washroom rather than to obtain travel information. The Ministry of Transportation, who has the responsibility for overseeing Rest Areas for the travelling public, provides washroom facilities on nearby corridors between Merritt, Kamloops and Hope is opening a new Rest Area on Hwy 97C (Okanagan Connector) between Merritt and Kelowna soon. Existing Rest Areas include Britton Creek, at the Coquihalla Summit on Hwy 5, and Walloper on Hwy 5 between Merritt and Kamloops. In addition, there are washroom facilities at visitor centres in Hope, Kamloops, Kelowna, Peachland, along the Coquihalla Connector and in downtown Merritt. There are also many public and commercial facilities in Merritt.