Northern BC region is a valuable part of who we are

In the British Columbia tourism industry we operate under a three-tier system. The provincial agency, Tourism BC, now under the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, bears overall responsibility for promoting British Columbia. The province is divided into six tourism regions. Ours is the Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA), responsible for representing over 50% of the province’s landmass. The Northern BC Tourism Association is funded through the hotel tax-based provincial tourism funding, which is used to partner dollars and effort with communities and tourism operators throughout the north.

In the British Columbia tourism industry we operate under a three-tier system. The provincial agency, Tourism BC, now under the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, bears overall responsibility for promoting British Columbia. The province is divided into six tourism regions. Ours is the Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA), responsible for representing over 50% of the province’s landmass. The Northern BC Tourism Association is funded through the hotel tax-based provincial tourism funding, which is used to partner dollars and effort with communities and tourism operators throughout the north.

In a single column I can do no more than touch upon all of the different things that Northern BC Tourism does for Prince Rupert. On the financial side, they form an important part of our fundraising. The hotel tax received by a community DMO accounts for only about a third of the budget of an average DMO. We take those dollars and use them to increase our available resources through a complex series of programs that allow us to leverage the initial investment. A successful visit by a travel writer or tour operator, for example, usually requires the help of the individual tourism businesses in Prince Rupert, TPR, the NBCTA, and often other agencies such as the Canadian Tourism Commission.

This sort of relationship holds true for almost everything we do. For example, say it was important for a certain travel guide or magazine to include a strong Prince Rupert presence. The NBCTA might offer to “co-op” a certain amount of space in that publication, paying a portion to make it affordable for us. We might then offer further savings to our members, paying for a portion of their advertising, making it affordable for them to advertise where they wouldn’t normally have the resources to do so. The end result is a section of Prince Rupert advertising, encouraging the publication to increase the amount of editorial coverage of Prince Rupert. It works for everybody.

Imagine this same system at play through a broad spectrum of marketing activities. In addition to that, the region uses a portion of its funding to do things that are of benefit to the entire region – from traditional advertising such as the Northern BC Travel Guide, to Twitter accounts such as @RVNorthernBC (which provides up-to-the-minute travel information for RV visitors to the North).

Even this doesn’t tell the whole story. They advocate when we need advocates, working at the provincial level to further the needs of the communities. When needed they come into the communities to solidify local support for tourism.

Given the size of our region, we have a special situation in the North. We have NBCTA satellite offices in Prince Rupert and Fort St. John, ensuring the strong connection between the individual tourism stakeholders, the communities, the region and the province.

That highlights one more vital role. The regional tourism office is a conduit that fuels the ongoing relationship of northern DMOs. I don’t remember a time when we didn’t have some sort of initiative on the go that included at least a few communities between Haida Gwaii and Dawson Creek. The northern communities have much in common, and we work together on a daily basis through the regional organization.

In fact, a year ago the key northern tourism communities gathered to release a statement in the face of recent provincial changes: For us, without that three-tiered system, without the Northern BC Tourism Association, none of our community offices would be able to effectively promote our communities, and the businesses and attractions within those communities, in the way that we do today.

It has become fashionable lately to call for a regional approach to promoting economic development in Prince Rupert. But in tourism, this has been happening for years. We used a regional approach as our starting point

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

A Prince Rupert port expansion project received a $25 million investment from the provincial government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Jan. 14. Seen here is Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal export terminal in Prince Rupert (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)
$25 million government investment in Prince Rupert port expansion project

Prince Rupert port expansion project expected to create more than 2,200 jobs

For the second time in less than a year, Air Canada announced on Jan. 13 it has suspended flights on the Prince Rupert-Vancouver route as of Jan 17. (Photo by: Jerold Leblanc)
Cessation of flights to YPR will affect the municipal economy and global trade, P.R. Mayor said

Chamber of Commerce said it will aggressively pursue the resumption of flights to Prince Rupert

Air Canada has suspended flights to Prince Rupert Regional Airport due to COVID-19 mitigation, the airline announced on Jan. 13. (Photo:THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
YPR is not immune to plummeted air travel demands – 25 jobs lost

Prince Rupert Regional Airport flight cancellation will levee significant hardship - Rick Leach

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read