Visitor season on the North Coast is now underway

The tourism season is upon us. This week brings the first cruise ship of the season, the 2240-passenger Norwegian Pearl. Independent visitor traffic is already well under way, and here at Tourism Prince Rupert we have our first travel writer visit of the season.

The tourism season is upon us. This week brings the first cruise ship of the season, the 2240-passenger Norwegian Pearl. Independent visitor traffic is already well under way, and here at Tourism Prince Rupert we have our first travel writer visit of the season.

Visitors never really stop coming to Prince Rupert, of course. A trickle of visitors pass through even during the winter months. But for us the winter is a time for preparing materials that influence travel in the following years.

This winter, as I mentioned in this column last week, one of our biggest projects was the launch of a completely redesigned website at www.VisitPrinceRupert.com, and a social media strategy built partly through Facebook, at “Visit Prince Rupert,” and Twitter, at @VisitRupert. Again, these will become more and more effective as more Prince Rupert content becomes available on social media networks. Please let us know if you’re generating Prince Rupert content on any social media sites.

Of course there are countless other things that occupy our time during the off-season. There are annual rounds of grant writing and fundraising, updating all of our marketing materials, working with travel writers and tour operators, and so on. This winter there was also the widespread concern that cruise ship traffic will be drastically reduced in 2012. We joined with the Museum of Northern BC over the winter in proposing ways to enhance the cruise visitor experience, and we’d like to see that taken farther. And although our function lies in external marketing to bring visitors to Prince Rupert, and not in business development, Tourism Prince Rupert does play a small role in cruise ship visits. This is primarily through the Cruise Ship Ambassador Program.

We’ve been operating the Ambassador Program for 11 years. A dedicated group of volunteers muster for each cruise ship, distributing maps and providing information. It remains a very innovative program, imitated in other places, and the hospitality of our Ambassadors is frequently mentioned on cruise passenger surveys as one of the most memorable things about their stay here. However, we think that the Ambassador Program can be made even better, and to do it we’ve partnered with Community Futures. To learn more, contact Treena Decker at 250-622-2332.

In fact, over the winter Community Futures has taken a big role in business development for cruise as part of a cruise task force called together by the Port Authority. Community Futures has become involved in, among other things, a busking program, and a booklet about Prince Rupert to be distributed on board the ships. We joined them in presenting the social media workshop that I mentioned last week. The City has taken on other cruise development initiatives such as partnering on the busking program, or working with Salmonberry Trading Company on the market across from Atlin Terminal.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned, this week we also see our first travel writer of the summer season. San Jose-based Gary Singh is a columnist and former staff writer at Metro newspaper, and a freelancer for a variety of magazines ranging from Islands to Sunset. Gary is visiting at the invitation of Tourism Prince Rupert and the Northern BC Tourism Association.

We need to do the mental shift that goes with the passing seasons here at TPR. In the winter we’re focused on the marketing cycle, and on being as prepared as we can possibly be. In summer we’re more focused on building upon that winter work by presenting Prince Rupert in the best possible light to visiting travel writers and tour operators. Gary Singh brings a unique perspective to each experience he encounters, so showing him around town, on a visit that includes cruise ship day, should be just the right thing to help us make that mental shift.

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

Just Posted

The Port of Prince Rupert has experienced another year of increased cargo volumes, shipped through the city, with more than $50 billion in international trade facilitated through the area, the Port Authority announced on Jan. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Port cargo volume growth continues despite pandemic obstacles

Prince Rupert Port authority announces $50 billion in international trade

The IIO B.C. is seeking witnesses to an arrest made in Penticton on Nov. 8, during which the male resisted and sustained a head injury. (File Photo)
The Independent InvestigationsOffice of B.C. released a report on Jan. 18 that a Prince Rupert RCMP officer is cleared of any serious harm wrongdoing from a May 29, 2020 incident. (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigation clears Prince Rupert police officer

IIO investigated May 29 incident where woman fell 25 metres in Prince Rupert

Face masks are required to be worn in all SD 52 common areas such as hallways. School District 52 announced on Jan. 15 three different schools in Prince Rupert all had a member of the school community test positive for COVID-19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
3 Prince Rupert schools have positive COVID-19 case(s)

Letters sent home to families in three Prince Rupert schools announcing COVID-19

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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

The IIO B.C. is seeking witnesses to an arrest made in Penticton on Nov. 8, during which the male resisted and sustained a head injury. (File Photo)
The Independent InvestigationsOffice of B.C. released a report on Jan. 18 that a Prince Rupert RCMP officer is cleared of any serious harm wrongdoing from a May 29, 2020 incident. (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigation clears Prince Rupert police officer

IIO investigated May 29 incident where woman fell 25 metres in Prince Rupert

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read