Business helping business was the goal of last week’s second annual TRUE Penticton tourism industry insider event.
Hosted by Tourism Penticton, the free, four-hour session at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre provided an opportunity for those involved in tourism directly or indirectly an opportunity to talk to those in the know.
In addition to speaking with business operators, those attending had a choice of three industry related workshops.
“The idea was to introduce front line staff who are kind of the ambassadors for tourism to all the different vendors in town particularly those who are new,” said Jo Charnock, marketing and media co-ordinator for Tourism Penticton. “It’s a good way for them to get out and let people know about their business so when the tourists do come here and ask about what there is to do, they know.”
She added that because there are some many different facets to tourism and because it is such a financial driver in the city, it’s critical everyone in the industry work together.
“We want people to talk to us and talk to each other keeping everybody informed because we are a team,” said Charnock.
All of the feedback was positive and she said a complete review will be done to see what can be done to improve next year’s forum.
During the afternoon about 160 people came through the doors along with the more than 40 exhibitors.
Rylie Gallagher of the Penticton Wibit Water Park was among those who set up shop at the centre.
“The response so far has been really good,” said Gallagher, whose colourful, inflatable water park operates each summer in Okanagan Lake next door to the S.S. Sicamous. Everybody that comes by is really intrigued and for me just walking around I’ve seen a lot of different opportunities, businesses that intrigued me and provided us with different avenues to market in and work together.
“That’s the importance, to come here and grow your business and expand your reach.”
As well, the fact those participating in the event are local makes this type of event all the more necessary.
“It’s good to support local and you want to see people in your community who are making a difference and driving business and it’s important to support each other,” he said. “Obviously it is important to build relationships and something like this allows us that opportunity to get outside of our immediate market and meet some really interesting people.”
Another happy customer at the show was “Trailhead” Ed Kruger who is celebrating his 25 year in business operating Monashee Adventure Tours.
His winery cycling tours and treks through the historic Myra Canyon have earned him accolades from publications such as the New York Times and Reader’s Digest.
“This is great, the more leads you can get the better,” said Kruger, who is introducing a new walking wine tour this season. “It’s nice to get the word out about the new product and this type of networking makes it a lot easier for us.”