Kermodei Tourism wants local business owners and staff to become tourists in their own town so they can better promote and guide visitors to the area.
“I’m always saying we’re the next best town in B.C.,” said Graham Genge, executive director of Kermodei Tourism. “We could be the next Whistler or Fernie.”
Genge made these remarks during the afternoon session of the first “get to know your town” presentation put on by Genge and visitor centre staff at the Sportsplex on June 7.
Roughly 60 people in total attended the two sessions, more than Genge was expecting.
The two-and-a-half hour event covered ways to promote Terrace and local business through social media and web applications and saw presentations from community leaders and tourism operators about their products and events.
Presenters ranged from arts and culture leaders, to tour operators, to those in the hospitality industry, with the general idea being that the more locals know about events and activities in Terrace and the Northwest and can talk about confidently, the more tourists will want to stay.
Until the session, many in the room had never heard of Nass Valley Tours, Steven Johnson’s two-year-old tour company that offers tours of Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park.
The business promotes local artists, provides jobs for people in the Nass, and, according to Johnson, shows visitors the area’s best kept secret, the campground at the top of the park.
“The more businesses promote and pass on information, the more successful events will be,” said Genge.
Genge said more sessions like these are in the works, including an opportunity for locals to complete WorldHost hospitality training—WorldHost started in B.C. as SuperHost in 1985 for Expo ’86 training, and is now used for major events worldwide, including the Olympics.