Delta looking at different ways to promote tourism

The City of Delta wants a new way to promote tourism.

Delta council has endorsed a staff recommendation to give Tourism Delta, a non-profit society established in 2012 to promote Delta as a tourist destination, $38,000 in funding for the coming year. The volunteer group has been receiving regular funding in a fee-for-service agreement from Delta's existing tourism budget for the past several years. The funding this time around includes $23,000, an increase of $4,000 from last year, to continue to promote Delta.

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The additional funding will used to enhance the group’s website and social media with an all-encompassing event calendar, photography and new content. It would also be used to develop a number of different tourism activities.

Tourism Delta will also get another $15,000 on top of that to develop a five-year strategic tourism business plan. The plan would build upon Delta's 2006 Tourism Strategy and would involve extensive community stakeholder consultation.

“Financial and labour resources continue to be a challenge for Tourism Delta,” board chair Jane Stark stated in a letter to council. “As such the website was not able to be maintained to the standard the board had hoped this year.”

A civic report notes that with the proliferation of tourism information available online, the nature of tourism services has changed considerably over the last five years. As a result, many municipalities are moving towards a destination marketing organization service model.

City staff is proposing that a different funding model for tourism be developed in consultation with community stakeholders and tourism service providers. That new model will be referred to council for consideration next year.

City manager Sean McGill told council that staff wants to get the best bang for the buck when it comes to tourism promotion, acknowledging Tourism Delta has done a good job but it’s an organization comprised of volunteers. He said it’s time to begin exploring new models.

Council also approved giving the Delta Chamber of Commerce $54,000 for its annual tourism fee-for-service agreement with the city. The staff report on that recommendation also noted there is an opportunity for a more effective and sustainable model.

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