Earlier today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that Marsha Walden has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Destination Canada. This appointment follows Marsha's tenure with Destination BC, where she had been President and CEO since 2013.
“Tourism goes well beyond the one in 10 jobs it creates nationwide; tourism intersects economic, social, environment and community development,” says Walden, who will begin her appointment with Destination Canada on August 24, 2020. “This is a critical time for the sector and I am thrilled to be joining Destination Canada as we work to support a resilient visitor economy.”
“Marsha Walden is a respected, trusted and active member of the ‘Team Canada’ tourism community, bringing incredible depth and knowledge. Her thought leadership and excellent track record will steer the mid- and long-term planning of Destination Canada throughout the recovery of the country’s resilient visitor economy,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, Chair of the Board of Directors, Destination Canada
Following the announcement, Destination BC’s Board of Directors announced that it has appointed Richard Porges as Interim President and CEO effective August 20.
“We are confident that Richard Porges will skillfully lead the corporation through the next few months, as we initiate the recruitment process to permanently fill the position of President and CEO. Destination BC has long enjoyed a positive relationship with Destination Canada, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Marsha and her new team," said Destination BC Board Chair, Dawn Black. "As British Columbia generates 25% of Canada’s overnight tourism revenues, having a leader like Marsha at the helm of Canada’s destination marketing organisation, is great news for tourism in BC.”
“I want to thank Marsha for her many contributions to Destination BC over the past nearly seven years, including most recently her strong leadership and communications with the sector during the pandemic,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Having worked with Richard Porges, I am confident that he will continue to provide excellent leadership over the coming months as we look to permanently fill the President and CEO position and as we continue to work towards a strong and competitive future for BC’s tourism industry.”
The entire team at Tourism Kelowna extends our congratulations to both Marsha and Richard, and looks forward to continuing our work with both organizations to support our local tourism industry.