Recently, numerous tourism businesses from Kelowna and across the Okanagan Valley received a ‘negative-option’ invoice for an annual listing subscription on a website called TourismOkanagan.ca; however, businesses did not request or seek out this advertising opportunity. Tourism Kelowna was notified of these invoices by some of our partners; in response, we issued a bulletin to alert our participating stakeholders of the situation and to confirm that our organization was not in any way affiliated with this company.
To date, our team has responded to more than 100 calls and emails from local businesses who have received invoices from TourismOkanagan.ca. We want to reassure business owners that Tourism Kelowna does not use 'negative-option' invoicing for any of our programs. Participation in our advertising programs requires completion of an agreement, along with signed acknowledgment of our stakeholder principles; this agreement must be in place prior to any payments being processed. Coordination of this agreement would take place through contact with one of our team members, either in person, by phone, or by email. Information on our programs can be found on our website.
Tourism Kelowna does not endorse participation on TourismOkanagan.ca (which is set up in such a way that owner identification of the site is not viewable) nor do we allow third-party access to our stakeholder lists or local tourism business information. We continue to closely monitor this situation as it directly impacts local tourism businesses and will take appropriate action on behalf of our local tourism industry as required.
Should you have further questions or concerns, please contact our Director of Marketing & Communication, Chris Shauf, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on our programs, please contact Sara Correa, Marketing Programs & Research, at email@example.com.