KELOWNA, December 6, 2017 – The Tourism Kelowna Society held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on December 5, 2017, at Kelowna’s Coast Capri Hotel with over 100 tourism business and community leaders, staff, and volunteers in attendance.

Financial and operational highlights from the Board and CEO included a clean audit report, update on Kelowna’s new visitor centre, overview of enhanced marketing, sales and visitor servicing activities, and review of key tourism performance indicators. Of note, hotel occupancy rose nearly 2.2 per cent between September 2016 and August 2017.

“Tourism in Kelowna and surrounding communities continues to grow and is a strong driver of our local economy,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, Tourism Kelowna’s President and CEO. “While this year’s challenging weather-related events had an impact on visitation over the summer months, overall our growth trend continues with strong visitation numbers and new businesses opening and expanding to offer memorable experiences to visitors.”

Tourism is big business in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan, and recent economic impact data shows that the tourism industry contributes over $1.25 billion in total economic output. Over 1.9 million visitors spend approximately $337 million annually. The local tourism industry generates $142 million in tax revenues and is the third-largest employer in the region, representing 11,890 jobs. Tourism Kelowna’s strategic plan sets a goal of attracting 3 million overnight visitors by 2021 and deliver a positive experience while here to promote repeat visits and referrals.

“Tourism Kelowna markets our destination to attract visitors here, and then connects visitors to local businesses and experiences when they are here,” said Ballantyne. “We work to grow overnight visitation in Kelowna and neighbouring communities and increase the impact and profile of our local tourism industry.”

Tourism Kelowna Society’s 2017-18 Board was also confirmed, and the society thanked departing directors Nathan Flavel, Rosemary Paterson, Donna Faigaux, and Daniel Bibby for their contributions. The list of directors, and executive committee members, includes:

  • Chair: Thom Killingsworth, Inn-Trust Hospitality
  • Vice-Chair: Tanya Stroinig, Prestige Hotels
  • Past-Chair: Stan Martindale, Ramada Hotel & Conference Centre
  • Treasurer: Heather Schroeter, Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel & Villas
  • Secretary: Debbie Dupasquier, Distinctly Kelowna Tours
  • Brent Lavery, Holiday Inn Express Kelowna Conference Centre
  • Dan Matheson, Okanagan Golf Club
  • David McFadden, Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm
  • Debra Harding, UBC Conferences and Accommodation
  • Gail Given, City of Kelowna
  • Katie Balkwill, Big White Ski Resort
  • Nataley Nagy, Kelowna Art Gallery
  • Patricia Leslie, Sandhill Wines / Andrew Peller Ltd.
  • Penny Gambell, District of Lake Country
  • Sam Samaddar, Kelowna International Airport
  • Sean Coward, Kelowna Hotel Motel Association

About Tourism Kelowna

Working on behalf of over 370 local businesses, Tourism Kelowna is the lead destination marketing organization for the Central Okanagan generating overnight visitor demand that economically benefits Kelowna and its neighbouring communities.

For more information:
Chris Shauf
Tourism Kelowna
(250) 861-1515 ext 203