The Tourism Kelowna Society held its 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, May 9, at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort to announce the 2023-24 Board of Directors, update the association’s membership on recent accomplishments, and outline future priorities.The society’s financial statements and report were also endorsed, noting another clean report from the auditors.

“Through 2022, our local tourism industry continued to move forward in its recovery. We are proud of the resilience of area tourism businesses and our employees, and of the accomplishments Tourism Kelowna and its team have achieved in alignment with the organization’s revised Strategic Plan,” said Kelly Watt, Vice Chair of Tourism Kelowna’s Board of Directors.

“The Board of Directors is ready to guide Tourism Kelowna’s future work, using the Strategic Plan and Tourism Destination Development Plan as roadmaps to achieve sustainable tourism growth for Kelowna and the Central Okanagan, and to deliver positive economic impact for all.”

The 2023-24 Tourism Kelowna Society Board of Directors includes:


  • Annika Betts, Andrew Peller Limited
  • Audrey Surrao, RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd.
  • Bobby Bissessar, The Cove Lakeside Resort
  • Dale Sivucha, Coast Capri Hotel (Kelowna)
  • Delco McEvoy, Best Western Plus Kelowna
  • Edan Fay, The Royal Kelowna
  • Jon De Bruyne, Kelowna Concierge
  • Kelly Watt, Sandman Hotel & Suites Kelowna
  • Kimberly Hundertmark, Okanagan Wine Festivals
  • Michael J. Ballingall, Big White Ski Resort
  • Nataley Nagy, Kelowna Art Gallery
  • Natalie Corbett, Accent Inns / Hotel Zed


  • Cedric Younge, Kelowna Hotel Motel Association (Hyatt Place Kelowna)
  • Councillor Charlie Hodge, City of Kelowna
  • Jenny Money, Westbank First Nation
  • Sam Samaddar, Kelowna International Airport
  • Thom Killingsworth, Past Chair (Kelowna Yacht Club)
  • Councillor Tricia Brett, District of Lake Country

The Society’s board will elect directors to executive roles at the upcoming May board meeting.  

“This past year offered a semblance of normalcy for our local tourism sector, with most industry indicators approaching 2019 benchmark levels,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna.

 “While we are moving in the right direction, we know many tourism businesses continue to struggle, not only with pandemic recovery but with other local and global challenges as well. Going forward, our Strategic Plan will help us strike the necessary balance between destination marketing—to the right type of visitor—and local destination management, working together with the communities we serve to ensure responsible tourism growth benefits residents and businesses alike.”

2022 Accomplishments

A few select highlights of Tourism Kelowna’s 2022’s accomplishments include:

  • Announcing the successful renewal of the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT), which is in effect for five years (2022-2026), with Tourism Kelowna continuing as the City of Kelowna’s designated destination marketing and management organization.
  • Launching the co-created Tourism Destination Development Plan (TDDP), a guiding document which contributes to our Strategic Plan, taking a holistic approach to supporting the region through three focus areas: transitioning together, raising resilience, and enhancing experiences.
  • Celebrating the welcome return of meetings and events. In conjunction with our Major Events Strategy, our team partnered with Big White Ski Resort to secure the 2022 North American Spartan Championship, which generated just over $2.2 million in economic activity for Kelowna. Other secured Major Events included the 2022 Rivalry Series and BreakOut West 2023.  
  • Showcasing Kelowna as a destination of choice for business events through the collaborative OKGo campaign, through which our team secured 15 leads and a potential economic impact of more than $2.5 million.
  • Introducing a successful Mobile Visitor Services summer program for the District of Lake Country, directly serving more than 1,900 people and visiting 60 local businesses to introduce the new program.
  • Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Kelowna Pride to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community through enhanced destination marketing, and to help educate residents and visitors on the importance of being an inclusive, diverse community.
  • Launching the #exploreKelowna Creator Program and Local Love for Kelowna series to share fresh and diverse perspectives from area residents through our digital communication channels.
  • Opening Okanagan + Co., a new retail kiosk located in the Kelowna International Airport departures lounge, where travellers can shop select items from our popular Love for Kelowna and Kelowna Vibes merchandise lines, along with apparel from Okanagan Lifestyle and select items from local businesses and artisans.

Tourism Kelowna also ran marketing campaigns which continued to invest in domestic markets with the goal of increasing visitation, while also increasing its advertising investment for the fall and winter seasons. 

For a complete look back at 2022’s accomplishments, please read Tourism Kelowna’s 2022 Report to the Community.

An updated strategic plan

The Society’s updated strategic plan (2022-2025) was also outlined and includes four key goals around seasonality, destination management, internal excellence, and external engagement:

  • Establish Kelowna and the Central Okanagan as a four-season travel destination;
  • Foster the sustainable growth of the destination;
  • Ensure organizational excellence; and
  • Engage partners and external stakeholders to collaboratively grow the Central Okanagan visitor economy.




About Tourism Kelowna

As a leading Destination Marketing & Management Organization, Tourism Kelowna supports Kelowna and the Central Okanagan, currently Canada’s fastest-growing Census Metropolitan Area, while continuously upholding its vision of developing the region as a sustainable, four-season destination that attracts visitors from around the world.

Tourism Kelowna collaborates with tourism businesses in the region, including its close to 400 members, to create a tourism economy that is sustainable and welcoming for both visitors and residents. Our team also works in conjunction with tourism industry associations and partners, local business and economic development agencies, and area municipalities to strengthen the long-term sustainability of our destination.

Kelowna’s $2.1 billion dollar visitor economy is a major economic driver, attracting close to 2 million visitors annually who in turn generate 13,000 jobs, $204 million in tax revenue, and $443 million in direct spending at local businesses.