The Tourism Kelowna Society held its 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, May 9, at the Coast Capri Hotel to announce its 2024-25 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.

“2023 was another year of evolution and creative strategizing. Further refinements to our governance took place, along with strong fiscal management, development of the Tourism Kelowna team and continued recognition of the needs of our membership, tourism industry employees and residents who live, work, and play in our beautiful community,” said Kelly Watt, Chair of Tourism Kelowna’s Board of Directors.

Kelly Watt 2023 AGM
Board Chair, Kelly Watt.

“As we continue on our destination development path and the ongoing implementation of our Strategic Plan, our Tourism Kelowna team has worked hard to secure valuable opportunities such as the Canadian Country Music Awards and the Montana’s Brier in 2025, building our reputation as an attractive four-season destination to visit.”

2024-25 Tourism Kelowna Society Board of Directors

  • Audrey Surrao, RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd.
  • Clee Varon, Iconic Wines of BC
  • Dale Sivucha, Coast Capri Hotel (Kelowna)
  • Daniel Ruel, PR Hotels
  • Jason Guyitt, Argus Hotels
  • Jillian Haller, Kelowna Concierge
  • Kelly Watt, Sandman Hotel & Suites Kelowna
  • Kimberly Hundertmark, Okanagan Wine Festivals
  • Michael J. Ballingall, Big White Ski Resort
  • Natalie Corbett, Accent Inns & Hotel Zed
  • Shauna Wilton, Andrew Peller Ltd
  • Tara Gerald, Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort
  • Edan Fay, Kelowna Hotel Motel Association (The Royal Kelowna)
  • Jenny Money, Westbank First Nation
  • Councillor Rick Webber, City of Kelowna
  • Sam Samaddar, Kelowna International Airport
  • Thom Killingsworth, Past Chair (Kelowna Yacht Club)
  • Councillor Tricia Brett, District of Lake Country

The Society’s board will continue to be guided by Tourism Kelowna’s strategic plan, which includes efforts to support local tourism businesses facing challenges from climate change and the increasing cost of business operations. At the upcoming May board meeting, the board will elect directors to executive roles.

“This past year, we have witnessed strength amidst adversity in Kelowna, as wildfires impacted a benchmark year where tourism still showed steady growth as a $2.4 billion industry in Kelowna and area,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna.

Lisanne Ballantyne 2023 AGM
President & CEO, Lisanne Ballantyne

“Tourism Kelowna remains committed to supporting our tourism and hospitality businesses in the Okanagan Valley by focusing our work on four strategic pillars of seasonality, destination management, organizational excellence, and stakeholder collaboration. We are grateful that our work to grow the visitor economy is supported by the vision and trust of the Tourism Kelowna board of directors, our members, advertisers, volunteers, partners, and stakeholders.”

2023 Accomplishments

A few select highlights of Tourism Kelowna’s 2023’s accomplishments include:

  • Continued work on Kelowna’s Tourism Destination Development Plan, which was recognized with a 2023 Meaningful Tourism Award.
  • Secured 174 leads and more than 49,000 future room nights for a combined estimated economic impact of over $34 million for business meetings, conferences, and events.
  • Delivered campaigns with partners, including OKGo with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission and Accelerate Okanagan, targeted destination attraction campaigns with the District of Lake Country and Visit Westside, and recovery and response campaigns with the Kelowna Hotel Motel Association and Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.
  • Welcomed more than 222,000 guests to the Kelowna Visitor Centre (KVC), providing direct service to almost 51,000 people.
  • Supported more than 100 local vendors through a consignment retail program.
  • Launched local initiatives, including the fourth-annual Love for Kelowna Day and the #exploreKelowna Local Savings Pass.
  • Entered into a 2-year agreement to provide visitor services to the District of Lake Country.

 For a complete look at 2023’s accomplishments, please read Tourism Kelowna’s 2023 Report to the Community.