By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March. 17, 2012
Tourism Squamish plans to invest over $103,000 of Additional Room Tax collected last year into marketing Squamish as a tourism destination.
The information was part of a presentation that Lesley Weeks, the tourism and marketing development manager, made to the district as part of the budget presentation.
Tourism Squamish has requested $50,000 from the district.
As part of its 2011 achievements, Tourism Squamish has secured over $10,000 in matched marketing dollars from outside sources, launched redesign of its website, giving it an experiential feel.
It also hosted several media visits, which resulted in editorials in major newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, the Observor, the Vancouver Sun, the Province, and Decline Magazine in USA.
Tourism Squamish also reached 62,399 views of Sprit in Squamish videos on YouTube. It also increased social media engagement with Facebook and Twitter users, which increased by 50 per cent in 2010.
Still, a month by month analysis shows room occupancy rates were lower in 2011 than 2010.
In 2010 Squamish experienced a strong winter in occupancy as a result of the 2010 Winter Games, where 2011 represented an overall robust year with major hotel contracts in place (e.g. big-budget movie productions, BC Hydro, etc.)
In 2010, for example, the overall spending in the month of February was almost $20,000, but the same number for 2011 was about $7,000.
That number is expected to fall by another $2,000 in 2012.
Tourism Squamish attributed the increase in 2010 to a strong winter in occupancy as a result of the 2010 Winter Games, where 2011 represented an overall robust year with major hotel contracts in place (e.g. big-budget movie productions, BC Hydro, etc.)
Squamish accommodation providers are expecting a 10 per cent decline in room nights for 2012 due to major contracts not returning this year
In 2012, Tourism Squamish hopes to focus its marketing efforts on small to medium conference business to increase the length and number of overnight stays.
We will have direct and targeted contact with meeting planners and associations to incorporate overnight stays, meeting packages, activities, etc. Tourism Squamish will also encourage pre and post stay opportunities.
It also hopes to increase monthly visits to meetinsquamish.com, a website it has launched to attract conference organisers.