As tourism businesses around the world start recovering from the impact of COVID-19, Sun Peaks, one of the top ski resorts in North America is focusing on diversifying its revenue base. Its new strategic plan to expand its share of the meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition market on the mountain could be a game-changer – increasing off-season bookings and creating year-round jobs.
Here are some regional success stories to inspire your next economic development project.
Developing students’ entrepreneurial skills by exposing them to the real-world of business is a forward-thinking trend in post-secondary education. The Tourism Innovation Lab at Thompson Rivers University is innovating by following the example of tech incubators to support the next generation of tourism entrepreneurs to create jobs, fill tourism gaps and attract new visitors to Kamloops and area.
Tourism Golden has embarked on a bold new five-year strategic plan to promote post-pandemic recovery and ensure tourism in the area thrives well into the future. With a grant $12,500 from ETSI-BC, the organization brought in consulting expertise with a new lens on tourism development in the region. For adventure tourism enthusiasts from around the world, once again, Golden rules!
In just two years, The Vernon Innovation and Entrepreneur Workspace (The VIEW) has quickly become a focal point for innovation, helping entrepreneurs and businesses throughout the North Okanagan connect, collaborate, and commercialize their ideas. ETSI-BC supported The VIEW in navigating the challenges of COVID-19, enabling it to become fully operational and an economic driver in the region.
EnactusOC, the nationally recognized entrepreneurial development program at Okanagan College, is scaling up its activities with a $25,000 grant from ETSI-BC. Through their involvement with Enactus, students gain real-world business experience to complement their classroom training, while also making a real difference in their community: helping address climate change, food insecurity, empowering Indigenous youth and raising the profile of emerging societal issues.
Early-stage technology firms have specific needs, especially those located in rural areas. With financial support from ETSI-BC and other funders, the Nelson Innovation Centre, a business incubator located in the heart of the Kootenays, is helping the local tech sector grow and thrive through access to vital programs and services.
When the going gets tough and supplies can`t be delivered, why not build a local manufacturing facility? That is exactly what Kootenay outdoor gear makers are looking at through a feasibility study funded by ETSI-BC. Find out how these bold Kootenay entrepreneurs are working to turn a supply chain challenge into an economic opportunity.
The Vernon area of the Thompson/Okanagan is one of 11 communities in Canada delivering an immigration project designed to bring skilled permanent residents to rural communities and match them with employers who have job vacancies. ETSI-BC contributed $25,000 to the Pilot, which is already filling jobs and providing the region with long-term economic benefits
The District of Lake County has created a marketing strategy to showcase some of its hidden gems – wineries, tasting rooms, lake view restaurants, fresh local farmgate produce – just off the highway between Vernon and Kelowna. With a $50,000 grant from ETSI-BC, Lake Country was able to activate a key element of their economic development plan by designing a Scenic Sip interactive website complemented by highway billboards and eye-catching wayfinding signage. Through digital and visual route markers, the community hopes to encourage more visitors and tourist to make Lake Country a delightful stop on their travel route.
The Friends of Pulpit Rock Society, a volunteer-driven organization that maintains Nelson-area trails, partnered with the Whitewater Ski Resort to develop a trail network that encourages visiting the area year-round. A $11,470 grant from ETSI-BC helped fund the project. The investment into the area as an all-season destination will economically benefit tourism-related and other businesses in the region.