|Daily Courier file photo|
Ramada Hotel manager Stan Martindale is vice-chair of the newly-elected Tourism Kelowna board.
"But Kelowna has done a very good job of making the season last longer with golf and wine, arts and culture and the new farm to table program. And, of course, winter is about skiing."
Martindale is the vice-chair on the newly-elected 2013 Tourism Kelowna board.
It's Tourism Kelowna's job to market the city as a year-round destination for tourists, conventions and sports teams.
While great strides have been made in luring tourists here in non-peak seasons fall, winter and spring, Martindale said there's certainly a lot more work to do.
That's where Tourism Kelowna's annual $2.6 million
budget comes in.
Most is spent on marketing the city to the world, with a big emphasis on Kelowna's key markets of Vancouver and Alberta, where the majority of tourists come from.
But there's also
potential in Toronto, Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles because those cities are served by non-stop flights from Kelowna and are therefore natural two-way tourism corridors.
Narrowly targeted European and Asian markets, who like to come here as independent and tour bus travellers respectively, are also important.
Tourism Kelowna's $2.6 million-a-year budget is made up of about $1.5 million from a two per cent surgharge hotels collect from guests, combined with money from the City of Kelowna, to operate the Visitor Info Centre and market the city.
Tourism Kelowna also leverages its funds to split the cost of advertising campaigns with tourism businesses.
There are about 300 tourism businesses that partner in one way or another with Tourism Kelowna.
With 1.5 million visitors a year, spurring more than $600 million in economic activity, tourism is integral to the city's economy along with retail and services, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, forestry and transportation.
Tourism Kelowna's goal is to make the city as recognized and visited as international destinations such as Napa Valley and Palm Springs, California and the Tuscany region of Italy.
The new board is:
Chair: Brad Sieben, Hotel Eldorado
Vice-chair: Stan Martindale, Ramada Hotel
Secretary: Steve Stintson, Keg restaurant
Treasurer: Ian Robertson
Past-chair: Roger Sellick, airport consultant
Michael Ballingall, Big White Ski Resort
Daniel Bibby, Delta Grand hotel
Andre Blanleil, Andre's Electronics Experts and City of Kelowna councillor
Nathan Flavel, Kelowna Actors Studio Dinner Theatre
David McFadden, Okanagan Lavender Farm
Gavin Parry, Coast Capri Hotel
Rosemary Paterson, Best Western Inn and Kelowna Hotel Motel Association
Rita Pluta, Abbott Villa
Sam Samaddar, Kelowna Airport
Tony Stewart, Quails' Gate Winery
Kelly Watt, Sandman Hotel