Visitor Centres play a very important role within a tourism destination, a role that contributes directly to business success and economic impact, but also a role that is always evolving particularly as technology develops. The constant deliverables of a Visitor Centre though are:
- To convey sense of place
- To enhance guest experience and awareness of the breadth of activity options available
- To encourage longer stays and increased visitation to tourism businesses
- To create high visitor satisfaction levels that result in positive referrals and repeat visits
In 2006 Tourism Kelowna commissioned InterVistas Consulting to determine whether a new Visitor Centre was needed. The results of extensive stakeholder focus groups and meetings resoundingly supported the need to develop a new centre. In 2008 InterVistas Consulting developed the business plan and researched several site options, with a location in City Park being the top ranked location.
Over the past several years this project has undergone several changes but it gained traction this spring when it was included as an important amenity in the City’s proposed master plan for the redevelopment of City Park. Currently the City of Kelowna is seeking public input into this proposed City Park master plan which includes the construction of a new Park Pavilion that would house the Visitor Centre, Tourism Kelowna offices and programmable community space.
Below are some key points that explain the reasoning behind the location selection, our comments regarding some of the current perceived impacts, and a backgrounder on the project.
If the tourism businesses of Kelowna are in favour of having a new Visitor Centre located in City Park we ask that you make this known to City Councillors, the media and fellow business people very quickly.
Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Our goal is to ensure that Kelowna’s tourism industry is well briefed on the case to place a Visitor Centre in City Park and demonstrates its support for it from the perspective of fully informed businesses and citizens. Read on for the details around why a Visitor Centre located in City Park would be beneficial to the tourism landscape in Kelowna. Thank you very much!
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