Women in Business: Sweeting works to increase Golden’s tourism

After coming to Golden on a road trip many years ago, Joanne Sweeting felt instantly comfortable in the community.

Sweeting and her husband, David James, were travelling from Calgary to Whistler, and came through Golden on their way. The couple, originally from England, made their move to Golden after their initial visit.

After working all her life in the tourism industry in some capacity, Sweeting moved to Golden from England with her husband to buy a bed and breakfast. The opportunity didn’t work out for them, but they did find their home in the community.

“It was a very quick thing,” Sweeting said, looking back on how fast they had their visas sorted out and made the move.

Originally, Sweeting and her husband ran a shuttle from the Calgary Airport to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, which was a successful, but difficult business.

Now, Sweeting has been the executive director of Tourism Golden for years, helping the community reach higher tourist numbers consecutively for nearly a decade. Tourism Golden’s success originates from a master organizational plan and a hardworking team of staff and directors. The non-profit works tirelessly to reach out to target visitors and bring people in to explore and experience Golden.

“When you think about how to be successful, you have to plan for success,” Sweeting said.

The tourism industry is a collaboration between businesses, stakeholders, and Tourism Golden, she explained. In order to keep progressing and build on the successes of the past, it is important for the organization to keep up on all of the industry changes and trends. Recently, Sweeting attended a tourism industry conference in Vancouver, where she was able to meet with tourism stakeholders from all over the province to learn and talk about everything the industry has to offer.

“The industry is changing really quickly. There’s always something new to learn,” Sweeting said.

Sweeting works a lot from behind the computer screen, working out logistics and plans for increasing tourism numbers, but she is also one of the well-known faces of Tourism Golden, attending and hosting events all around town. On top of her regular work, she continues to answer the phone when visitors call, looking for things to do around town. She has become so in-tune with everything going on in the area, she is happy to offer her expert advice to anyone who wants to experience what Golden has to offer.

“I love it when people call because I get to be enthusiastic,” she said happily.

With the constant changes in the industry, Sweeting plans to keep learning, continue being the best that she can be personally, and continue to help Tourism Golden move forward with their initiatives and success.

“It keeps you sharp, keeps you focused,” she said.

Sweeting and James once came to Canada to travel, and now she is delighted to help others do the same. Often, the two will spend time off together in the area, checking out all of the fun things there are to do here with their two West Highland Terriers, Molly and Hamish.

“We spend a lot of time here anyway, enjoying what we have on our doorstep,” she said.

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