Tourism Golden presented their annual report to Golden council, and had a lot of activity and changes to go over.
Tourism Golden, which has a coverage area of Golden, Area A, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, is funded by the two per cent tax that is collected by accommodators for every room stay.
The budget for 2012 had been set at $250,000, and the organization spent $161,561.
“The reason for that is the organization has had issues with staffing numbers, and experiencing a drop in the tax funding that we received a couple of years ago,” said Joanne Sweeting, marketing manager for Tourism Golden.
Also, the previous manager had to step away due to illness.
“We were left with one person, and one person would find it difficult to implement all the activity to spend all the original budget.”
That does not mean that Tourism Golden has not been busy the past year. They have just produced 90,000 copies of their new Travel Planner (which was sent out in last week’s Golden Star), have had achieved extensive advertising and media coverage, and increased Facebook and Twitter engagement.
“Essentially, we achieved over 900,000 impressions with that advertising,” said Sweeting.
They also have produced trail maps for cycling and snowmobiling, and have visitor boards place at key locations around town. High on the priority for next year is a revamping of the Tourism Golden website.
“It’s a great website, but it’s five years old and it needs some updates. And we will be using some of our left over money for next year’s website upgrade,” said Sweeting.
Although Tourism Golden has had a few setbacks, there are several positive indicators that suggest their methods and efforts are working, including a renewal of their term.
“Not only did we renew, but we had 93 per cent of our stakeholders support us, and I think that’s an accolade to what had been done previously by my predecessors at Tourism Golden, and the boards that had governed them,” said Sweeting.
And they have also seen an increase in the tax funds they receive from the two per cent accommodator’s tax.
“The tax has increased by over nine per cent. And what that tells us is that there is more visitation… so that’s a direct representation of increased revenue that was received in our 2011/2012 fiscal year,” said Sweeting.
For more information about Tourism Golden go to www.tourismgolden.com or the group Facebook page.