Tourism Golden held their 6th Annual AGM on Wednesday May 2 at the Kicking Horse River Lodge in Golden.
The event was popular, with 52 attendees from tourism stakeholder businesses and community organizations including Golden Area Initiatives, the Kicking Horse Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Golden.
Chaired by Board President Les Margetak the AGM agenda included the election of five board member seats. Glen Ewan of Ewan & McKenzie took the role of Electoral Officer and after presentations from the nominees, followed by the ballot, the 2012‐2013 Board of Directors consisting of 11 seats was announced.
Kevin Cox, of Cox and Company, presented the FY2010‐2011 Financial Statements, confirming a huge turnaround from a fiscal deficit of $16,619 at the end of the 2009‐10 year, to an excess of revenue over expenses at the end of the 2010‐2011 year of $148,435.
As the newly appointed Marketing Manager, Joanne Sweeting presented the 2010‐11 annual report on marketing and other initiatives undertaken in that year, as well as the five year trend on the Additional
Hotel Room Tax, a two per cent tax collected by eligible accommodations which is the main source of funding for Tourism Golden as a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). After a large downturn in tax collected in the 2008‐9, and 2009‐10 fiscal years, the AHRT revenues rose by 3.9 per cent against the prior year.
Sweeting also presented on planned activities for the upcoming 2012‐2013 year. Highlights include the renewal of the status of Destination Marketing Organization, which includes an application to change the DMO boundary to incorporate tourism businesses at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, previously excluded from collecting the two per cent AHRT.
Also identified were strategies to raise the profile of Golden and its tourism operators and improve visitor accessibility to information, both locally and globally through enhancements to the main website www.tourismgolden.com, the launch of a mobile website and the implementation of a social media and search engine optimisation campaign to highlight Golden’s location in the Canadian Rockies.
Sweeting noted the importance of gathering information and statistical data both from local tourism stakeholders, as well as from visitors.
An online resource centre will be created with new images, video, stories and itineraries for use by local stakeholders in their own marketing efforts, and by journalists, travel trade and other entities.
Jon Wilsgard, Manager of Corporate Administration for the Town of Golden presented an update on the Resort Municipality Initiative, a grant program which gives the Town access to $2.5 million to invest in tourism infrastructure over a five year period thanks to its status as a Resort Municipality and the existence of Tourism Golden as a DMO.