VICTORIA – On April 29 Destination Greater Victoria held its Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM is the traditional kick-off to the Greater Victoria tourism season and allows those who work in the visitor economy a chance to see friends, mix and mingle with colleagues reflect on the previous year.

This year’s AGM was particularly special because it was Destination Greater Victoria’s first in-person AGM since 2019. Holding an in-person AGM was simply not possible due to public health restrictions on gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greater Victoria visitor economy has been through many challenges since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The loss of a notable event on our calendars was one of many challenges we had to overcome.

An in-person AGM this year allowed me to present on Destination Greater Victoria’s priorities from the past year. There were many highlights, including advocacy wins, renewal of our MRDT mandates, new marketing and sales initiatives, and enhancements to our operational model. I was reminded of just how much had changed at Destination Greater Victoria. For example, the focus on advocacy was an organizational priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 restrictions have eased and people travel again, our marketing and sales teams have been working hard to attract leisure and corporate travelers to the destination. As mentioned in previous columns, Destination Greater Victoria has exciting new campaigns in markets like Seattle and San Francisco where access was constrained during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are aggressively targeting potential customers and doing our part to initiate recovery in the destination.

The AGM was also special because Destination Greater Victoria honored two long-time local leaders in the industry. Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites General manager Brenda Ollis was named the recipient of the 2022 Miracle Award and Harbor Air Group CEO Randy Wright the recipient of the 2022 Life Member Award.

The Miracle Award was established by Destination Greater Victoria in 1982 to award an outstanding individual or group who has shown leadership in the development of tourism in Greater Victoria. Destination Greater Victoria’s Life Member Award recognizes one outstanding individual annually for their exceptional and sustained contributions to the tourism industry and community, as well as the work and reputation of Destination Greater Victoria. The award is among the most prestigious provided by Destination Greater Victoria. Both Brenda and Randy have contributed immensely to the Greater Victoria visitor economy for many years.

Paul Nursey is the President and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria

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