Dear Team Richmond,
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month since I started at Tourism Richmond. I’ve had a chance to really take a good look at what our team’s been working on, meet some stakeholders face-to-face (many more to go!), and of course, look at where we’re going, literally and figuratively. Even though it’s only late summer, I’m looking well ahead into the fall and winter. Exciting times ahead!
China Market Readiness
One of the team’s key strategic goals this year was to lay the foundation and groundwork to build up our Chinese social media presence. This meant we would create official WeChat, Weibo and CTrip accounts for Tourism Richmond – all of which will be launching in the fall. While these are new channels for us, we see these three channels as an extension of our marketing and sales efforts in China.
Our continued presence at trade shows hosted by Destination Canada, shows such as Showcase Asia and Canada West Marketplace are still on our sales team’s calendars. China remains the second-largest overseas market for Canada and a critically important one for Richmond. Having these channels established before attending the marketplace allows us to reach a new audience – one with major spending power. As highlighted in our 2017 Visitor Volume Survey, the average Chinese visitor is responsible for approximately 50 per cent of spending in Richmond. This translates to a direct impact to your businesses bottom line.
2019 Strategic Planning
The question I’ve encountered the most so far in my time as CEO was whether I was going to make any big changes or announcements. Let me say this: the 2018-2020 Business and Marketing Plan is a fantastic roadmap which guides our day-to-day. But even the most well laid plans need to evolve and grow – when it makes sense.
Last year, Tourism Richmond identified the gaps in our teams and plans and worked to fill them with the right people and tools. Previous marketing campaigns were reliant on calendar-based timelines, instead of approaching them from a data-driven, audience-based mindset. A lack of a stakeholder-facing corporate scorecard meant we were unable to effectively communicate wins against corporate goals. The team worked hard to correct these gaps in 2017 and 2018, with the launch of a new brand and a new strategic direction for the organization. This brought a new forward momentum – a push the organization really needed.
That brings us to now. Our team and Board of Directors will be busy working on the 2019 strategic plan, taking all the learnings we’ve had in the past year and putting in place tangible, measurable and smart goals. You’ll see us produce more unique and creative campaigns. New story angles for travel journalists to cover. The new brand was just the beginning – there’s a lot more to cover and we want you to be a part of it.
Out and About: Meeting the Stakeholders
I’m very focused on the team aspect and really bringing people together. So, I’m making it a priority for me to come out and meet all the Tourism Richmond stakeholders face-to-face. It’s important to me to get to know who you are, understand what your business needs are and how we can work together.
I’ve had the good fortune to meet several stakeholders already, and I know there’s many more faces to meet. Thank you all for your warm welcome. I look forward to tackling the challenges ahead and working collaboratively to find solutions with you.
As always, I welcome open dialogue and thoughtful questions from you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me – my door is always open.
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer