Dear Team Richmond,

Happy new year! I hope your holidays were fulfilling and restful – as restful as they can be, at least – and I hope you’re ready to tackle a new year of opportunities and challenges.

National Tourism Strategy

In late 2018, I participated in a roundtable with Lisa Beare, the provincial minister of tourism, arts and culture, and Mélanie Joly, the federal minister of tourism, official languages and La Francophonie.

Both ministers were in town as part of a roadshow across the country to consult with tourism industry experts and senior executives, including Rocky Mountaineer, Tourism Vancouver, Tourism Whistler, Grouse Mountain, the Vancouver Airport Authority and many others. Designed to uncover key issues facing our industry, including labour shortages, capacity issues, air access, costs associated with operating airlines in Canada, visa processing centres for visitors and much more, the resulting discussions from the roundtables will feed into the update of the provincial tourism strategy, as well as the development of a national tourism strategy.

It is heartening to see that all levels of government are starting to understand the importance of the visitor economy in the context of our country’s economic health. The trickle-down effect from these discussions will have direct impacts on the growing visitor economy.

2019 Visitor Volume Study Begins

Ever since we began studying overall visitor volume and expenditure estimates in 2015, we’ve gained some very valuable insights into visitor and trip characteristics and trends. We’re starting to finalize the methodology for the 2019 iteration, and our researchers will be hitting the streets starting February. Keep an eye out for us at various attractions, hotels and events around Richmond throughout the year.

In 2017, we saw some interesting trends:

  • Richmond was increasingly viewed as a leisure destination
  • Chinese visitors were driving spending growth – having risen by 21 per cent since 2015
  • A visitor was more likely to return and recommend Richmond as a destination to visit if they did more activities in the city

These learnings have helped inform our digital marketing campaigns, the products we offer to visitors and the stories we share.

Click here for a full review of our 2017 Visitor Volume Study. If you have any questions about our 2019 methodology or locations for surveys, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

We won!

I would be remiss to not acknowledge the amazing win for Team Richmond late last year! In November, ”Pacific. Authentic. Richmond, BC” won the Accor Hotels Marketing Campaign of the Year from The Canadian Tourism Awards, presented by The Toronto Star. The awards recognize people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer a superior tourism experience to travelers in Canada.

As you know, the destination brand came together from many research sessions, visitor intercepts and interviews with industry. The research helped us get a fully-formed picture of what it meant to be Richmond and answer Richmond’s “Why.” This region-defining campaign explores all of Richmond, from cultural and historic influences, to modern-day innovations and authentic culinary experiences.

Receiving this award simply reinforces the fact that we’re on the right path. It’s also generated a lot of excitement and momentum to propel us through 2019. We’re going to do big things and we’re inviting you along for the ride.

My door is always open and I’d love to hear from you. I always welcome thoughtful questions and open dialogue so please don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

Sincerely,

Nancy Small
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer