Dear Team Richmond,

It’s hard to believe we’re already at the end of the year. December really crept up on all of us and it’s been a whirlwind of activity here in the last eight months. From meeting industry stakeholders and attending trade shows to holding the ever-important town hall meetings, I’ve learned a lot about Richmond since I started. Seems like a lifetime ago.

When I first joined Tourism Richmond in April 2017, our chair, Eda Koot, gave me a clear mandate: chart a course for the next phase of Tourism Richmond’s evolution and unlock new opportunities to grow visitation and tourism revenue. This mandate was crystal clear and I knew what my prime  objective was: to transform Tourism Richmond into a next-generation DMO.

That’s where the foundation of the 2018-2020 strategy grew from. If you didn’t grab one at our recent Industry Lunch you can download a copy here.  I encourage you to read through it and you’ll see how your business can fit into our various programs. Whether it’s engaging with our Industry Development Manager, taking part in our media and sales FAM tours, or connecting with our digital marketing team to see how we can help you  grow your business, you have a role in how Team Richmond goes to market.

Speaking of the industry luncheon, I wanted to thank those of you who were able to attend. Of the 189 guests who were in attendance, we were able to collect quite a few paper surveys to help gauge how people felt about Richmond’s new destination brand and where our strategy was taking us.

I’m happy to report: of those who submitted surveys, 98 per cent of respondents felt Tourism Richmond was heading in the right strategic direction and 94 per cent were supportive of the new brand. We’ll be launching the new destination brand to consumers mid-February, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing Pacific. Authentic. everywhere.

In fact, Tourism Richmond’s transition from a membership-based organization to a stakeholder organization reflects our desire to truly promote the destination, without bounds. We believe this new model will allow us to unlock the potential of the destination. Moving to this model enables us to open doors to many new facets of Richmond we can leverage with media, meeting and event planners, and leisure travelers to do just one thing: inspire them to talk about and come to our city.

Although I came into this role with a determination to take our destination to the next level, I’ve also seen the true strengths of Richmond in action. I’ve always known Richmond was full of potential and after spending eight months in this role, I’m more excited than ever to move forward with our strategy. I hope you are too.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones and best wishes for a safe and prosperous new year.


Bruce Okabe
Tourism Richmond Member
Chief Executive Officer, Team Richmond