I’m pleased to announce that Destination and Industry Development will be adding Tour and Travel Trade to our business unit, with myself as the main point of contact. I started my career just over 20 years ago in this sector, as a travel agent at Gold Medal Travel Group in the UK. This is where my love for our industry began, I was fortunate to develop my career there working in both the sales and marketing departments before taking the next step in my career. I am very excited to be working with this sector once again and increasing awareness of Richmond and ultimately increasing visitation to our city.

In late October we partnered with Destination BC to host 11 local Tour and Travel Trade agents for a Fall FAM tour. The agents covered a variety of target markets including Asia, Europe, and North America, tour operators who attended included JTB, Anderson Vacations, Fresh Tracks, and Jonview. 

We started the day with a site visit to Richmond’s newest hotel, Versante. After viewing the guest rooms and facilities the group had morning coffee and pastries while I presented a destination overview.

We then hopped aboard the Richmond Discovery Shuttle bus (operated by Universal Coachlines) and headed over to Terra Nova Park to meet the award-winning photographer and birder Liron Gertsman. Liron hosted us on his Birding 101 experience where we learned the skills that it takes to be a birder and we saw quite a few birds too!

FAM Tour attends Birding 101 Experience | Photo: Ceri Chong

By now, we had worked up an appetite, so we headed back to Central Richmond to embark on Vancouver Foodie Tour’s Authentic Asian Eats food tour, which provides a fun and accessible experience of Richmond’s world-renowned Chinese & East Asian food culture. During the experience, we ate a variety of dishes and learned about Asian food, and Richmond from the informative guide.

FAM Tour attends Authentic Asian Eats Tour | Photo: Ceri Chong

Next up (with full bellies), we travelled east to Richmond Country Farms and Country Vines Winery. First up was the Pumpkin Patch, which was great fun, and for a few (including me), it was their first time at a Pumpkin Patch! Following that, we had a wine tasting at the Country Vines.

FAM Tour visits Country Vines | Photo: Ceri Chong

Our final stop for the day was in Steveston, where we visited the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site for a guided tour. The agents learned about the historic site and the new bookable site tour that launched this summer, and the Voyage of the Gikumi Fraser River boat trip.

FAM Tour visits Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site | Photo: Ceri Chong

We wanted the FAM tour to show agents what new experiences or less-discovered experiences Richmond has to offer, and all of them did experience something new! We also wanted to show them the variety of experiences that are available in Richmond, from nature to culinary, to historic. The fam tour was received very well by the agents who thoroughly enjoyed their Richmond experience.

Thanks to Destination British Columbia and our stakeholders for hosting the agents.

Ceri Chong

Director, Destination and Industry Development