Destination Development and Marketing Plan for Nanaimo

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

October 17, 2005
PREPARED BY:

IN ASSOCIATION WITH:

CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS & BUSINESS ADVISORS 1385, 200 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4 PH. (604) 685-8408 FAX (604) 685-8594 www.mnp.ca.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
WE WISH TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION OF ALL THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE RESEARCH THAT HAS LED TO THE FORMATION OF THIS PLAN. WE THANK THE CITY OF NANAIMO AND THE MEMBERS OF THE DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE FOR PROVIDING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO ASSIST THE NANAIMO COMMUNITY WITH THIS IMPORTANT PROJECT, AND FOR THEIR VALUABLE DIRECTION AND ASSISTANCE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PLAN. WE ALSO WISH TO THANK THE FOLLOWING PERSONS WE INTERVIEWED AND THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN OUR FOCUS GROUP SESSIONS. INTERNAL STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWEES: BRUCE BARNARD, PAINTED TURTLE GUEST HOUSE VOLKER GRADY, COAST BASTION INN IAN HALL, NANAIMO DIVE ASSOCIATION GEORGE HANSON, DOWNTOWN NANAIMO PARTNERSHIP TOM HICKEY, NANAIMO PARKS, RECREATION, AND CULTURE DONNA HILL, ISLAND DISCOVERY TOURS DAVE ILYN, BUCCANEER INN BRONWYN JENKINS-DEAS, MALASPINA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CAMELA TANG, CENTRE FOR THE ARTS SANDRA THOMPSON, PORT THEATRE DEB TRUEMAN, NANAIMO DISTRICT MUSEUM JEFF WOLFF, MARRIOTT HOTELS AND RESORTS EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWEES AND FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANTS: SHELDON EGGAN, CHARTER BUS LINES BARRY GEE, BC BIOTECH ASSOCIATION MARYLOU HARRIGAN, CONFERENCE CONSULTANT STAN HILL, WESTIN BAYSHORE HOTEL AND RESORT VANJIE JOHNSON, BC ASSOCIATION OF OPTOMETRISTS BROCK MACDONALD, RECYCLING COUNCIL OF BC ANNE MACKENZIE, FAIRMONT HOTEL VANCOUVER BILL MCKAY, HARBOURLYNX NORMA MILLER, BC REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION MEREDITH MOLL, HARBOUR AIR DAVE PETRYK, TAVI ANNE PHILLEY, BC LODGING AND CAMPGROUNDS ASSOCIATION DIANA PREOLEASA, REZREZ CARLA RICH, WESTCOAST SIGHTSEEING CRAIG RUNSBY, FAIRMONT WATERFRONT CENTRE HOTEL BRIAN VEITCH, GRAY LINE VANCOUVER BOB WICK, WESTERN TURFGRASS ASSOCIATION DARIA WOJNARSKI, REAL ESTATE INSTITUTE OF BC

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .............................................................................................. 1 I. II. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................... 4 METHODOLOGY .................................................................................................. 5 A. INFRASTRUCTURE INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT ................................................ 5 B. RESEARCH ON PERCEPTIONS ................................................................................. 5 III. CURRENT STATE ................................................................................................. 6 A. B. C. D. A. B. C. D. E. V. PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND TOURISM ASSETS ............................................ 6 PERCEPTIONS OF NANAIMO................................................................................. 14 EXISTING MARKETS ............................................................................................ 17 MARKETING MECHANISMS AND STRATEGIES ..................................................... 17 ACCOMMODATION .............................................................................................. 19 CONVENTION AND PUBLIC ASSEMBLY FACILITIES.............................................. 20 TRANSPORTATION ............................................................................................... 20 ATTRACTIONS ..................................................................................................... 21 DOWNTOWN CORE AREA ENHANCEMENT .......................................................... 22

IV. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES.......................... 19

CONCEPTUAL VISION AND BRANDING CONCEPTS............................... 23 A. VISION ................................................................................................................ 23 B. BRANDING CONCEPTS ......................................................................................... 24

VI. TARGET MARKETS ........................................................................................... 26 A. TARGET VISITOR GROUPS ................................................................................... 26 B. TOURISM INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS ................................................................. 27 C. EXPANSION OF TARGET GROUPS......................................................................... 28 VII. DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE ................................. 29 A. MILESTONE ACHIEVEMENTS ............................................................................... 29 B. ISSUES RELATING TO FEASIBILITY ...................................................................... 31 C. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE ................................................................................. 32 VIII. MARKETING APPROACHES ........................................................................... 37 A. YEAR 1 – 2006 ................................................................................................... 37 B. YEAR 2 – 2007 ................................................................................................... 40 C. YEAR 3 (2008) AND BEYOND .............................................................................. 42 IX. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN ............................................................................... 45 A. ACTION PLAN ..................................................................................................... 45 B. SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT BUDGET ITEMS ........................................................ 49 C. EXISTING AND POTENTIAL DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT FUNDING ................... 50
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

X.

PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK ..................................................................... 51 A. B. C. D. E. F. PURPOSE ............................................................................................................. 51 RATINGS ............................................................................................................. 51 PROBABILITY OF SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION ............................................... 55 RESULTS ............................................................................................................. 55 GAP ANALYSIS.................................................................................................... 56 ACTIONS TO ADDRESS GAPS ............................................................................... 56

XI. APPENDICES........................................................................................................ 57 APPENDIX A – NANAIMO DESTINATION STUDY - DATA ........................................... 57 APPENDIX B – INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDER LIST ................................ 71 APPENDIX C – QUALITATIVE RESEARCH REPORT..................................................... 72

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This report presents a visionary yet pragmatic Destination Development and Marketing Plan for Nanaimo. By developing an inventory of Nanaimo’s visitor/tourism assets and comparing with two other BC destinations, the report identifies opportunities for Nanaimo’s enhancement of assets in: accommodation; convention and public assembly facilities; transportation services; attractions; and downtown core area development. The vision of Nanaimo’s future expressed in this plan is a relatively concentrated downtown core area with attractions and accommodations within easy walking distance through pedestrianfriendly, attractive streets. Fostering the creation of this downtown destination core is critical to the success of the New Nanaimo Centre, which is a cornerstone of Nanaimo’s tourism growth strategy. A great amount of work is needed to move Nanaimo ahead towards achieving its aspiring vision by 2015. Recommendations contained in this report include: Infrastructure development accommodation sector expansion and enhancement, providing product that has the potential for increasing the length of stay in Nanaimo; strategies to encourage new accommodation development; further exploration of the potential for a modern arena/multiplex facility; exploration of all avenues to increase air accessibility from additional source markets; creation of an iconic waterfront festival marketplace, or a specialty food manufacturing facility; continuation of the downtown core area enhancement program; streetscape improvements to the main commercial corridor through the downtown area (Terminal Avenue); implementation of zoning and land-use on Terminal Avenue with a focus on creating the opportunity for tourism commercial and supportive retail that would link the improved downtown areas to the east (waterfront) and west (the Old City Quarter) areas; improved pedestrian linkages throughout the core area and the identification of potential sites for the development of attractions, retail, a multiplex centre and accommodation. assessment of opportunities for in-fill development of multi-family recreational accommodation development (strata-hotel, timeshare and retirement residential). Target markets residents of the GVRD and Victoria; tourism industry professionals in Vancouver and Victoria; later expansion to other near-in locations, such as the Pacific Northwest and other parts of Canada.

Page 1

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Marketing initiatives targeted marketing focused in the near-in markets of the BC Lower Mainland and Victoria to begin, expanding outwards in future years; ongoing market research to refine the vision and test the effectiveness of various marketing channels, and a measurement program to establish a baseline of target market awareness, relevance and behaviour and comparisons with the baseline going forward; a brand strategy that establishes a distinctive strategic position for Nanaimo as a city, a community and travel destination in the competitive Vancouver Island/British Columbia marketplace; a strong domestic stakeholder communication program to build local understanding and support for the vision; continued external tourism marketing initiatives as led by Tourism Nanaimo, at a moderate level in 2006, supporting the destination development vision and Nanaimo brand; a brand marketing initiative in 2007 to establish the Nanaimo brand and brand promise; a branded online presence with robust marketing capability; marketing in partnership with travel partners such as BC Ferries, Harbour Air, HarbourLynx, and bodies such as Tourism Association of Vancouver Island, Tourism British Columbia with messages that focus on Nanaimo. Governance for action an appropriate body capable of not only marketing Nanaimo as a destination, but also to be the vehicle for developing specific destination amenities and community improvement designed to create destination appeal – a bold step forward that will create the capacity for sustained action – the establishment of a “Nanaimo Destination Development Authority”; a business model for the Authority, as follows:
Strategic Management Establish the Nanaimo Destination Development Authority; appoint Board of Directors; design organization; prepare initial business plan; appoint management and staff; maintain the vision; monitor performance; maintain inter-governmental relations

Resource Management

Manage information, procedures, facilities, finance and administration, human resources and continuously improve management processes

Business Operations

Project planning and development

Asset management

Destination marketing

Key Activities

• New Nanaimo Centre development • Festival market development • Downtown revitalization • Transportation development • Other public assembly facilities • Accommodation strategy • Residential strategy

• Capital financing • Partnership agreements • New Nanaimo Centre operations • Festival market operations

• Domestic stakeholder communications • Online development and operations • Brand marketing • Partnership marketing • Visitor Information Centre • Targeted marketing • Research and measurement

Page 2

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

This plan envisages a Spring 2007 launch of Nanaimo’s new destination development and tourism marketing program, including the opening of a branded Visitor Information Centre in downtown Nanaimo, formal initiation of the Destination Development Authority, roll-out of extensive downtown signage, banner and outdoor advertising, and a new branded campaign website. The report includes an implementation plan, and a performance framework for assessing the probability of achieving the vision and the extent of incremental effects detectable. The estimated costs identified in the plan are reasonably within the bounds of available funding, if some additional top-up funding from other sources (e.g. provincial and/or federal government) is made available.

Page 3

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

I.

INTRODUCTION

This report has been prepared to produce a visionary while pragmatic Destination Development and Marketing Plan for Nanaimo. Through consultation with Nanaimo’s internal stakeholders, tourism industry professionals and the general public, and research of Nanaimo’s tourism assets, the report presents: a review of current tourism plant, products and marketing; identification of opportunities for infrastructure and product development; a conceptual vision of Nanaimo as a travel destination in 2015 and preliminary branding characteristics; identification of target markets; identification of the best opportunities for infrastructure development; recommended marketing approaches; an implementation plan presenting timelines, key initiatives and actions, responsibility and budget requirements; and a performance framework for assessing the probability of achieving Nanaimo’s destination development vision and the extent of incremental effects detectable.

Page 4

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

II. METHODOLOGY
Our methodology in the first part of the project was focused on research and assessment of findings, concluding with identifying the opportunities for Nanaimo’s destination development and marketing. The main areas of research were to develop an inventory of Nanaimo’s tourism assets, assess the extent and quality of the assets in comparison with two other destinations, and to gather perceptions about Nanaimo as a travel destination from tourism stakeholders and the general public in BC.

A. Infrastructure Inventory and Assessment
As a baseline for the plan, an inventory of Nanaimo’s current tourism assets was completed. The inventory includes: lodging facilities; attractions; tours; recreational activities; public assembly facilities; and transportation links. To assess the inventory of tourism assets for completeness, quality and relevance, Nanaimo’s inventory was compared with those of two other tourism destinations – Kelowna and Kamloops. The comparative destinations were chosen based on similar general characteristics to Nanaimo, and on the basis of being at similar or more advanced stages of development as tourism destination markets.

B. Research on Perceptions
In order to gain insight on how the City of Nanaimo is perceived, an in-depth study was completed involving several groups. The study included: detailed phone interviews with twelve internal stakeholders identified by the City of Nanaimo, three focus group sessions involving members of the tourism industry and conference planners and a thorough quantitative survey of 400 British Columbia residents from both Vancouver Island and the mainland (error +/- 5%). Our research was undertaken to explore: existing perceptions of Nanaimo as a tourist destination; perceived or real barriers to travel to Nanaimo; Nanaimo’s key strengths and assets as a tourist destination; travelers’ patterns and preferences; opportunities to enhance Nanaimo’s offering; and compelling brand characteristics. Based on the findings of the research and analysis, we have established a conceptual vision for Nanaimo’s destination development. We have then focused on the best choices among opportunities and implementation planning.

Page 5

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

III. CURRENT STATE
A. Physical Infrastructure and Tourism Assets
1. Inventory
An inventory of Nanaimo’s tourism assets was completed in order to: assess the current foundation of tourism assets; and compare with other cities at various stages of their tourism development. Please note that unless otherwise indicated, the sources of information in the tables and text are multiple secondary sources accessed during the course of PricewaterhouseCoopers research. Accommodation – Hotels/Motels Nanaimo offers 19 hotels and motels with rack rates ranging from less than $60 up to $150. It is noteworthy that there are currently no hotels with rack rates above $150, while only two fall into the $101 - $150 range. Of the 973 available rooms, 68% are in the $61 - $100 category. Rack rates are the maximum tariffs that hotels and motels set. The actual amounts charged will vary. Accommodation – Other Nanaimo is over-represented in budget accommodation and under-represented in mid-market to higher-end properties. Nanaimo has 42 bed and breakfast accommodations (the majority offer two rooms), and over 1,200 pads and sites in its 11 RV and campground properties. Accommodation – Occupancy The table below shows the average occupancy of accommodation properties in their respective locations. In 2004, Nanaimo’s occupancy rate was 3% lower than that of Vancouver Island as a whole and 2% lower than the BC average.
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS
Nanaimo - Hotels/Motels
Name Bluebird Motel Castaway Motel Departure Bay Motel Diplomat Motel Harbour Light Motel Painted Turtle Guesthouse Royal Motel Nanaimo Value Lodge Economy Motel Nanaimo Total Best Western Northgate Inn Buccaneer Inn Coast Bastion Inn Days Inn Harbourview Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel Moby Dick Oceanfront Lodge & Marina Port-o-Call Inn & Suites Ramada Resort on Long Lake Travelodge Nanaimo Total Best Western Dorchester Hotel The Grand Hotel Nanaimo Total Rate <$60 <$60 <$60 <$60 <$60 <$60 <$60 <$60 Rooms 29 24 21 18 29 20 14 16 171 72 13 177 79 100 42 42 62 78 665 65 72 137

$61 - $100 $61 - $100 $61 - $100 $61 - $100 $61 - $100 $61 - $100 $61 - $100 $61 - $100 $61 - $100

$101 - $150 $101 - $150

Bed & Breakfast Hostels RV/Campgrounds Resorts

Nanaimo # properties # rooms/sites 42 90 3 81 11 1217 2 120 1508

% 6.0% 5.4% 80.7% 8.0% 100%

Average Accommodation Occupancy Rates Nanaimo Vancouver B.C. Island 2004 60% 63% 62% 2003 57% 62% 59% 2002 57% 61% 59% 2001 53% 61% 61% 2000 50% 63% 62%

Page 6

However, Nanaimo has increased its occupancy rate by about 10% over the last five years, while there has been no growth over the same period on Vancouver Island and BC. Like the rest of the province, Nanaimo’s lodging market remains highly seasonal, with strong summer and weaker winter occupancy levels. Cultural and Heritage Attractions Nanaimo has 13 art galleries. Several of these are run by smaller, independent operators. Nanaimo offers three museums, namely the Bastion Museum, the Nanaimo District Museum and the Vancouver Island Military Museum.
Art Galleries (incl. native culture) Museums Theatre/Dance Orchestra Nanaimo 13 3 6 1

The City offers a high number of theatre and dance attractions as well as a symphony orchestra. Activities Offered Nanaimo has a reasonably comprehensive range of recreational activities that contribute to the area’s tourism appeal. There is one or more operators for each of the following activities: Amusement parks Biking Trails Boating & sailing Bungy Jumping Caving Casino Convention Facilities Nanaimo’s conference facilities are limited with only five hotels offering meeting/conference space. The table 2004 Meetings/Events and Sports Tournaments # of events # of people % Revenue % opposite reports the larger events Meetings & Events 31 13,910 84.2% $3,060,200 88.0% that create Sports & Tournaments 15.8% $416,640 12.0% 12 2,604 substantial Total 43 16,514 100% $3,476,840 100% accommodation sector demand, Source: Tourism Nanaimo classified as "citywide" events. Tourism Nanaimo has tracked 43 larger events in 2004 of which 31 were meeting/conference events and 12 were sports tournaments. The City hosts a significant number of additional, smaller sporting events that are not tracked in the table. Climbing Diving Fishing Golf Hiking Horseback Riding Kayaking / paddling Marinas Marine Tours Scenic flights Tours Water sports

Page 7

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Transportation The Vancouver-Nanaimo route is the focus of most transportation linking Nanaimo to its visitor markets. Nanaimo is easily accessible from Vancouver by air, with seven flights daily from the airport and 25 flights by seaplane. By ferry, there are 20 sailings a day by BC Ferries and three daily sailings by HarbourLynx’s foot passenger service. Other transport offered includes bus services and a rail link (Victoria and Courteney/Comox), but no direct options for outside markets such as Seattle and the BC Interior.
Ground and Sea Transportation BC Transit Greyhound Island Coachlines Via Rail (E&N Railway) BC Ferries HarbourLynx Seaplanes Baxter Aviation Nanaimo Airport Air Canada 7 flights daily to Vancouver

Details - flights to/from Vancouver - approx 12 flights per day - flights to/from Vancouver - approx 10 flights per day to downtown - approx 4 flights per day to airport - flights between Vancouver Airport and Nanaimo Harbour - up to 10 flights per day - flights to/from Kenmore, WA - 1 flight per day/2 flights daily during summer peak hours

Harbour Air

Amigo Airways

Kenmore Air

2. Comparatives
Background on Comparative Cities The cities selected for Nanaimo’s comparative study were Kamloops and Kelowna. These cities were chosen for their comparability to Nanaimo on characteristics such as size, transportation services and links and their status as regional service centres. The development of these two cities has principally occurred over the past 10 - 15 years with growth in their tourism sector offerings. They have gradually earned a reputation as destination locations. Kelowna is a strong example of a city that has undergone a successful transition from a small regional centre to a popular national and international (US) tourist destination. Kelowna is branded as the centre of Okanagan wine country and is the primary beneficiary of regional wine tourism. Kelowna’s tourism commercial core area is located on the waterfront in downtown. Kamloops has exhibited similar growth and recognition. However, it is still going through development to enhance its image, profile and tourism destination market characteristics. Kamloops is branded the “Tournament Capital of Canada”, and focuses on its sports and adventure destination characteristics. The city is a transportation hub, at the intersections of several major highways and rail corridors.

Page 8

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

These two destinations were selected due to comparative qualities, stages of destination development and levels of recognition. Accommodation – Hotels/Motels A comparison of the existing accommodation in Nanaimo, Kelowna and Kamloops was made. Hotels/Motel accommodation was analyzed according to rack rates (based on low season rate, double occupancy). Nanaimo exhibits a lower number of properties and rooms when compared with Kelowna and Kamloops in all categories, except the budget level of hotel (<$60), where it is slightly ahead of Kelowna.

Hotel Accomodation by Rack Rate - Number of Properties
30 26 25 20 15 10 5 0 >$60 $61 - $100 Nanaimo Kelowna $101 - $150 Kamloops >$150 8 5 2 9 6

17 15 13 11

Hotel Accommodation by Rack Rate - Number of Rooms
2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 >$60 $61 - $100 Nanaimo Kelowna $101 - $150 Kamloops >$150 171 155 137 672 665 680 475 1242 989 1799

Page 9

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Accommodation – Other Other accommodation was analyzed according to category and sorted on the basis of the number of properties. Nanaimo is strong in the RV/Camping category and comparable in the Bed and Breakfast and Hostel categories, but is lacking in terms of tourism resorts and lodges.
Accommodation (Other) by Category and Number of Properties
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10

0 Nanaimo’s lower comparable Bed & Breakfast Hostels RV/Campgrounds Resorts/Lodges number of resorts and lodges is Nanaimo Kelowna Kamloops explained by its proximity to the Parksville area. There are a number of high-end resort lodges and day spas clustered on the southern Parksville border.

Nanaimo is reasonably comparable in budget accommodation offerings for hostels and other types of accommodation categories, but is behind Kamloops and Kelowna in the mid to highend resort/lodge type accommodation, which is typically geared to the leisure side of the market. Attractions The attractions for each city have been grouped according to the categories of art galleries, museums, theatre and orchestra. While Nanaimo compares with Kelowna and Kamloops in theatre/dance and orchestra offerings, it has fewer museum attractions. The City offers more art galleries than Kamloops, but fewer than Kelowna.
Attractions by Category and City
35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Art Galleries (incl. native culture) Museums Theatre/Dance Orchestras

Nanaimo

Kelowna

Kamloops

Page 10

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Activities The available activities within each city have been categorized according to theme/activity type, and are notated in the following table with the number of facilities or operators for each activity.
ACTIVITIES

Kayaaking/paddling

Watersports (other)

Extreme air sports

Amusement parks

Horseback Riding

Wineries/orchard

Helicopter Tours

Notes

*

**

***

NANAIMO KELOWNA KAMLOOPS

● ● ●

● ●

● ● ● ● ● ●

Key: = ● = = = none one only between 2 and 10 more than 10

Notes: * Amusement parks - includes sports centres, kids entertainment centres, waterparks etc ** Extreme air sports - includes sky diving, para-gliding etc *** Tours - includes walking tours, brewery tours, rail tours etc

Kelowna offers a wide range of outdoor activities for all seasons. Its key strengths are wineries and golfing, which the City and surrounding areas have in abundance. Another strength is its close proximity to four ski resorts, including the major attractions of Big White and Silver Star. Branded as the “Tournament Capital of Canada”, Kamloops emphasises that it is a sports and adventure tourism destination, and has a strong offering of winter activities and extreme sports. Nanaimo is currently branded as “The Harbour City” and places some emphasis on its diving and marine activities. Nanaimo has historically been characterised as a major shopping destination with a focus on the Vancouver Island market. Retail
Type of Retail Nanaimo 22 5 174 1 1 1 6 1 1 1 5 78,271 Kamloops 32 9 336 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 8 81,699 Kelowna 67 30 292 1 1 1 7 1 1 1 4 105,621

Nanaimo has been one of the strongest retail centres in Canada on a per capita basis. However, Kamloops and Kelowna have shown substantial gains in recent years. In most categories they have surpassed Nanaimo in terms of the number of retail outlets.

Female Clothing Male Clothing Restaurants Zellers Wal-Mart The Bay Hardware Sears Canadian Tire Costco Major shopping Centres Population

Page 11

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Zoo/wildlife park

Bungy Jumping

Winter Actvities

Boating/sailing

Scenic Flights

Rock digging

Marine Tours

Motor sports

Ski Resorts

Ballooning

Racetrack

Aquarium

Climbing

Paintball

Billiards

Bowling

Marinas

Fishing

Caving

Casino

Biking

Diving

Hiking

Tours

Golf

Convention Facilities Nanaimo trails Kamloops and Kelowna in its convention facilities offering. The total space offered by Nanaimo is 21,000 sq ft, with the largest space being only 7,500 sq ft, one-third of the size of the next comparable facility. None of the three destinations currently has a dedicated convention and Conference Facilities - By Facility Space exhibition centre. Nanaimo offers only five hotels with conference facilities against 10 offered by Kelowna and eight by Kamloops. The same trend occurs with the number of meeting rooms offered, where Nanaimo has 29 meeting rooms in hotels with conference facilities, versus 65 meeting rooms offered by Kelowna and 51 meeting rooms offered by Kamloops.
100000 90000 80000 70000

Sq ft

60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 Total conference Facility Space Nanaimo Kelowna Largest Conference Facility Space Kamloops

Conference Facilities - By Facility Space
100000 90000 80000 70000

Sq ft

60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 Total conference Facility Space Nanaimo Kelowna Largest Conference Facility Space Kamloops

Page 12

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Public Assembly Facilities In comparison with both Kamloops and Kelowna, Nanaimo has much less capacity in Public Assembly Facilities/Arenas. While principally utilized for sports and recreation purposes, these facilities are often significant venues for trade shows, consumer shows and exhibitions.
Seating Capacity (if applicable) 2460 150 1700 6000+

Arena Nanaimo Frank Crane Arena Cliff McNabb Arena Nanaimo Civic Arena Prospera Place (formerly Skyreach Place) Okanagan Sportscentre Kelowna Memorial Arena Rutland Arena Mount Boucherie Arena: Winfield Arena: Kamloops IceBox Arena Sport Mart Place

Details Hockey rink Hockey rink To be phased out by April 2006 Multi-use. Primary use for the local hockey team, but can accommodate concerts One ice rink, 3/4 sheet (practice rink) Ice rink Ice rink with 2 sheets of ice Ice Rink Ice Rink Ice Rink Multipurpose arena, primarily for hockey (Home of the Kamloops Blazers) Ice Rink 1=hockey, 1=curling, 1=olympic size hockey under construction to be completed Jan 2006 Ice Rink Ice Rink Baseball

Kelowna

5158 Memorial Arena McArthur Island Sports Centre Brock Arena Valleyview Arena Norbrock Stadium 1200

1000

Transportation Nanaimo is not serviced by flights to and from the city to the same extent as either Kelowna or Kamloops. Nanaimo Airport does not have international airport designation. This impacts on the accessibility of Nanaimo from the US market in particular. The City only has scheduled flight services to Vancouver. In contrast, Kamloops has frequent flights to and from seven Canadian destinations and Seattle, and Kelowna has frequent flights to and from eleven different destinations, including Toronto. A feature of its coastal location, Nanaimo is stronger in terms of seaplane access from Vancouver. All three cities, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Kamloops, are serviced by greyhound bus services, BC bus transit and Page 13
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS
City Airport Nanaimo Airport Kelowna International Airport Flights to/from: # flights daily Vancouver Calgary Edmonton Hamilton Lethbridge Red Deer Regina Saskatoon Toronto Vancouver Victoria Seattle Calgary Kelowna Dawson Creek Prince George Smithers Seattle Terrace Vancouver 7 5 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 8 2 3 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 5 Air Carriers: Air Canada-Jazz Air Canada Horizon Air WestJet Central Mountain Air Regional 1 Airlines

Kamloops International Airport

Air Canada Central Mountain Air Horizon

Other Air Baxter Aviation (seaplane)

Details - flights to/from Vancouver - approx 12 flights per day - flights to/from Vancouver - approx 10 flights per day to downtown - approx 4 flights per day to airport - flights between Vancouver Airport and Nanaimo Harbour - up to 10 flights per day - flights to/from Kenmore, WA - 1 flight per day/2 flights daily during summer peak hours

Harbour Air (seaplane)

Amigo Airways (seaplane)

Kenmore Air (seaplane)

car rental companies. In addition, Nanaimo has ferry transportation and a rail connection. There are frequent daily services from BC Ferries. A foot passenger ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo offers three sailings a day. Kamloops has the benefit of being well placed in terms of being located at the intersection of three major highways and two national rail corridors.

B. Perceptions of Nanaimo
Perceptions of Nanaimo as a tourist destination and visions of a more fully developed Nanaimo were elicited from three research groups: internal stakeholders; focus group participants; and a quantitative survey of BC residents. Eleven of 12 internal stakeholders interviewed believe that non-residents of Nanaimo perceive the City negatively or, at best, indifferently. Only one internal interviewee believes that nonresidents would have a positive impression of the City. It is highly significant that the survey of BC residents who live outside Nanaimo indicates that only 19.8% of respondents have a negative impression of the City. Nevertheless, the focus group respondents were found to be generally indifferent or uninformed about the City. Overall knowledge of Nanaimo is limited. Many respondents have not spent sufficient time in Nanaimo to have a good awareness of its tourism offerings and know it only as a place to pass through. The perception that Nanaimo is a major portal for Vancouver Island carries with it the positive connotation of being a natural stopping point for travelers accessing or leaving the island. In order to persuade travelers to stop and stay in Nanaimo, respondents suggested that it make itself better known with: a festival that can help identify what kind of city it is; a big attraction that would make a recognisable “postcard photo”; and an open invitation to choose Nanaimo as a destination by showing that its nature and tourist attractions are ready to be explored. Knowledge of transportation options to Nanaimo is also limited, and some think it is too difficult to access. Since ease of access is important when recommending a place to tourists or for conventions, a lack of awareness of transportation options becomes an impediment to recommending Nanaimo as a destination. As a conference location, Nanaimo is desirable for some because there are golf courses and other outdoor activities in the area (appealing to conference planners). However, the perception that access is difficult tends to override this. A planned convention centre and hotel complex illustrates a commitment to tourism and business travel, but is only one component of what is needed to make Nanaimo a desirable destination. Respondents who have some awareness of Nanaimo see it as a quiet coastal town, offering a variety of activities. It has a quaint downtown area and a very attractive promenade along the harbour. But these same individuals feel that the city lacks a pulse or personality. Our respondents feel that Nanaimo’s harbour and waterfront are its most important asset. Together with the harbour and waterfront, arts and culture, outdoor activities and heritage are all important opportunities for the city but none of them can stand alone in attracting tourists.

1. Internal Interviews
During the telephone interviews with internal stakeholders, there were a number of common points made in answer to each question. While the following key points are direct quotes Page 14
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

made by interviewees, the messages contained in the quotes were expressed by the majority of internal stakeholders: What does Nanaimo lack? Sophistication and intelligence in its approach to tourists. Nothing is market-ready. No products, no business is ready to capitalize, no transportation infrastructure. Lack of iconic products (what makes the city unique from others?). No packaging of tourism products or a central booking agency. A Tourist Information Centre located downtown. An extended waterfront walkway. Convenient access to Newcastle Island. Soft recreational products such as kayaking and bike rentals. Waterfront tourist accommodation. What accounts for lack of progress? Many interviewees commented that a research and planning process such as this one takes place “once every few years” (with no apparent follow through). Over-planning and “under-actioning”. Three key factors have led to a ‘lack of progress’ in acting upon recommendations made to the City over the years: lack of political will; lack of a community champion (political person or not); and reluctance/resistance within the community for change, including increasing tourism. What one, single, unifying theme captures the essence of Nanaimo? Naturally…exciting! Marine playground. Floating B&Bs, floating farmer’s market, marine toys (floating tricycles, etc.). Choosing paradise. Always something happening. Harbourside town with a diversity of nature, history, arts, and culture. An interesting place to come and do a lot of things. The harbour and water part of the theme. What is your impression of collective tourism marketing efforts? Absolutely necessary, especially for arts and culture groups. Lack of desire among tour operators to want to work together. Suspicion. Ignorance. Lack of resources – both time and money. What is your impression of public-private partnerships? One person voiced objections against P3s. Necessary to get funding to develop significant pieces of infrastructure. Perception that City did not handle Triarc P3 process well until close to the end. City was not transparent in process, which transpired over a number of years.

Page 15

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

2. Focus Groups
Key comments Nanaimo not on consideration list as tourism destination. Some awareness that the City is “developing itself”. Not enough activities to sustain tourism for four days. Those who know the City consider it an “undiscovered jewel”. Lots of potential. A desire to buy real estate. Offers a little bit of all BC experiences. City urbanity (restaurants and shopping). Outdoor activities. Waterfront. Arts, culture and artisan experience. Participant recommendations Invest in marketing. Create a hook – perhaps a festival or attraction the city is known for: Buchart Gardens markets Victoria (years ago) Tulip festival markets LaConnor Fisherman’s Wharf markets San Francisco (years ago) Differentiate offering from Victoria.

3. BC Resident Survey
BC residents who travel to and through Nanaimo 73.8% have visited Nanaimo in the last year. 70.5% stayed one day or less. 83.0% traveled for pleasure (of those who visited the city). 43.8% expect to travel to Nanaimo once every few months to once a year. What do BC residents think of Nanaimo? 54.1% hold the opinion that Nanaimo is close to the beach and is pretty and scenic. 80.2% have positive associations (e.g. cleaned up, good restaurants, relaxed town, friendly people). 19.8% have negative associations (e.g. downtown not attractive, crime, poor layout, traffic congestion). 33.8% unable to comment on quality of accommodation. 54.8% rank quality of attractions as good or better. 67.3% rank city as good or better in overall attractiveness. 65.5% rank geographic location as very good to excellent. How do BC residents rank Nanaimo’s five pillars of tourism? History and heritage: 59% good or better; 20.8% don’t know. Arts and culture: 51.1% good or better; 22.3% don’t know. Marine: 70.8% good or better; 20.5% don’t know. Outdoor adventure sports and recreation: 62% good or better; 21.8% don’t know. Shopping: 61.5% good or better; 14.3% don’t know.

Page 16

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Perception of Nanaimo as a tourist destination 54.3% do not perceive Nanaimo as a tourist destination. Why? 39.6% say not enough tourist attractions. 31.4% perceive it as a transfer point to other, more preferable Island destinations. Regional Differences City better known for shopping among Up-Islanders (40.4% vs. 4.4% LM and 16% CRD). Up-Islanders perceive Nanaimo as a tourist destination more than others (50.7% vs. 38.4% LM and 44% CRD). Reasons why Nanaimo is not a tourist destination: LM and CRD prefer other Island destinations and believe there are not enough tourist attractions in Nanaimo. Up-Islanders also believe there are not enough tourist attractions in Nanaimo, viewing Nanaimo more as a transfer point to other destinations (on-Island or off).

C. Existing Markets
Tourism Nanaimo tracked the origin of nearly 15,000 visitors to its visitor centre in 2004 (those who signed their guest book). The table below shows the breakdown of origination of those visitors – 59% are British Columbians. Tourism Nanaimo believes that the percent distribution by location is indicative of the total visitor market. Currently, we understand that Nanaimo considers its target market to be adults aged 18 – 65 years, living in Canada and the US Pacific Coast. As discussed later in this report, we suggest refining the market in Canada to:
Visitor Origin Local Resident BC Alberta Other Canada Washington California Other US/Mexico Europe Asia/Australia Total # Visitors Tracked 3,865 4,847 968 1,693 626 293 741 1,417 366 14,816 % of Total 26% 33% 7% 11% 4% 2% 5% 10% 2% 100%

Adults (with young families) aged 25 – 49 years, living primarily in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, and secondarily in Victoria. Adults (empty-nesters and early retirees) aged 49 – 64, living primarily in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, and secondarily in Victoria.

D. Marketing Mechanisms and Strategies
Many of the business people we interviewed indicated that they undertook marketing activities, although many of these are limited in scope due to financial constraints. Marketing activities tend to be cooperative ventures among like-minded businesses. For example, hotel operators partner with transportation operators to provide packages to potential visitors. Almost all people interviewed indicated that more marketing activities are necessary to increase awareness of Nanaimo among potential visitors. As the body responsible for many of Nanaimo’s tourism-facing marketing efforts, Tourism Nanaimo undertakes a variety of communication activities. Currently, existing marketing mechanisms and strategies focus on two key areas:

Page 17

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Cooperative marketing efforts – 2004 initiatives include: attendance at six tourism and travel trade shows in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, and 12 destination and cooperative ads. Cooperative ads were placed in conjunction with Tourism Nanaimo members and/or TAVI. Visitor information services – 2004 initiatives include: BC Ferry kiosk pilot program, provision of training services, and distribution of Visitors’ Guide. Other marketing activities include but are not limited to a media relations program, convention and sport tourism elements, and promotion of member services to existing and potential members. A recent marketing tactic that has generated a positive response was the “Nanaimo Moments” spots featured on the New VI. We understand that these three television spots aired on CHUM stations across Canada. Stakeholders reported anecdotally that the spots appealed to potential visitors from as far away as Quebec City. As well, a local hotel reported increased call volumes when the “Nanaimo Moments” spots began to air.

Page 18

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

IV. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
As a result of the inventory of tourism sector assets and the comparison with the two BC markets identified, we have undertaken an assessment of the opportunities for enhancement or expansion of the product or services offered in the following categories: Accommodation Convention and Public Assembly Facilities Transportation Services Attractions Downtown Core Area Enhancement Opportunities for consideration are described below. They do not appear in any order of priority. To firm up the Destination Development and Marketing Plan, we have developed with the Steering Committee the best choices from these opportunities and presented them later in the report.

A. Accommodation
The accommodation sector in Nanaimo is dominated by budget-oriented accommodation geared to the “rubber tire” market. As such, the market has historically responded to highly transient or “stop-over” demand. The corporate market segment has utilized downtown core area full-service hotels, which have been developed to cater to this market with less emphasis on the leisure market segment. In comparison with Kamloops and Kelowna, Nanaimo lacks hotel and resort accommodation that is capable of inducing new demand segments into the market, principally the higher-end leisure market segments requiring accommodation. Provision of the proposed Marriott Hotel as part of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo development, will substantially improve the quality lodging inventory in Nanaimo. However, over the medium to long term, more significant improvements to the accommodation inventory will be required to increase the attractiveness of the Nanaimo market for more than just “stop-over” business. On that basis, the focus for new supply growth should be in the areas of: Full-Service Hotels/Urban Resorts in the downtown core area; improvements to existing Hotels and Motels with a focus on services and amenities designed to increase the length of stay; and Boutique Hotels and Bed and Breakfast accommodation in the core area and waterfront locations. The principal objective of accommodation sector expansion and enhancement should be to provide product that has the potential for increasing the length of stay in Nanaimo and in changing the image of Nanaimo as a highly transient destination or a “pass through” location. The urban resort concept is an important consideration – full service amenity packages that create new demand in the travel market, with the potential for increasing length of stay.

Page 19

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

The costs associated with new full-service hotel development range from $100,000 to $150,000 per guest room, depending on the construction materials utilized and guest services provided. On this basis, a 150 room hotel development would cost in the range of $15 million to $22.5 million. Renovation costs for major improvements to existing properties can be in the range of $25,000 to $50,000 per guest room depending on the type of property and amenities offered. The private sector responds to new development and renovation opportunities on the basis of the destination characteristics and the potential for positive changes in market demand. Nanaimo has shown significant improvement over the past five years, but occupancy and average daily room rates are still low. Improvements in destination marketing activities and the provision of additional infrastructure will help to increase private sector investment interest in Nanaimo. The City can influence market dynamics through its marketing efforts, but also through favourable zoning and taxation policy. Hotels and resorts are rarely developed without the provision of ancillary real estate components (office, vacation residential and retail). Comprehensive zoning in targeted locations with density bonuses for hotel use is one way to provide an impetus to development. It is recommended that the City of Nanaimo, through its Planning Department, examine strategies to encourage new accommodation development that will be supportive of the Destination Development and Marketing Plan.

B. Convention and Public Assembly Facilities
The provision of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo will significantly improve the City’s position in competing for regional and national convention and exhibitions. This in turn will increase hotel occupancy in the shoulder and winter seasons. In addition, the Convention Centre will serve to increase market familiarity and as long as delegates and exhibitors have a favourable experience in Nanaimo, the long term attractiveness of Nanaimo will increase, combined with growth in overall market awareness. Nanaimo lacks a modern Arena/Multiplex facility which can accommodate an anchor sports franchise (such as hockey); more significant entertainment events, trade shows and exhibitions; working in concert with the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. Our comparable destinations (Kelowna and Kamloops) have 5,000 plus seat multiplex facilities with anchor sports franchises and a proven track record of major entertainment, consumer show and trade show events. Nanaimo has a strong BCHL hockey franchise in the Clippers which is well supported in the market. More modern facilities are in high demand even in smaller market locations than Nanaimo, due to consumer requirements and the greater ability for sports franchises to generate ancillary revenue through concessions and private seating areas. In addition, there has been recent interest in the Nanaimo market from higher level leagues including the WHL and the ECHL. However, any franchises in the Nanaimo market would be contingent upon larger and more modern facilities. It is our understanding that the City of Nanaimo has previously investigated the potential for a new multiplex facility and has determined that at this time it would not be viable to proceed. Nevertheless, we recommend that this potential project remain part of the medium to long term planning for new public assembly facility development.

C. Transportation
The perception that Nanaimo is a major portal for Vancouver Island carries with it the positive connotation of being a natural stopping point for travelers accessing or leaving the island. This advantage is lessened by the efficiency of the highway system that is designed to disperse high Page 20
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

volumes of traffic away from Nanaimo. This puts greater pressure on the City to place emphasis on its efforts to draw travelers into the downtown area. Nanaimo, as a Vancouver Island destination, is afforded excellent accessibility of ferry linkages for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Float plane links from the inner harbour area to downtown Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport are excellent. Nanaimo Airport provides passenger services with links only to the Vancouver International Airport, but with good frequency. However, the reliance on Vancouver only links, hinders Nanaimo’s ability to create leisure travel demand from other source markets in Alberta, the US Pacific Northwest and other BC locations. In order for the Nanaimo Airport to attract increased flight services from other markets, an Instrument Landing System (ILS) and runway lengthening will be required. It is our understanding that these projects are in an advanced stage and will likely proceed within the next two years. However, extensive marketing to regional carriers will be required to attract their interest in servicing Nanaimo as a destination. The recent success of Courtenay/Comox in attracting Westjet from Calgary has had significant positive benefits for the overall tourism economy and the residential/vacation home real estate markets. Both Kamloops and Kelowna have International Airport status with links to the Seattle market. This has bolstered their winter ski operations significantly and will also contribute to their success as regional convention and exhibition destinations. Nanaimo should explore all avenues to increase air accessibility from additional source markets, particularly Alberta, and increased flight frequency to Vancouver from both land and sea-based operations. The development costs associated with increased airport services and capacity are the responsibility of Commissions and Authorities with governance responsibility, as well as support principally from Transport Canada and NAV CANADA. It is our understanding that the funding for the Nanaimo Airport improvements has been identified.

D. Attractions
Nanaimo currently lacks a destination attraction that is a “signature facility” in a location that creates demand for adjacent land uses. Typically these cultural, heritage, interpretive or entertainment attractions are located in a core tourism area where there is a ready source of available customers and accommodation, food and beverage and retail services. An example would be the Royal BC Museum in Victoria or the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. These attractions are typically “must sees” and the destination becomes identified with these facilities. The development of destination attractions is principally the responsibility of the private sector. However, the public sector can play a role in site location provisioning, and the development of supporting transportation and adjacent public open space. The development costs range widely, depending on the type of facility. We understand that there has been some discussion of a marine-based attraction in the Nanaimo harbour area. However, marine-based attractions such as aquaria and marine interpretive centres are already abundant, and there is the potential for additional future facilities in Victoria’s inner harbour. Our recommendation for a destination attraction goes hand-in-hand with our recommendation for the creation of a downtown area tourism commercial node, or core area, as part of overall downtown improvements. A festival market or specialty food manufacturing facility as an anchor attraction would be a strong catalyst for the creation of a downtown tourism core.
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Page 21

E. Downtown Core Area Enhancement
Most of the tourism assets identified as part of the inventory, with the exception of waterfront transportation links, are not actually within Nanaimo’s core commercial area (downtown). The linear and sprawling nature of the city does not provide for a tourism commercial core as do other waterfront destinations such as Victoria’s inner harbour or Kelowna’s lakefront. The key element of our infrastructure-related recommendations is an enhancement to the downtown core area of Nanaimo1 and provision of a tourism anchor development. As part of this program, which would principally be a public sector initiative, we envision general beautification and enhancement designed to increase the attractiveness of the core area. Principally our recommendations include the following: 1. Streetscape improvements to the main commercial corridor through the downtown area (Terminal Avenue). 2. Implementation of zoning and land-use on Terminal Avenue with a focus on creating the opportunity for tourism commercial and supportive retail that would link the improved downtown areas to the east (waterfront) and west (the Old City Quarter) areas. 3. Improved pedestrian linkages throughout the core area and the identification of potential sites for the development of attractions, retail, a multiplex centre and accommodation. 4. Assess opportunities for in-fill development of multi-family recreational accommodation development (strata-hotel, timeshare and retirement residential). 5. Identify core site location for destination attractions or a festival market, and the vehicular and pedestrian links necessary. The development of a vibrant downtown tourist commercial core is critical not only to support a tourism and leisure identity for Nanaimo, but also to bring local residents back into the downtown core area. Without an interesting downtown area with shopping, entertainment, recreation and general services, it will be very difficult to attract repeat business for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. Convention and exhibition delegates often increase their length of stay if the destination provides sufficient leisure amenities to support this increased visitation. In addition, without the provision of core area services and amenities, it is difficult for events to attract spouses to accompany delegates. To ensure the success of promoting an enhanced downtown core, it is necessary that Nanaimo residents value and frequent the district. The successful Granville Island in Vancouver has achieved this; its markets, entertainment and dining make it an equally popular destination for residents and tourists alike. Locals’ presence and attitude are important to any city centre from a tourist’s point of view, as travelers seek to get a true feel for a location by observing the local culture. The costs associated with downtown enhancement will be highly variable according to development choices made. The responsibility for driving the program will be principally that of the City of Nanaimo. However, the extent to which incentives can be provided to business owners to make cosmetic improvements that are consistent with the overall downtown improvement strategy, should be explored to transfer as much cost as possible to private sector enterprises which, after all, will be direct beneficiaries of increased tourism in the downtown core area.

1

A Downtown Core Area Enhancement plan is in the formative stages of implementation.

Page 22

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

V. CONCEPTUAL VISION AND BRANDING CONCEPTS
A. Vision
It is imperative that the City has a long-term vision for guiding the look and feel of Nanaimo’s tourism offering – a vision that while realistic, aspires to greater heights in the Nanaimo tourism experience. A core concept reflected in the vision below is that the “destination” is a relatively concentrated downtown core area with attractions and accommodations within easy walking distance through pedestrian-friendly, attractive streets. Fostering the creation of this downtown destination core is critical to the success of the New Nanaimo Centre, which is a cornerstone of Nanaimo’s tourism growth strategy. Conference delegates will have easy access to shopping, restaurants and activities outside of the conference schedule. Because the delegates will enjoy Nanaimo, they will return with their families for a vacation, and will also encourage others to visit the city. Conference planners will recommend Nanaimo as a destination for other conventions. A key component of the destination core area described in the vision is the downtown festival marketplace. This signature attraction has appeal for visitors and residents alike and would promote their mingling together to create vibrancy through authenticity. As the festival marketplace is an essential component of the concept, we strongly recommend it is located within the core area close to the New Nanaimo Centre, and for greatest appeal, on the waterfront. The following vision describes Nanaimo as a tourism destination in 2015. It is important to note that the vision described below is intended to paint a portrait and to provide suggestions, rather than issue mandates, on the types of activities, attractions, and components Nanaimo may wish to develop in a destination context. “Nanaimo is a bustling, coastal city located in beautiful natural surroundings. Visitors spend an afternoon, a day or a week enjoying the best that BC has to offer, all in one place. It is the most vibrant waterfront community that Vancouver Island has to offer. Travelers driving north or south, and those arriving from the ferry terminal, are distracted from the highway by welcoming signage and the occasional billboard showcasing Nanaimo’s attractions. Driving into town along Terminal Avenue, travelers are struck by the design of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and the attractive streetscapes. Parking is well marked and easy to find. From Departure Bay, access to the downtown core is easy for ferry foot passengers. A shuttle bus is always available. There are also pedi-cabs that vie along the seawall, pointing out marine sights as they go. Nanaimo’s central district is a nucleus of activity with the coming together of land, air and sea transportation links in a downtown waterfront precinct that provides exceptional convention, shopping, lodging, recreation and leisure activities. The city centre fans out from the harbour to the “Old City Quarter”, the New Nanaimo Centre (containing the conference centre, an adjoining Marriott Hotel, a new museum, a community auditorium, parkade, and retail and commercial space) and a signature attraction that every visitor remembers – a place for fun and shopping – Nanaimo’s dock-side festival market. This anchor attraction draws together a tourist commercial zone that is the focal point for all visitors.

Page 23

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

The appeal of the festival marketplace is not only the stunning West Coast design but also the sights and smells of the marketplace itself, which offers a wide range of fresh seafood, Vancouver Island wines, and unusual foods from a variety of cottage industries, as well as the opportunity to browse through artwork and books and be entertained by street performers. Children line up to watch buskers perform acts such as juggling and the creation of balloon animals. Residents and visitors mingle in the market and on the city’s streets.

A large waterfront Visitor Information Centre adjacent to the marketplace welcomes travelers to Nanaimo. Kiosks and businesses that offer adventure tours, day trips to locations such as Chemainus, and recreation alternatives – like cycling, kayaking, boating, diving and hiking – are all represented in close proximity. Specialty retail spills into the streets, linking the convention centre, hotels and other retail outlets. Bistros with outside eating areas are plentiful along the waterfront. Artisan studios add colour and culture – people strolling along the streets watch glass-blowing, potting and sculpturing as the art is being created. On many days throughout the year, the city is alive with hundreds of convention delegates exploring pedestrian-friendly downtown Nanaimo and visiting places like Newcastle Island for an afternoon. Evenings are spent enjoying good food and drink on a waterfront patio and taking a stroll along the well-lit seawall. Delegates investigate indoor and outdoor activities available in Nanaimo, and make plans to return with their families for their next vacation. Hotel occupancy is high due to the many conventions choosing Nanaimo. The marina is alive with sailboats cruising in from other popular sailing grounds along the coast, kayakers, divers returning from their underwater explorations, and small pleasure boats dotting the harbour. Locals are proud of ‘our Nanaimo’ and encourage friends and family to visit and take in all that the city has to offer.” The key achievements for creating this vision by 2015 are identified and explained later in Section VII. Development of Tourism Infrastructure, A. Milestone Achievements.

B. Branding Concepts
The vision should be reflected in the City's brand identity, which is still to be determined. Some concepts for Nanaimo’s brand from a tourism destination point of view emerge from the above vision. Examples of these concepts are: One of the top five travel destinations in BC for both business and leisure travel. A bustling, marine city in beautiful natural surroundings. The atmosphere of an historic west coast harbour city. Visitors enjoy an afternoon, a day or a week experiencing the best that Vancouver Island has to offer all in one location. Many opportunities for soft recreational activities. The sights, sounds and aromas of Nanaimo’s downtown festival marketplace.
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Page 24

A thriving arts and culture scene, including local artisans at work. This is strictly from a tourism destination standpoint. However, Nanaimo’s branding must illustrate what Nanaimo wants to be, not only in the context of tourism, but must also reflect the broader needs and aspirations of residential and commercial stakeholders.

Page 25

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

VI. TARGET MARKETS
The following presents profiles of the recommended target markets.2 These targets have been chosen based on the findings of this report, further secondary research, our industry experience and our knowledge of comparable markets.

A. Target Visitor Groups
Visitors are day travelers, weekenders, and those using Nanaimo as a base from which to explore the rest of Vancouver Island. They are residents of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and Victoria. The majority of people within the target groups have some post-secondary education and higher than average household incomes when compared with the rest of the province. In particular, over 25% of travelers from the GVRD report household incomes in excess of $80,000 per year. Adults with families age 25 – 49 years Looking for short vacations (weekends or two – three day trips) Seek economy in accommodation and food services; however, they have higherthan-average disposable incomes when compared with the same demographics in other markets Seek activities that appeal to children and youth Soft recreational activities such as cycling Attractions such as aquariums, science centres Outdoor venues and parks

Adults who are ‘empty-nesters’ age 49 – 64 years High level of disposable income Users of high-end products and services Seek a ‘sophisticated experience’ in accommodation, food service, and attractions such as arts and culture or historic experiences Interested in soft recreation products such as fishing and boating Reasons for targeting these groups These groups are already traveling to Vancouver Island or, in the case of Victoria residents, are traveling elsewhere on the Island. Over 75% of GVRD residents visiting other parts of the province travel by car on the ferry. Therefore, as Nanaimo is in immediate proximity to the Departure Bay ferry terminal, the city is ideally situated to capitalize on the BC residents already traveling by car on a ferry to Vancouver Island. The target market population echoes the resident population of Nanaimo. Therefore, infrastructure developments and/or attractions and activities created for tourists have a high likelihood of also appealing to residents. This is important when considering that the
The Report on Visitors to Vancouver Island Tourism Region, Tourism BC, 1998; StatsCan; TAVI
2

Page 26

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

majority of BC residents traveling within the province cite visiting family/friends as the main purpose of travel (see below). Residents will take visitors to locations within the city that they find appealing themselves, and also that they use. Generally, when travelers visit friends or family in another city, they seek to not only visit the tourist attractions, but also get a flavour of the ‘real’ city. When residents enjoy and are proud of precincts such as the festival marketplace, they will take visitors to that location to experience the ‘real’ Nanaimo. As well, people in these target markets are frequent travelers within the province. At least 50% of GVRD and Victoria residents who travel within the province have traveled five times or more within BC in a 12-month period. This trend among this group of frequent in-province trips provides more opportunities to lure the targets to Nanaimo for one or more of the trips. Broadly speaking, Nanaimo provides an alternative destination to typical vacation spots such as Whistler, the Okanagan, and other spots on Vancouver Island. The city offers a diverse experience for visitors: soft recreation and adventure activities; arts and culture experiences; urban choices for entertainment and food services, etc. Division between leisure and business traveler Out of all BC residents traveling to Vancouver Island as a whole, 89% of visitors are leisure travelers. The other 11% travel for business reasons. Reasons for traveling In general, residents of BC travel to other provincial locations to visit family and/or friends. In fact, between 54 – 65% of BC residents traveling to Vancouver Island cite visiting family and/or friends as their primary purpose. Because of the propensity to visit family and friends while traveling, more than half of residents of the GVRD and of Victoria choose private homes or cottages of friends or relatives as their accommodation. Activities Most BC resident visitors (over 87%) who travel within the province participate in urban experiences such as shopping or dining out. Approximately 40% choose to visit attractions, including historic sites, art galleries, and museums. Periods of travel Most GVRD and Victoria residents (44%) prefer to travel in the summer months between June to September. Fully 29% travel during the winter months of December to March. Most in-province travel plans are made within one month of travel, and many are made in the week prior to traveling.

B. Tourism Industry Professionals
Based on the responses of the focus group participants, we believe that a key target market for Nanaimo is the group of tourism industry professionals in Vancouver and Victoria. As important links to Nanaimo’s two largest potential tourism markets and a source of referrals for tourists looking for other excursions in BC, it is important that these professionals are fully informed about
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Page 27

the Nanaimo’s offering. Our primary and anecdotal research indicates that these professionals are not well-informed about Nanaimo’s tourism offering. As these professionals are a source of vacation destination referrals, both domestically and to visiting tourists, a program to communicate Nanaimo’s tourism offering should be undertaken to ensure tourism professionals in Vancouver and Victoria are aware of Nanaimo’s offering and tourism-related developments.

C. Expansion of Target Groups
When Nanaimo’s tourism offering is further developed, these initial targets should be expanded to other near-in locations, such as the Pacific Northwest and other parts of Canada. However, there is a significant number of British Columbians passing through Nanaimo. It would be a missed opportunity not to focus initial efforts on capturing the attention of this built-in target market.

Page 28

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

VII. DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE
A. Milestone Achievements
There are a number of key milestones that Nanaimo must achieve in order to help make the vision previously illustrated a reality. The following table links the milestones mentioned in the vision with the tasks and developments necessary to achieve these milestones. The categories of infrastructure opportunities referred to in the table below correspond with recommendations made in this report.
Category of Infrastructure Development Opportunities
Downtown Core Area Enhancement The Nanaimo Downtown Plan of April 2002 outlines a physical planning vision for the downtown core that is generally consistent with the needs identified. The extent to which the actions in the plan have been implemented is critical to the success of the creation of a downtown tourism commercial zone.

Achievement Referenced in Vision
Welcoming signage; attractive streetscapes; pedestrian-friendly streets; pedi-cabs; downtown waterfront precinct.

Tasks Required
1. Review the Nanaimo Downtown Plan (April 2002) relative to the vision articulated. Assess the status of zoning by-law changes recommended in the plan that are consistent with the tourism commercial zone vision. 2. Prepare a specific tourism commercial zone area plan with implementation strategy including financing and incentives available. 3. Assess potential sources of infrastructure and improvement funding available from Federal and Provincial sources. 4. Create a Downtown Core Area Project Management Team with a specific mandate to implement priority recommendations. 1. Prepare an inventory of existing services and frequencies in relation to downtown core area recommendations. Assess existing capacities and terminal facilities in the core area. 2. Review and or prepare a downtown parking strategy that is consistent with the Nanaimo Downtown Plan and tourism commercial zone recommendations. 3. Determine signage requirements and potential locations. Directional signage is needed to reinforce the core area as a tourism hub. 4. Nanaimo Airport to continue with plans for upgrading facilities to accommodate greater capacity and links to markets other than Vancouver.

Responsibility
City of Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo City of Nanaimo

Coming together of land, air and sea transportation links; welcoming signage on highway; parking is well-marked.

Transportation

Multiple stakeholders will need to be coordinated with respect to the efforts described, including: 1. City of Nanaimo 2. Transport Canada 3. Nav Canada 4. BC Ferries & Harbour Lynx 5. All commercial land and seaplane operators 6. BC Transit 7. Private ground transport operators 8. Nanaimo Airport Commission 9. Private parking operators

Page 29

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Festival marketplace

Attraction (Iconic anchor)

1. Assess potential site locations and zoning policy required. For high appeal, the marketplace would be located in the City’s core area, on or near the waterfront. 2. Assess the potential concepts for the festival marketplace and determine the feasibility. The concepts could include: farmers’/arts and craft market, food and beverage outlets, meeting and gathering place, location of diverse festival groups, artists’ studios and galleries, and highly skilled crafts activities, such as wooden boat building, glass blowing, iron works and pottery. 3. Determine the most appropriate “go to market” strategy including issues of land ownership, developer/operator and commercial terms necessary to attract the private sector to the project. Assess potential links to broader mixed-use real estate development including higher density residential as identified in the Nanaimo Downtown Plan.

This would be led principally by the City of Nanaimo and ultimately turned over to a private sector developer or development partner.

Conference centre

Convention and Public Assembly Facilities

1. Convention Centre development is well defined and it should be a catalyst for tourism commercial development in the core area. However, the success of the convention centre is also dependent upon a thriving tourism commercial zone in close proximity and the downtown enhancement objectives outlined herein are critical to its long term viability. 2. Medium to long term objective of securing a new arena/multiplex should be a key component of core area planning specifically, and regional planning generally.

City of Nanaimo Private sector partners in the convention centre development

City of Nanaimo

Hotel occupancy

Accommodation

1. Undertake an assessment of lodging sector market supply and demand requirements with a 10 to 15 year planning horizon. Work with existing operators to identify key challenges including, supply and quality level, upgrading requirements and constraints as it relates to land use policy and financial viability. 2. Review land use policy in the core and outlying areas as it relates to transient accommodation. Assess the potential for specific zoning changes to encourage lodging sector development or redevelopment in strategic locations (core and outlying areas).

City of Nanaimo Lodging sector associations

Costs associated with a specific facility development will depend on the scale, quality and location of the development. Given the high degree of variability in a development‘s possibilities, and the current, highly inflationary construction cost environment, it would be premature and possibly misleading to estimate these costs.

Page 30

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

B. Issues Relating to Feasibility
Determining the feasibility of the specific infrastructure recommendations included in this report will ultimately require an assessment of the location, regulatory, market and financial characteristics. At this stage, we have identified criteria that would indicate that a specific recommendation could be advanced to a more detailed stage of feasibility determination. The key criteria are as follows: 1. Is the recommendation consistent with planning objectives? 2. Is the recommendation consistent with the articulated vision? 3. Are there site locations available? 4. Can the site accommodate the specific use recommended? 5. Is there an identified need for the infrastructure element? 6. Is there evidence that the infrastructure recommendation has been successfully implemented in other markets? While the above list is not exhaustive, it does provide a basis upon which recommendations can be evaluated prior to detailed physical, market and financial analysis is undertaken. The following table provides a general assessment of the primary infrastructure recommendations in relation to the above criteria.
Downtown Core Enhancement Consistent with Planning Objectives Consistent with the Vision Site Locations Available Consistent with Land Use and Regulatory Policy Evidence of Demand Examples of Successful Implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes Anchor Iconic Attraction Possible Yes Possible Possible Airport Capacity Improvements Yes Yes Yes Yes Multiplex Arena Development Possible Yes Possible Possible Lodging Sector Improvements and Expansion Yes Yes Yes Possible through zoning policy and incentives Possible Medium to Long Term Yes

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

While several of the recommended infrastructure recommendations would require additional analysis and potential land use policy changes, on balance they are consistent with the planning and vision for Nanaimo and there is considerable market evidence that they have been strong contributors to the development of the tourism destinations in comparable markets. More detailed analysis as part of subsequent implementation planning would be required to make any more definitive statements with respect to the viability of each initiative.

Page 31

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

C. Governance Structure
It will be critical for the City of Nanaimo to establish an appropriate implementation organization to implement the recommendations included in this report and to establish a base upon which overall destination development and marketing can be planned and executed. The destination development recommendations require that an appropriate body be capable of not only marketing Nanaimo as a destination but also to be the vehicle for developing specific destination amenities and community improvement designed to create destination appeal. A bolder approach will be necessary to achieve the changes that are necessary. Key factors impacting destination market development and the recommended implementation vehicle option are as follows: 1. The City of Nanaimo may not have the human or financial resources to implement the core infrastructure recommendations. A City department would be under the influence and ultimately the control of Council, it would operate more as a bureaucracy (as part of City Hall) than an entrepreneurial body, and would not have the direct benefit of representation from business and other stakeholder agencies (e.g. the Port Authority). 2. Tourism Nanaimo does not have the mandate, budget or human resources necessary to implement downtown revitalization efforts and targeted destination marketing necessary to achieve the specific goals and objectives defined. An enhanced Tourism Nanaimo, being one of the City’s grant projects, would not be an independent body, would not have representation from business and other stakeholder agencies, and unless completely reconstituted would not have the powers to raise and invest capital. 3. A City of Nanaimo created but semi-autonomous entity with capital raising capacity will be required to implement our primary recommendations. The following outlines our principal recommendations for the creation of a new destination development implementation organization.

1. Destination Development Authority
We have determined that the Authority model is the most appropriate vehicle to be established for Nanaimo as a result of the specific operating characteristics that this governance structure enables. We have arrived at this conclusion on the basis of the factors outlined above as well as the following principal objectives: 1. The vehicle responsible for destination development and marketing must be capable of operating outside of the political process but on the basis of a mandate that fulfills public objectives. 2. The organization must be capable of independently raising capital and functioning as a “corporate entity” in its approach to its market. 3. The organization must be capable of recruiting key personnel to be responsible for development, financing and operation of the assets and initiatives under its control. 4. The organization must be accountable to its sponsors (City of Nanaimo) and the various industry stakeholders that adequately represent its core constituency, through the Board of Directors. Based on our research and knowledge of similar organizations that have been successful in fulfilling the objectives of its public sector sponsors, the Authority model is capable of satisfying the requirements outlined above. Specifically, the key characteristics of an Authority are as follows:

Page 32

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

1. An Authority is a legal incorporation established by a sponsor (normally public sector) with the establishment of specific by-laws for the governance of the operation. The by-laws are the operational guidelines necessary for the Authority to fulfill its established mandate. Often Authorities are special purpose vehicles established on the basis of a particular function or industry focus. The Authority may have a regulatory, development or operating mandate or a combination of all three functions. 2. The Authority is governed by a Board of Directors with representation of identified stakeholder groups. The Board of Directors is accountable to their respective constituencies but also to the primary sponsor/stakeholder, in this case the City of Nanaimo. 3. An Authority can independently raise capital and engage in commercial transactions like any incorporated company. An Authority can be profit motivated with a specific mandate to invest profits generated in a manner that is consistent with its mandate. 4. The Authority Board hires an executive management team who then are responsible for the day to day operations and implementing the Authority’s primary objectives. The management team is made up of industry practitioners that are accountable to the Board with respect to their progress on major initiatives and financial objectives.

2. Suitability for Nanaimo
The suitability of the Authority model to be the vehicle for the implementation of the primary recommendations from this report is dependent upon its ability to satisfy the requirements associated with infrastructure development, strategic marketing and opportunistically pursuing projects that increase Nanaimo’s destination appeal. A planning, financing, implementation and operating framework is required and the Authority must have the capability to perform in each area. In addition, the Authority must have the capability to provide oversight on completed projects and initiatives where it may not have an ongoing financial interest. The creation of a Nanaimo Destination Development Authority could accomplish a number of key objectives as follows: 1. The Authority could be responsible for the implementation of core infrastructure and revitalization efforts taking the responsibility away from municipal resources (Planning Department and Tourism Nanaimo). Specifically this would involve the following: • • • • • • • The City of Nanaimo’s investment in the New Nanaimo Centre development;3 Investment/Partnership in the development of the downtown festival market (anchor attraction); Oversight and coordination of broader downtown revitalization efforts; Be responsible for destination marketing and function as the tourism, convention and exhibition “bureau”; Planning, investment and partnership in the development of additional public assembly infrastructure such as a new arena/multiplex; Be the principal negotiator and potential planning resource with respect to transportation infrastructure enhancements and work with the various public and private sector transportation infrastructure providers; and, Continually assess planning and development initiatives designed to increase Nanaimo’s destination profile.

If assuming responsibility for the New Nanaimo Centre is not possible (e.g. for legal or political reasons), the Authority would intentionally coordinate its activities with those related to the NNC.

3

Page 33

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

2. Tourism Nanaimo should be absorbed by the Authority and the City of Nanaimo should transfer its destination marketing mandate, to form the Authority’s destination marketing division with a renewed mandate for targeted marketing efforts. Current funding for Tourism Nanaimo should be diverted as part of the operating capital necessary for the development and operation of the Authority. A transition plan is required to effect a smooth transition to the new organization. 3. The Authority would be created by the City of Nanaimo with Board representation from the following possible areas: • • • • • • • • • • City of Nanaimo Nanaimo Port Authority Nanaimo Airport Commission Local Hotel Association BC Ferries and other transportation operators Nanaimo Regional District Chamber of Commerce Malaspina University College New Nanaimo Centre Developer (Private Sector Partner) Others as appropriate

4. Unless it is not possible to do so (as noted above), the Authority should absorb the responsibility from the City of Nanaimo for the investment in the New Nanaimo Centre project. The Authority is the most appropriate vehicle to provide oversight with respect to the City’s investment and to work with the private sector partners. This would provide the Authority with a key initial asset as part of its portfolio. 5. The Authority would be responsible for securing Federal and Provincial capital funding for major initiatives. The Authority’s business model is depicted in the chart below. Nanaimo Destination Development Authority – Business Model
Strategic Management Establish the Nanaimo Destination Development Authority; appoint Board of Directors; design organization; prepare initial business plan; appoint management and staff; maintain the vision; monitor performance; maintain inter-governmental relations

Resource Management

Manage information, procedures, facilities, finance and administration, human resources and continuously improve management processes

Business Operations

Project planning and development

Asset management

Destination marketing

Key Activities

• New Nanaimo Centre development • Festival market development • Downtown revitalization • Transportation development • Other public assembly facilities • Accommodation strategy • Residential strategy

• Capital financing • Partnership agreements • New Nanaimo Centre operations • Festival market operations

• Domestic stakeholder communications • Online development and operations • Brand marketing • Partnership marketing • Visitor Information Centre • Targeted marketing • Research and measurement

Page 34

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

3. Potential Structure
The Authority’s operating structure would require a detailed assessment as part of a business plan for its operation however, in broad terms the structure could be as follows:
City of Nanaimo
Total annual operating costs $1M

Destination Authority Board of Directors

Chief Executive Officer

Project Planning & Development

Asset Management

Destination Marketing

Finance and Administration

As illustrated above the Destination Development Authority would be accountable to the City of Nanaimo in terms of its operating mandate. The Authority would recruit a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who would have overall operational responsibility reporting to a Board of Directors as described previously. Each of the key functional areas of the Authority has been identified above with a focus on planning, development, financing, asset management and destination marketing. The specific roles and responsibilities of each division and the subordinate resources would be identified in a business plan developed for the Authority once established.

4. Establishing the Authority – Preliminary Funding Requirements
In creating a Nanaimo Destination Development Authority there will be funding required at various stages and our assessment of costs is preliminary in nature. The primary funding elements are as follows:
Preliminary Assessment of Setup Costs of Destination Development Authority Business Plan Development Creation Costs (legal & accounting) Initial Working Capital Recruitment of Key Resources Total Costs: $ 50K 200K 650K 100K $1M

It is anticipated that the City of Nanaimo will require funding from external sources that may be available from the Federal and Provincial Governments, as it relates to the business planning phase. The potential of these sources would need to be investigated further. The implementation plan and timeline for our principal recommendations outlines the key milestones necessary as it relates to the creation of the Destination Development Authority.

Page 35

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

In terms of long-term operating funding, the Authority will likely tap four principal sources as follows: 1. Destination marketing funding which would include already committed marketing funds from the City of Nanaimo (including Tourism Nanaimo funding). 2. Potential hotel tax revenue. 3. Operating revenue from developed/invested projects. 4. Ancillary funding from Government programs and other potential external sources. The operating funds required and the identification of all potential sources would be a key component of the business plan for the Authority.

Page 36

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

VIII. MARKETING APPROACHES
While the City of Nanaimo is eager to present a refreshed marketing position to the external marketplace to drive greater visitor volumes and increase the value of tourism visits, there is a great deal yet to be achieved among local stakeholders to achieve desired long-term outcomes. This includes outreach to Nanaimo tourism, hospitality and retail interests, as well as to broader business, community and public stakeholders. It is also true that Nanaimo must establish a far greater knowledge base about the tourism markets it seeks to serve to effectively implement the Vision expressed in this plan. As such, market research and strategic planning must continue to be a priority in the early stages of program implementation. Market research and data capture must also be a feature of Nanaimo’s tourism marketing efforts on an ongoing basis to ensure that program spending is optimized by market, communication channel and message. With these requirements in mind, the following represents the specific marketing and communication activities it is recommended that the City of Nanaimo should pursue in the first two years of program implementation (2006 and 2007). Strategic marketing priorities are also recommended for subsequent years of program implementation – 2008 and beyond – although these are presented at a higher level. It is acknowledged that the City of Nanaimo may have mandated a single Destination Development Authority to manage its destination development and tourism marketing activities prior to 2008. While the long-term marketing strategies presented in this section should inform the work of this Destination Development Authority – or other body tasked with implementing marketing strategy – the responsibility for developing detailed marketing plans, implementation strategies and associated budgets must necessarily fall to this group.

A. Year 1 – 2006
Research It is recommended that the City of Nanaimo undertake a large-scale stakeholder and market research project at the outset of program implementation to: refine the Vision expressed in this plan; inform the development of a distinctive brand strategy to serve as the focal point for all destination development and internal/external marketing activities; refine the external target market demographics, psychographics and key motivators identified in this plan; test the effectiveness of various marketing channels identified in this plan against identified target markets; and establish a baseline of target market awareness, relevance and behaviour to measure the efficacy of marketing activities going forward. Brand Strategy Based on the findings of domestic stakeholder and market research, a compelling brand strategy should be developed for the City of Nanaimo.

Page 37

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

This brand strategy will: establish a distinctive strategic position for Nanaimo as a city, as a community and as a tourism destination in the competitive Vancouver Island/British Columbia marketplace; present a clear and compelling value proposition for residents, prospective visitors and investors; provide a long-term and sustainable competitive advantage for Nanaimo, and serve as a foundation for Nanaimo’s long-term growth as a tourism destination; and serve as a strategic guidepost for all destination development and tourism marketing activities. The Nanaimo brand strategy will be synthesized in a brand blueprint that reflects Nanaimo’s desired positioning as a community and a tourism destination, as well the strengths and assets – both existing and aspirational – upon which this positioning is based. The brand blueprint will also identify a compelling brand promise and personality that reflects the manner and tone in which Nanaimo presents itself to domestic and external audiences. Finally, the brand blueprint will present a singular brand essence – two words that capture the personality, the promise and the positioning that Nanaimo will present to its residents and the broader tourism marketplace.

Brand Essence

2 words that describe the what and how of the brand

Personality Brand Promise

The manner through which you speak to potential stakeholders

A summation of Nanaimo’s core values

The benefits used to substantiate the positioning statement

Reasons to Believe
A sentence that articulates what Nanaimo uniquely stands for

Positioning
44

The Nanaimo brand should be brought to life visually. The visual expression of the city’s brand may incorporate the existing Nanaimo identity and ‘Harbour City’ nomenclature, or research may dictate that an entirely new direction is warranted. It is understood that significant investment has been made in the existing Nanaimo identity and Harbour City positioning, and that a certain amount of equity has been established in these properties. This investment – and Nanaimo’s willingness to adopt an entirely new positioning and

Page 38

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

visual identity – must be considered as part of the process of bringing the new Nanaimo brand to life through design. Domestic Stakeholder Communication Program The focus of communication activities to be undertaken during Year 1 (2006) of program implementation will be domestic stakeholders – specifically: Nanaimo and environs’ tourism, hospitality and retail sectors; political and public affairs constituencies; community groups and special interests; and media and the general public. The objective of this domestic communication program will be: to build local understanding and support for the destination development ‘Vision’ expressed in this plan; to engage stakeholders in and seek their endorsement for the Nanaimo brand strategy; to build local understanding and support for the Destination Development Authority concept and implementation as expressed in this plan; to coordinate relevant stakeholders and resources to deliver on the destination development Vision and Destination Development Authority expressed in this plan; and to educate Nanaimo’s tourism, hospitality and retail audiences about the city’s brand strategy and provide the tools and understandings necessary for them to become brand ‘ambassadors’ in the future. In addition to domestic stakeholder communication, it is recommended that external tourism marketing initiatives continue at a moderate level in Year 1 (2006) of program implementation. To the degree possible, these activities should support the destination development ‘Vision’ and Nanaimo brand as they emerge. Tactical Plan and Web Development In addition to brand strategy development, the research program referenced above should inform the development of a tactical plan to guide the brand launch and initiation of related external marketing activities in 2007 and beyond (see below). Elements of this strategic marketing plan may include: a brand launch initiative; domestic brand-building tactics; external brand marketing tactics; development of a web strategy and creating a branded online presence; cooperative marketing tactics; partnership marketing tactics; relevant benchmarks and performance measures; and ongoing research and data capture.

Page 39

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

B. Year 2 – 2007
Program Launch It is recommended that a formal launch of Nanaimo’s new destination development and tourism marketing program occur in 2007. Timing will depend on how swiftly various elements of the program can be developed over the intervening year, though a spring launch is preferable to take advantage of the summer tourism season. Elements of the recommended launch strategy could include: opening of a branded Visitor Information Centre (VIC) in downtown Nanaimo. The VIC should serve as a catalyst for the development of a tourism-focused node in Nanaimo’s downtown, as well as a physical manifestation of the Nanaimo brand strategy; formal initiation of the Destination Development Authority, with offices and personnel to be integrated within the VIC; roll-out of an extensive downtown signage, banner and outdoor advertising program to bring the brand to life within Nanaimo; launch of a new branded campaign website; and participation by: local tourism, retail and hospitality sectors; local government representatives; regional and provincial tourism representatives; provincial and federal government representatives; tourism trade and travel partners; travel and mainstream media; community groups and local residents. Brand Marketing It is recommended that a brand marketing initiative be undertaken in 2007 to establish the Nanaimo brand and brand promise among select audiences. Given available budgets, it is not feasible to undertake a broad-based marketing program to effectively establish the Nanaimo brand position among all target audience segments. However, a targeted campaign will establish a strategic understanding of the city’s brand and market offering among key audiences – including: local tourism, hospitality and retail partners; local residents; tourism trade, travel partners and tourism influencers; and trade and mainstream media.
Public

Travel partners

Community

City of Nanaimo + tourism

The concentric circle approach illustrated here recognizes that effective brands are established from the inside out. That is, the City of Nanaimo must establish a solid understanding and support for its brand position among internal audiences – local tourism stakeholders, local residents and travel partners – before it can realistically establish a new brand position among the broader marketplace. Not only is it critically important for local tourism stakeholders and local residents to embrace the Nanaimo brand and the ‘Vision’ expressed in this plan, they must also become brand ambassadors. This means they have the understandings, the tools and the motivation to reinforce the Nanaimo brand within their business operations, their marketing activities and – in the case of local

Community

Travel partners

Public

Page 40

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

residents – their everyday lives and social relationships. Brand marketing tactics to be utilized during this phase include: outreach to local tourism, travel and hospitality stakeholders through direct marketing, publishing, events and seminars, and stakeholder advocacy; outreach to tourism trade, travel partners and tourism influencers through direct marketing, publishing, conferences and seminars, and stakeholder advocacy; targeted print advertising (local media, trade publications); outdoor advertising in relevant travel corridors; and media relations within provincial, regional and trade media outlets. Online Presence In 2007, Nanaimo will launch its branded website that is a robust online marketing capability – the centerpiece of Nanaimo’s tourism marketing infrastructure. The website should become the new virtual home of Nanaimo’s Destination Development Authority – reflecting its brand positioning and destination development plan, and serving as its principal marketing vehicle. Specifically, the new branded Nanaimo website must: present attractive and compelling images of Nanaimo destinations, properties and activities; allow visitors to build and download (or order) custom visitor guides and brochures; possess robust booking and referral capabilities; capture visitor data and facilitate direct marketing (DM & eDM); and provide a platform for cooperative marketing and product packaging. It is recommended that Nanaimo hotel operators, attractions and other tourism service providers pay a fee to have their properties featured on the Nanaimo website, and to benefit from booking and referral services, product packaging and cooperative marketing opportunities. As with other aspects of the marketing program presented in this plan, the new Nanaimo website will be the subject of a comprehensive planning process undertaken in Year 1 (2006). The new Nanaimo website will be fully functional upon launch in 2007, although booking capabilities and product packaging may be more fully developed over time. All outgoing communication activities will drive target audiences to the website for fulfillment, data capture and product sales. Partnership Marketing Also beginning in 2007, Nanaimo should develop and launch marketing initiatives in partnership with travel partners, such as BC Ferries, Harbour Air, HarbourLynx, etc. Partnership marketing tactics may include: advertising/ promotions within partner-controlled environments and publications; cooperative marketing; and product packaging and promotions.

Page 41

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Nanaimo should also avail itself of partner marketing activities made available through the Tourism Association of Vancouver Island, Tourism British Columbia and other relevant bodies. The caution, however, is that marketing dollars spent with such bodies should buy messages that focus on Nanaimo. Identifying specific marketing activities will entail visits with potential partners to understand the opportunities and synergy of partnership marketing, timing and cost-sharing arrangements.

C. Year 3 (2008) and beyond
Over time, Nanaimo’s tourism marketing tactics will evolve in a number of important ways. They will: increasingly shift from internal to external target audiences; increasingly shift from brand-building to driving sales leads; and increasingly focus on repeat visitors and target audiences/communication channels that deliver the best ROI. The process of building an effective and powerful brand, and encouraging customer loyalty, occurs over time. It is not simply a matter of effective marketing. It also requires that a company or product – in this case a destination – lives up to its promise by delivering a visitor experience that reinforces the brand positioning. This concept is illustrated in the brand continuum below. The City of Nanaimo will not achieve its goal of creating brand loyalists among BC and international travelers through marketing communication alone. It must also deliver the promised brand experience through on-the-ground performance. This means Nanaimo’s Destination Development Authority must be constantly evaluating the overall Nanaimo tourism product, and ensuring that the brand is consistently communicated and delivered. Communication with local tourism, travel and retail interests (as well as with Nanaimo residents) will be required to ensure the brand continues to be a guiding principle for all visitor experiences in Nanaimo.

Communications

Performance

Awareness

Relevance

Trust

Differential Value

Satisfaction/ Reinforcement

Loyalty

Brand Marketing Although Nanaimo’s tourism marketing will increasingly become more targeted, a certain degree of broad-based brand marketing is still warranted. All brand marketing initiatives will seek to drive target audiences to the website for fulfillment, data capture and product sales. Page 42
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Brand marketing initiatives will include: targeted print advertising; outdoor advertising in relevant travel corridors; media relations; and tourism trade, travel partner and influencer outreach through conferences and events, publishing and direct marketing. Online Presence Over time, Nanaimo will become recognized among small-market destination marketing organizations (DMOs) for the sophistication and success of its online marketing strategy. This will include: a consistent drive-to-web strategy for all outgoing communication; a robust travel booking and referral system; sophisticated online data capture; database marketing through direct and electronic direct marketing; custom web-based fulfillment through downloadable visitor guides and brochures, or custom digital printing; cooperative marketing and product packaging with Nanaimo hotel operators, attractions and tourism service providers; and online keyword and web optimization. Partnership and Cooperative Marketing Nanaimo should continue to lead effective marketing partnerships with local tourism and hospitality providers, as well as its travel partners. Partnership and cooperative marketing will optimize the financial and human resources available for marketing Nanaimo as a tourism destination, as well as commit the city’s business partners to future investments in the city’s development. Long-term partnership and cooperative marketing has many potential models. These include: mass market Nanaimo getaway package advertising with local tourism operators and travel partners; leveraging TAVI, TBC and CTC partnership programs; advertising/ promotions within partner-controlled environments and publications; media partnerships and promotions; on-line product packaging; and DM and eDM. Research and Measurement Regardless of the long-term marketing strategies that Nanaimo chooses to pursue, it is strongly recommended that the program include a strong ongoing research component. Research should be undertaken on an annual basis to:

Page 43

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

track target market awareness and perceptions of Nanaimo as a tourism destination against the desired brand positioning, as well as travel intentions and behaviour; continuously refine target market understandings re: demographics, psychographics and key motivators; and test the effectiveness of marketing channels against identified target markets. Measurement should also be undertaken on an ongoing and real-time basis to continuously refine marketing programs to deliver the best possible ROI to Nanaimo and its travel partners.

Page 44

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

IX. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
A. Action Plan
The following implementation plan presents timelines, key initiatives and actions, responsibility and budget requirements. The significant budget items identified in the action plan and in the summary of budgets following exclude capital costs such as for downtown revitalization, the New Nanaimo Centre and a festival marketplace.
Significant Budget Items

Year

Key Initiative

Action

Responsibility

Planning and preparation 2005 05A. Resources and functions focused on destination development Downtown core area enhancement 05A.1 Rationalize activities in anticipation of establishing a single Authority City of Nanaimo

05B.

05B.1

Review Nanaimo Downtown Plan (April 2002) and modify for consistency with the Vision Confirm that recommended zoning by-law changes are consistent with the Vision Prepare a specific tourism commercial zone area plan with implementation strategy including financing and incentives available Investigate potential sources of infrastructure and improvement funding available from Federal and Provincial sources Prepare and pass Council Resolution to mandate a single Authority Identify and appoint initial Board, including a key individual as Chair

City of Nanaimo

05B.2

City of Nanaimo

05B.3

City of Nanaimo

05B.4

City of Nanaimo

2006

06A.

Mandate for a single “Nanaimo Destination Development Authority”

06A.1

City of Nanaimo and Council City of Nanaimo and other key stakeholders

06A.2

06B.

Nanaimo Destination Development Authority

06B.1

Legally establish Authority, including develop and approve bylaws Design initial organization Provide initial working capital Obtain infrastructure and improvement funding from Federal and Provincial sources Prepare initial business plan Identify and appoint a key individual as CEO

Authority Board and City of Nanaimo Authority Board City of Nanaimo Authority Board and City of Nanaimo Authority Board Authority Board

Legal and accounting $200K

06B.2 06B.3 06B.4

Initial working capital $650K

06B.5 06B.6

Consulting $50K Search fee $35K

Page 45

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Year

Key Initiative 06B.7

Action Identify and appoint management and staff

Responsibility Authority Board and CEO

Significant Budget Items Search fees $65K

06C.

Stakeholder and market research

06C.1

Further refine the vision, inform the branding strategy, refine target markets, test marketing channels and establish baselines to measure progress

Authority and City of Nanaimo

Consulting $50K

06D.

Branding of Nanaimo as a destination

06D.1

Develop branding strategy Authority and City of Nanaimo

Brand strategy consulting $50K Identity, naming and design consulting $50K

06E.

Domestic stakeholder communication program

06E.1

Build local understanding, obtain stakeholder endorsement of branding, and build support for Authority

Authority and City of Nanaimo

Program cost $250K

06F.

Tactical plan and web development

06F.1

Plan for brand launch, develop a branded website and initiate external marketing activities in 2007 and beyond

Tactical plan consulting $50K Authority and City of Nanaimo Web strategy and development consulting $250K

Major milestone 2007 07A. Brand, Authority and website 07A.1 Simultaneously launch Nanaimo's new brand, a new visitor information centre, officially announce the creation of the Authority, roll out signage and banners to bring brand to life and launch new website Authority 2007 operating costs $1M Authority and City of Nanaimo VIC interior and signage $100K Launch event $100K Downtown signage, banners and outdoor advertising $100K

Implementation 07B. Brand marketing 07B.1 Through outreach and advertising, establish understanding and support for the new brand among internal audiences: local tourism stakeholders, local residents and travel partners (before taking to the broader marketplace)

Authority

Program cost $250K

07C.

Online presence program

07C.1

Promote the new branded website to present attractive, compelling images of Nanaimo destinations,

Authority

Program cost $100K

Page 46

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Year

Key Initiative

Action allow visitors to build and download custom visitor guides and brochures, have robust booking and referral capabilities, capture visitor data and facilitate direct marketing, and provide a platform for cooperative marketing and product packaging

Responsibility

Significant Budget Items

07D.

Partnership marketing

07D.1

Develop and launch marketing initiatives with travel partners (e.g. BC Ferries, Harbour Air, HarbourLynx), and pursue marketing opportunities through the Tourism Association of Vancouver Island, Tourism British Columbia and others

Authority

Program cost $100K

07E.

Downtown Nanaimo Partnership functions incorporated into Authority

07E.1

Create a Downtown Core Area Project Management Team with a specific mandate to implement priority recommendations

Downtown Nanaimo Partnership, Authority and City of Nanaimo

07F.

Transportation plan

07F.1

Prepare an inventory of existing services and frequencies, and assess existing capacities and terminal facilities in the core area in relation to Vision Review/prepare downtown parking strategy Determine signage requirements and potential locations to reinforce downtown as a tourism hub Collaborate with Nanaimo Airport to continue plans for upgrading facilities for greater capacity and links to markets other than Vancouver

Authority and City of Nanaimo

07F.2 07F.3

Authority and City of Nanaimo Authority and City of Nanaimo

Consulting $100K

07F.4

Authority and Airport Board

07G.

Iconic anchor

07G.1 07G.2

Assess potential site locations and zoning policy required Engage consultants to develop alternative concepts for a festival marketplace and assess feasibility Determine appropriate strategies to attract the private sector to the project - issues of land ownership, developer / operator structure, and commercial terms Invite proposals from developers to design, build and operate a festival marketplace

Authority and City of Nanaimo Authority and consultants Consulting 100K

07G.3

Authority and City of Nanaimo

Consulting 50K

07G.4

Authority and potential development partners

Page 47

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Year 07H.

Key Initiative Convention and public assembly facilities 07H.1

Action Implement protocols for transferring responsibilities for the conference centre from the City to the Authority For core and regional planning, reassess medium to long term objective of securing a new arena/multiplex

Responsibility Authority, City of Nanaimo and development partner Authority and City of Nanaimo

Significant Budget Items

07H.1

Consulting 50K

07I.

Accommodation strategy

07I.1

Assess lodging sector market supply and demand requirements 10 to 15 years out, identifying key challenges and potential solutions Review land use policy in Nanaimo core and outlying areas re. transient accommodation, assessing potential for lodging sector development

Authority and City of Nanaimo

Consulting 50K

07I.2

Authority and City of Nanaimo

Consulting 50K

2008 and beyond

08A.

Brand marketing

08A.1

Seek to drive target audiences to website – implement targeted print advertising, outdoor advertising, media relations and outreach to tourism trade, travel partners and influencers through conferences and events, publishing and direct marketing

Authority

Authority 2008 operating costs $1M Brand marketing program cost $350K

08B.

Online presence

08B.1

Continue to develop online presence and electronic marketing strategy through booking and referral capabilities, cooperative marketing, product packaging and promotions, web optimization strategies, data capture and electronic direct marketing

Authority

Program cost $100K

08C.

Partnerships and cooperative marketing

08C.1

Continue to lead effective marketing partnerships with local tourism and hospitality providers, as well as travel partners

Authority

Program cost $250K

08D.

Research and measurement

08D.1

Track target market awareness and perceptions of Nanaimo against brand positioning, continuously refine target market understandings, and test effectiveness of marketing channels

Authority

Program cost $50K

Page 48

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

B. Summary of Significant Budget Items
The significant annual budget items are as follows:
Item 2006 Nanaimo Destination Development Authority: Legal and accounting Initial working capital Initial business plan CEO search fee Management and staff search fees Stakeholder and market research Branding: Brand strategy Identity, naming and design Domestic stakeholder communication program Tactical plan and web development: Tactical plan Web strategy and development Total budget items 2006 2007 Brand, Authority and website: Authority operating costs 2007 VIC interior and signage Launch event Downtown signage, banners and outdoor advertising Brand marketing Online presence program Partnership marketing Transportation plan Iconic anchor: Develop alternative concepts for a festival marketplace Determine strategies to attract private sector Arena/multiplex Accommodation strategy: Assess lodging sector supply and demand Review land use policy re. lodging sector Total budget items 2007 2008 and beyond Authority operating costs 2008 Brand marketing Online presence program Partnerships and cooperative marketing Research and measurement Total budget items 2008 $’000

$200 650 50 35 65 50 50 50 250 50 250 $1,700

$1,000 100 100 100 250 100 100 100 100 50 50 50 50 $2,150 $1,000 350 100 250 50 $1,750

The above values are estimates only, designed to provide order-of-magnitude annual budgets, and cannot be relied upon as accurate measures of cost. The costs identified are more than likely the mid-range budgets that will be needed. All operations and capital projects are scaleable. The action plan should be considered as a starting point for action, requiring continuous development as events unfold.

Page 49

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

C. Existing and Potential Destination Development Funding
It is noted that existing funding and potential funding from a 2% hotel tax available for destination development, amounts to about $1.5 million a year, as identified in the table below.

Organization 1 Tourism Nanaimo 2 Downtown Nanaimo Partnership 3 City of Nanaimo 4 Hotels Total funding:

Activities Tourism marketing Downtown revitalization planning and implementation Conference and destination marketing

FTEs

Revenue Sources City of Nanaimo Core funding from City

Revenue $ $ $ $ 300,000 173,500 700,000 368,000

Note 2

2% hotel tax

$

$ 1,541,500

Note: Downtown Nanaimo Partnership comprises: City of Nanaimo (3 members) Nanaimo City Centre Association (3 members) Old City Quarter Association (2 members) Community at Large (3 members)

Page 50

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

X. PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK
The following is a performance framework in the form of an “Achievement Assessment Tool” for assessing the probability of achieving Nanaimo’s destination development vision and the extent of incremental effects detectable. The tool is designed to be used from time to time, as the implementation plan unfolds, at least annually. Periodic results should be compared to track changes. For the results to be trusted, an objective observer should complete the assessment, based on interviews with a range of key stakeholders. Once completed, those with the destination development mandate must identify action steps to address the risks identified by the tool.

A. Purpose
This Achievement Assessment Tool assists in managing the elements critical to achieving Nanaimo’s strategic objectives for destination development. The tool is used to evaluate the Probability of Successful Implementation of the articulated vision for Nanaimo, based on 20 ratings of Criteria for Success. The Criteria for Success relate to: the continued relevance of planned activities to Nanaimo’s destination development vision (does the activities still make sense; are we on the right path?); whether and to what extent milestones in the implementation plan are being achieved (are we on track with the implementation plan?); whether and to what extent the planned activities are achieving what was expected and what other effects have occurred as a result of the activities (what incremental effects are we seeing?); and whether there are other cost-effective ways of achieving the same intended results (are there better ways of doing this?).

B. Ratings
At least once a year, rate each of the following Criteria for Success, based on the results of structured interviews with key internal and external stakeholders.

Are we on the right path?
1. Relevant Vision The direction of Nanaimo’s destination development is no clearer now than it was before the Vision Statement was written Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The vision for Nanaimo’s destination development continues to be enthusiastically pursued by all leading stakeholders

2.

Relevant Goals The goals for Nanaimo’s destination development are unclear, not in keeping with the vision and will not lead to its achievement Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The goals for Nanaimo’s destination development are clear, consistent with the vision and will lead to achieving the vision

Page 51

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

3.

Relevant Activities and Outputs Activities and operational outputs have no plausible linkages with the intended achievements Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Activities and operational outputs are plausibly linked to (are sure to lead to) the intended achievements

4.

Public Dissatisfaction/Sense of Need The need for destination development is not understood by the general public, and dissatisfaction with Nanaimo’s current status is not strong Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The general public clearly understands why destination development is needed, and their dissatisfaction with Nanaimo’s current status is strong – they clearly want this change

5.

Feedback The organizations mandated to contribute to destination development do not allow or encourage open and direct feedback concerning problems with achieving the vision Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The organizations mandated to contribute to destination development operate in a transparent manner that encourages feedback from stakeholders and promotes a problem solving climate for the community

6.

Commitment The organizations with contributing mandates are not led by champions who declare their personal commitment to the vision and implementation plan Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The organizations with contributing mandates are led by sponsors who clearly communicate their strong personal commitment to the vision and implementation plan

7.

Confidence Council and City staff have low confidence in the ability of the leaders of the organizations with contributing mandates to achieve the vision of Nanaimo as a travel destination by 2015 Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The leaders of the organizations with contributing mandates generate confidence in their ability to achieve the vision of Nanaimo as a travel destination by 2015

Are we on track with the Implementation Plan?
8. Milestones The milestones in the Implementation Plan are not clearly articulated sufficient to assess progress Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The milestones in the Implementation Plan are clearly articulated, providing clear measures of meaningful progress

9.

Level of Resources Financial, human and knowledge resources are not committed or are inadequate to continue with the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Adequate financial, human and knowledge resources are fully committed for continuing with the Implementation Plan

Page 52

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Implementation Plan Comments:

with the Implementation Plan

10. Priorities The priorities established by the Implementation Plan make no sense or work at cross-purposes with each other Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 There is consensus among leading stakeholders that all of the priorities established by the Implementation Plan logically fit together

11. Achieving Marketing Milestones One or more significant marketing milestones have not been achieved and delay is placing the destination development program in jeopardy Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 All significant marketing milestones to date have been fully achieved on time

12. Achieving Physical Infrastructure Development Milestones One or more significant infrastructure development milestones have not been achieved and delay is placing the destination development program in jeopardy Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 All significant infrastructure development milestones to date have been fully achieved on time

What incremental effects are we seeing?
13. Visitor Nights Operators report no change or a decrease in visitor overnight stays in all seasons (consider the effects of significant external factors) Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Operators report a significant increase in visitor overnight stays in all seasons, beyond their expectations (consider the effects of significant external factors)

14.

Visitor Spending Operators report no change or a decrease in visitor spending in all seasons (consider the effects of significant external factors) Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Operators report a significant increase in visitor spending in all seasons, beyond their expectations (consider the effects of significant external factors)

Page 53

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

15.

Operator Profitability Operators report no change or a decrease in their bottom line in all seasons Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Operators report a significant increase in their profitability in all seasons, beyond their expectations

16.

Visitor Attractions There have been no new start ups of visitor attractions or the number of visitor attractions has declined Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 There have been a significant number of new start ups of visitor attractions, beyond the expectations of leading stakeholders

17.

Quality of Experience Visitors report that they do not perceive an increase in the quality of their Nanaimo experience or they report a decline in quality since their visit at least a year before Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Visitors report that they definitely perceive a significant increase in the quality of their Nanaimo experience since their visit at least a year before

Are there better ways of doing this?
18. Use of Public Money Public opinion is that their money is being wasted on Nanaimo’s destination development Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Public opinion is that their money is being well spent on Nanaimo’s destination development and more should be spent in the future

19. Public Opinion on Development Public opinion is that Nanaimo’s destination development should be halted and a new direction should be established Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Public opinion is that Nanaimo’s destination development should continue exactly as planned

20. Professional Opinion on Development Professional observers criticize Nanaimo’s destination development and state that it should be halted and a new direction established Comments: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Professional observers applaud Nanaimo’s destination development and state that it should continue exactly as planned

Page 54

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

C. Probability of Successful Implementation
1. Total the 20 ratings: 2. Calculate the Average Rating (Total ratings ÷ 20): 3. Calculate the Probability of Successful Implementation (Average Rating x 10): 4. Plot the Probability of Successful Implementation on the following scale:

0 Very low

20 Low

40 Moderate

60 High

80 Very High

100

D. Results
The Probability of Successful Implementation is based on continued relevance, achievements, incremental effects and whether there are better alternatives. Scores in the high range indicate a strong likelihood that the achievement of Nanaimo’s vision as a travel destination will be successful (as long as the level of commitment is maintained). Lower scores mean that strategies need to be developed (e.g. to improve the communication and reinforcement activities of leading stakeholders) in order to achieve Nanaimo’s strategic objectives and avoid the costs to the community of implementation failure.

Page 55

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

E. Gap Analysis
To help identify the key problem areas (greatest areas of risk), plot each of the 20 ratings, and the Average Rating, on the chart below. Then plot the minimum acceptable rating (e.g. a score of 8 for each item) and outline the gaps between the actual and desired scores. Observe where the largest gaps exist and determine a plan of action to address these gaps.
Criteria Very Low 1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Relevant vision Relevant goals Relevant activities and outputs Public dissatisfaction/sense of need Feedback Commitment Confidence Milestones Level of resources Priorities Achieving marketing milestones Achieving physical infrastructure development milestones Visitor nights Visitor spending Operator profitability Visitor attractions Quality of experience Use of public money Public opinion on development Professional opinion on development Average Rating 2 3 Low 4 Moderate 5 6 7 High 8 Very High 9 10

F. Actions to Address Gaps
1.

2.

3.

Etc.

Page 56

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

XI.

APPENDICES
Appendix A – Nanaimo Destination Study - Data

Nanaimo - Hotels/Motels
Name Bluebird Motel Castaway Motel Departure Bay Motel Diplomat Motel Harbour Light Motel Painted Turtle Guesthouse Royal Motel Nanaimo Value Lodge Economy Motel Nanaimo Total Best Western Northgate Inn Buccaneer Inn Coast Bastion Inn Days Inn Harbourview Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel Moby Dick Oceanfront Lodge & Marina Port-o-Call Inn & Suites Ramada Resort on Long Lake Travelodge Nanaimo Total Best Western Dorchester Hotel The Grand Hotel Nanaimo Total Rate 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rooms 29 24 21 18 29 20 14 16 171 72 13 177 79 100 42 42 62 78 665 65 72 137

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

3 3

Key: Rates <$60=1, $61-$100=2, $101-150=3, $151-$200=4,$201+=5

Page 57

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Kelowna - Hotels/Motels
Name Kelowna Guest House Inn La Mission Motor Inn Kelowna Mission Creek Country Inn Shinook Motel Wayside Motor Inn Total Rate 1 1 1 1 1 Rooms 40 40 4 28 43 155 Name Abott villa Travelodge Accent Inns Borgata Lodge Coast Hotesl & Resorts Days Inn Kelowna Holiday Inn Express Okanagan Seasons Resort Ramada Lodge Hotel Royal Anne Hotel Sandman Hotels & Inns Siesta Motor Inn Travelers Choice Motor Inn White Crystal Inn Total Rate 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Rooms 52 101 120 185 91 120 70 135 64 120 96 43 45 1242

Chinook Motel Comfort Inn Dilworth Motor Lodge Gyro Beach Resort Kelowna Motor Inn Lakeshore Inn Mission Park Inn Oasis Motor Inn Pandosy Inn Recreation Inn & Suites Sandalwood Inn Super 8 Motel Kelowna The Dilworth Motor Lodge Town & Country Motel Vineyard Inn/Slumber Lodge Total

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

28 81 50 27 112 46 43 41 60 50 34 0 50 32 26 680

Bellasera Tuscan Villas & Piazza Best Western Inn Kelowna Casa Loma Lakeshore Resort Grand Okanagan Lakefront Resort Hotel Eldorado Lake Okanagan Resort Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotels & Villas Mission Shores (Okanagan Lodging Company) Prestige Inn Kelowna Relocan Vacation Rentals The Borgata Lodge Total

4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

58 146 40 320 55 135 92 30 66 7 40 989

Key: Rates <$60=1, $61-$100=2, $101-150=3, $151-$200=4,$201+=5

Kamloops - Hotels/Motels
Name Acadian Motor Inn Argus Motor Inn Casa Marquis Motor Inn Columbia Motor Inn Econo Lodge Fountain Motel Four Seasons Motel Kings Motor Inn Lamplighter Motel Ranchland Motel Riders's Motor Inn Sagebrush Motel Sahali Lodge Kamloops Skyline Motel Inn Kamloops (Rodeway Inn) Super View Motel Kamloops The Thriftlodge Kamloops Trans Canada Motel The Wells Gray Inn Total Rate 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rooms 45 38 32 24 50 19 34 36 31 36 22 60 39 38 38 66 30 34 672 Name Aberdeen Inn Alpine Motel Best Value Superiew Inn Best Western Coast Canadian Inn Comfort Inn & Suites Country View Motor Inn Courtesy Inn Motel Days Inn Dream Lodge Executive Inn Fortune Motel Grandview Motel Hospitality Inn Howard Johnson Panorama Inn & Suites Kamloops Travelodge Kamloops Travelodge Mountview Lakeside Country Inn Maverick Motor Inn Quality Inn Kamloops Ramada Inn Riverland Motel Sandman Inn Scott's Inn & Restaurant The Plaza Heritage Hotel The Thompson Hotel & Conference Centre Total Accent Inn Coast Hotels & Resorts Four Points by Sheraton Hampton Inn Holiday Inn Express South Thompson Inn, Guest Ranch & Resort Total Key: Rates <$60=1, $61-$100=2, $101-150=3, $151-$200=4,$201+=5 Rate 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Rooms 63 36 38 203 98 128 34 45 62 40 150 40 26 77 97 67 53 9 42 63 89 58 65 51 67 98 1799 83 98 78 81 80 55 475

3 3 3 3 3 3

Page 58

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Nanaimo - Accommodation (Other)
B&B's A Country Breeze B&B A Mays Inn Lakeside B&B Amberwood on the River B&B Antique B&B Apsley Avenue Lakeside B&B Beach Estates B&B Carey House B&B Casa Del Dream B&B Copper Kettle B&B Coastal Comforts B&B Country Breeze B&B Eagelsnest B&B Eagelpoint B&B Feng Shui Garden Manor B&B Ferry Side B&B Flying Cloud B&B Gardensweet Cottage Grey Pony B&B Golden Divot B&B Graycliff Cottage Oceanfront B&B Hammond Bay Oceanside B&B Heathering Hights B&B Island View B&B Jasmine Junction B&B Jingle Pot B&B Little Haven B&B Lancrest by the Sea B&B Long Lake Waterfront B&B Mermaid's Kelp B&B Nottingham House B&B Pepper Muffin Country Inn Protection Island B&B Randle House B&B Rocky Point Ocean View Executive B&B Terracotta B&B The Whitehouse on Long Lake B&B Uta's by the Sea B&B Waterside B&B Waterslide B&B Wedgewood House Westwood Lake Lodge Woodhaven on the Lake RV & Campsites Jingle Pot RV Park and Campgrounds Living Forest Oceanside RV park & Campground Mountainaire Campground and RV park Camping Select Zuiderzee Campsites Brannan Lake Campsites & RV Park Westwood Lake RV Cambing/cabins Shoregrove Resort Resort on the Lake Triple E Tent and Trailer Park Hostel Nanaimo International Hostel The Cambie International Hostels Painted Turtle Guest House Resort/Lodge Pacific Shores Resort & Spa The Haven

The table above lists 42 Bed & Breakfast establishments. We understand from the City of Nanaimo that the total number is about 60.

Page 59

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Kelowna - Accommodation (Other)
B&B's A Golfers Paradise B&B A Grand View B&B A Home Away B&B A Lakeview Heights B&B A Lakeview Mansion B&B A Mykonos B&B A Place of Refreshing B&B A View to Remember Aaron's Pool & Spa B&B Abbot on the Lake Accounting for Taste B&B Agape B&B Alto Vista B&B An Artists View B&B An English Garden B&B An Okanagan Vista B&B Angels & Roses B&B Apple Valley B&B Apples & Angels B&B Augusta View B&B Bankview B&B Barb's Whitehouse B&B Barrel'n Vine B&B Bavarian Secret B&B Beach House B&B Birds Eye B&B Block's Landing B&B Bucherie Mountain B&B By The Bridge B&B By the Lake Vacation Suites Caps on Cadder B&B Castleowna B&B Cedar Trails B&B Clifton Highlands Lakeview B&B B&B's Clifton Shangri La B&B Cozy Corner Guesthouse & B&B De Switz Adobe B&B Edelweiss B&B Gabriels Corner Grapewine B&B Historic Manor House B&B Joyce House B&B Kelowna Lakeshore B&B Lafortune Castle B&B Lakeshore B&B Lakeview Acres B&B Lakeview B&B at Traders Cove MacKinley Lakeshore Hideaway Mission Mountain View B&B Montcalm Garden B&B Natures Best B&B Okanagan Lakefront B&B Otella's Wine Country Inn B&B Quail Ridge B&B Ravenhills B&B Rose Terrace B&B St. Andrews on the Green B&B Sun Villa by the Lake B&B Sunnyside B&B Tamarack B&B The Blue Pig on Abbot The Cedars Inn B&B The Grapewine B&B The Travel Lovers B&B Tranders Cove B&B Trenton's Hospitality Home & B&B Wine Country suites B&B Yellow Rose B&B RV & Campsites Holiday Park Resort Hiawatha RV Park & Campground Willow Creek Family Campground Apple Valley Country Gardens Bear Creek Provincial Park Hostel Kelowna International Hostel Kelowna SameSun International Hostel Okanagan University College Resort/Lodge Alive Health Resort Eight Mile Ranch Discovery Bay Resort A Vista Villa Okanagan Seasons Resort Gyro Beach Resort

Kamloops - Accommodation (Other)
B&B's Alberdeen Hills B&B Alpine Meadows B&B Chaparral B&B Fathers Country Inn B&B Golfview @ sunrivers Highridge B&B Lac Le Jeune B&B Lazy River B&B Lakeview Drive B&B MacQueens's Manor B&B Matter House Park Place by the River B&B Place Royale B&B Ponderosa B&B Seventh Heaven B&B Sunset B&B The Sentinel B&B Riverside B&B Sunshine Mountain B&B A Park Place By the River B&B Maria's B&B Park Side B&B Andersons on the River B&B RV & Campsites Heritage Campsite & RV Park Jandana Ranch Knutsford Campground Erin Valley Riding Stable Kamloops RV Park Monte Lake RV Park & Campground Venables Valley Ranch Roche Lake Resort Wendego Lodge Hostel Hostelling International Kamloops Resort/Lodge Akehurst Lodge Skitchine Lodge Alpine Wilderness Retreat Roche Lake Resort Lac Le Jeune Resort Heffley Lake Fishing Resort North Barriere Lake Resort Pinantan Lake Resort Wendego Lodge

Page 60

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Nanaimo - Attractions
Art/Culture Appleton Gallery & Frames Art 10 Gallery Art Gallery in Rutherford Artisan's Studio Barton & Leier Gallery Centre for the Arts Nanaimo Gallery 223 High Eagle Trading Post Hill's Native Art Nanaimo Art Gallery Nanaimo Arts Council The Public Hanging Art Gallery Where It's Art Yellow Bird Arts Gallery Orchestra Vancouver Island Symphony Nanaimo Concert Band Theatre Nanaimo Theatre Group Port Theatre Theatreone Yellow Point Drama Group Ubetcha! Promotions Theatre BC Museum Nanaimo District Museum Bastion Museum Vancouver Island Military Museum Nature Butter Tubs Marsh Neck Point Provincial Park Natural Fishing/Walking Pier Harbourside Walkway Historic Newcastle Island Maffeo Sutton Park Nanaimo's Harbour Old City Quarter Swy-a-Lana Lagoon The Arts District Festivals 1/2 Marathon & 10K Marathon CANS Food Festival Community Theatre Festival Empire Days L'Association des francophones de Nanaimo Maple Sugar Festival Nanaimo Arts Fest Nanaimo Blues Festival Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival Nanaimo Festival of Trees Nanaimo Film Festival for Independent Producers Nanaimo Marine Festival - Bathtub Days Nanaimo Pumpkin Festival Nanaimo Show & Shine New Years Eve Concert

Page 61

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Kelowna - Attractions
Art Galleries Alexandra Frames Alternator Gallery Art Ark Gallery & Boutique Art Search Arts Alive Auroral Creations Blueberry Hill Gallery Boot Hill Gallery Camberry House International Chimo Village Gallery Designarts Dfexhange Dreams & Fine Works Elements Arthouse Elizabeth Gordon Gallery Emiles Custom Framing Eskila Gallery & Custom Framing Evan's Gallery & Framing Framing & Art Centre Freeman Galleries Fusion Art and Design Gallery of BC Art & Photography Hambleton Galleries Julia Trops Kelowna Art Gallery Laughing Moon Art Gallery Linda's Frame Shop Mal Gagnon Studio OK Art Gallery Picture Perfect Regis Pictures & Frames Reid R Down Gallery Rotary Centre for the Arts The Bronze Rooster Gallery The Grand Gallery The Hanging Tree Urbanhutdesign.com Weber Gallery
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Orchestra Symphony Orchestra Okanagan Symphony Society Theatre/Cabaret Flashbacks OK Corral Cabaret Splashe's Cabaret Rotary Centre for the Arts Kelowna Community Theatre Sunshine Theatre Society Kelowna Actors Studio Deamnasium Kelowna Fringe Festival Society Museum Kelowna Museum Orchard Museum Wine Museum The Laurel The Military Museum Father Pandossy Mission Kelowna Centennial Museum Laurel Packing House Kettel Valley Steam Railway Kelowna Downtown Cultural District

Page 62

Kamloops - Attractions
Art Galleries Community Arts Council of Kamloops Cunliffe House Gallery Hampton Gallery Kamloops Horse Barn Kamloops Art Gallery Nimbuss Glass Studio Gallery North Light Studio Student Artworks Gallery Native Culture Secwepemc Museum Secwepemc Heritage Park Orchestra Kamloops Symphony Orchestra Theatre Western Canada Theatre Sagebrush Theatre Kamloops Dance Academy Two River Junction Dinner & Musical Revue BC Wildlife Park Little Farmer's Petting Zoo and Exotic Birds Museum Kamloops Firehall Museum Kamloops Museum and Archives Sewepemc Museum & Heritage Parks Heritage Railway Nature Harper Mountain Sun Peaks Resort The Ethnobotanical Gardens Natural

Page 63

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Nanaimo - Activities
Golf Beban Park Pitch and Putt Cottonwood Par 72 Disc Golf - Bowen Park Eaglequest Golf Course Nanaimo Golf & Country Club Pryde Vista Gold Course Winchelsea View Golf Course Kayaking / Paddling Adventuress Sea Kayaking Adventures Alberni Outpost Kayak Rental Ocean Paddling Seadog Kayak & Sailing The Kayak Shack Pacific Northwest Expeditions Ltd. Sealegs Kaykaing Adventures Wild Hear Adventures Alternative Groove Wakeboards Billiards Cue Connection Billiards Fun Centre 85 James Street Billiards Uptown Billiards Paintball Cyber City Bastilion Paintball Supply Fishing Coast Adventures (Fishing, Whale Watching, Eco Tours) High Roller Salmon Charters Sealand Tackle Salmon Fishing charters Silver Blue Charters Diving Browning Pass Hideaway (Diving) Discovery Expeditions Diver's Choice Charters Mamro Adventure Dive Charters Ocean Explorers Diving Sundown Diving The Dive Outfitters Ltd. Marine Tours Clavella Adventures Grand Vista Tours Island Hopper Marine Tours Lighthouse Adventures Wilderness Adventures Marinas Stones Marina & RV Park Bluenose Marina & Chowder House Boat Harbour Marine Ltd. Nanaimo Harbour City Marina Limited Nanimo Port Authority Poett Nook Marina Ltd. Townsite Marina Ltd. Aviation Floatplane Scenic flights Amigo Airways Corp. Boat Charters / Sailing Bastion City Charters Big Island Charters Brechin Boat Launch Classic Yacht Charters Cooper Boating Golden Eagle Charters Hamond Bay Boat Launch HERIZEN Sailing for Women Inc. Interpid Charters Jamal British Columbia Yacht Charters Karomar Cruises Nanaimo Charters / Sailing School Nanaimo Clippers Junior Sunsail Canada Takuli III Sailing Adventures Windjammer Charters Riding Brannenbrook Farms Tours Brewery Tour Canadian Trails Bicycle Tours Cemetery Strolls Historic Walking Tour Pulp Mill Tour Track N Trail ATV Tours Tracks Outdoor Adventures Viking Adventure Tours Vineyard Tour Bowling 5 Pin Bowling Great Canadian Casinos Casino/Gambling Romper Room Indoor Climbing Centre Amusement Parks Cyber City (go carts, laser tag, arcade etc.) Jumping Jimmy's Playland and Café Other Interests World's largest upright artificial Reef Skate Parks Flipside Indoor Skatepark Nanaimo Bowl Skatepark Nanaimo Pioneer Skatepark Swy-a-lana Lagoon Skatepark Seventh Heaven Casino Great Canadian Casiono Caving Canadian Underworld Tours (Caving)

Bungy Jumping Bungy Zone Climbing

Page 64

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Kelowna - Activities
Golf Bell Mountain Golf Course Eaglequest Golf Kelowna Gallaghers Canyon Golf & Country Club Golf Ponderosa Harvest Golf Club Holiday Park Golf Course Kelowna Golf & Country Club Kelowna Springs Lake Okanaga Resort Mcculloch Orchar Greens Golf Club Michalebrooks Ranch Golf Club Mission Creek Golf Club Orchard Greens Golf Club Pinnacle Golf Course Scandia Golf and Games (minigolf) Shadow Ridge Golf Club Spectacular Golf Sunset Ranch Golf and Country Club The Okanagan Golf Club Vintage Hills Golf Course & Academy Billiards Kelowna Q Club Orchard City Bowl & Billiards Water Sports Sparky's Lakefront Sports Centre Sunchaser Watersports Windstar Recreation Okanagan Water & Mountain Toys Susan's Spa B&B & Resort Spooke n' Motion Nimbus Paddles Kelowna Kayak & Outdoor Inc Richie Bros Kaykaing Marinas Eldorado Marina Kelowna Marina Shelter Bay Marina Fintry Queen Paddle Wheeler Water Skiing Malibu Marine Mountain Surf Shop Okanagan Water Toyz Rayburn's Marine World Sparky's Watersport Rentals Sports Rent Windstar Recreation Ltd. Aircraft charters/rentals Central Air Corp Air Hart Aviation Montair Aviation Carson Air Ltd. Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charters Norther Air Support Ltd. BN Aircraft Leasing Wildlife Centres RoaRing.Biz Display Gardens Elysium Garden Nursery Ricks Garden World Okanagan Nature Centre Boating/Sailing/Rafting Adventure Houseboat Charters Athans Gary Ski School & Charters Champion Marine Ltd. Dockside Marine Centre Escapade (boat) Rentals Funseeker Cruises Go with the Wind Cruises Kelowna Houseboats Kelowna Yacht Club Kingfisher Sports Centre Lake Country Charters Okanaga Wake Tours Okanaga Watertours Okanagan Motorsport Rentals Senic Boat Tours Okanagan Value Boat Rental Go with the Wind Cruises Waterway Houseboat Adventures Climbing Beyond The Crux Climbing Gym Fishing Scoop Lake Outfitters Postill Lake Lodge Macculloc Lake Resort Ltd. Bowling Capri Centre Mall Bowling Lanes MacCurdy Bowling Centre Valley Bowling Lanes (Kelowna Lawn Bowling Club) Paintball On Target Paintball Safari Ridge Adventure Paintball Riding Eight Mile Ranch Horse Rentals Lake Okanagan Resort Stables Mandy & me Trailriding Pegasus Horse Training Sunridge Equestrian Centre Helicopter High Terrain Helocopters Alpine Helicopters Inc. Kokanee Helicopters Heli West Aviation Services HewQuest Aviation Inc. Kelowna Helicopter Charters Corp Skyline Helicopters Ltd. Yellowhead Helicopters Ltd. Wineries Boucherie Estate Winery Calona Vineyards Cedar Creek Estate Winery House of Rose Pinot Reach Cellars Qualis' Gate Estate Wintery Slamka Cellars Winery St.Hubertus Estate Winery Summerhill Pyramid Winery Elysium Garden Nursery Raven Ridge Cidery East Kelowna Cider Co Slamka Cellars Winery Focus Okanangan Valley Ballooning Balloon Kelowna Stardust Ballooning Ltd. Extreme Air Sports High Sky Adventures Interior Skydive Kelowna Parasail Adventures PPowder Outfitters Heli-skiing Skiing Apex Moutnain Resort Crystal Mountain Ski Hill Big White Silver Star Gambling Lake city Casinos Waterpark/Amusement Park 19 Greens Fun and Sports Centre Atlantis Waterslides & Recreations Ltd. Mariner's Reef Waterslide Park Planet Spacewalkers Scandia Golf & Games Auto/Motor Sports Coastline Motorcycle Tours & Rentals Grand Prix Kelowna Thunder Mountain (Auto) Racing Westside Go Carts Go Cart City Tours Mws Adventures Okanagan ATV tours Gof Tours All Terrain Tours Brewery & Distillery Tours Culinary Tours Garden Tours Monashee Adventure Tours Industry & Factory Tours Orchards & Orchard Tours Rail Tours Tours for Women Winery & Vineyard Tours (x6) Guided Walking Tours Limousine Tours Motorcoach & Van Tours The Jammery Chikadee Ridge Miniatures Bicycling Canadian Trails Bicycle Tours Monashee Adventure Tours Sparky's Lake Front Sports Centre Outbound Cycle and Sport The Bike Barn Freedom Bike Shop

Page 65

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Kamloops - Activities
Golf Alberdeen Hills Golf Links Eagle Point Gof and Country Club Kamloops Golf & Country Club McArthur Island Golf Centre Mount Paul Golf Course Pineridge Colf Course Rivershore Estates and Golf Links Sun Rivers Golf Resort Community The Dunes and Kamloops Kayaking/Rafting Adams River Rafting Inc. West Coast Adventure Tours (rafting) Simpcwetkwe River & Adventure Co. Ocean Pacific Water Sports Marinas Captains Village Marina Boating/Sailing Chatfields Charters and Boat Rentals Little River Boat World Sunbum River City Marine (boat rentals) West Syde Service (boat rentals) Snowmobiling Kamloops Snowmobile Association Wildlife Parks Snowshoeing Runner's Sole BC Wildlife Park Little Farmer's Petting Zoo and Exotic Birds Rock Hound Adventure Tours Kamloops Geology and Fossil Tours Kamloops Paintball Games Armageddon Paintball Limited All4Paintball Horseback Riding Bicycling Erin Valley Riding Stable Zirnhelt Cutting Horses Fieldstone Farm Scenic Flights Skyworks Sports Flying Canadian Helicopters Ltd. Cariboo Chilcotin Helicopers Ltd. Highland Helicopters Ltd. Skiing Sun Peaks Ski Resort Harper Mountain (local ski hill) Kamloops Bike Camp Spoke n' Motion (moutain bike rentals) Climbing Ropes End Climbing Gym Kamloops Rockworks Limited Casinos/Racetracks Lake City Casino - Kamloops TBC Teletheatres BC Ltd. (racetrack) Fossil and Rock Digging Billiards Executive Billiards Club Lucky Break Café & Billiards Bar Back Alley Billiard Exsresso Shop Bowling The Reel Fishing Hole Falcon Lanes Bowling Bowlertime 5 Pin Bowling Centre Paintball Amusement Parks/Adventure City Heights Adventure Golf Fun Factor Lasertrek Ruckers Tunnels & Tubes Indoor Play Park Scotch Creek Family Fun Centre Go Cart City Extreme Air Sports Airdance HangGliding School Kamloops Skydivers Sport Parachute Club Fishing

Page 66

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Nanaimo - City Parks
200+ parks Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park Scenic Harbour Front Pipers Lagoon Park Swy-A-Lana Park Buttertubs Marsh Morrell Sanctuary Bowen Park Beban Park City of Nanaimo Parks
Alderway Playlot Allison Way Playlot Amsterdam Park Anchor Way Anchor Way Park Arbot Road Park Arbutus Park Ardoon Park Barney Moriez Park Barrington Park Barsby Park Bastion Square Bayshore Park Beach Estates Park Beaufort Park Beban Park Ben Gunn Park Biggs Park Bird Sanctuary Park Black Beard Park Black Diamond Park Blueback Beach Access Bob-O-Link Park Bowen Park Bowen West Brackenwood/Briarwood Playlot Brannen Lake Boat Launch Brechin Boat Ramp Breonna/Schooner Playlot Broadway Playlot Brookwood Marsh Brown's Lane Playlot Bruce Avenue Park Butternut Park Buttertubs Marsh Buttertubs Marsh West Cable Bay Trail Caledonia Park Camcrest Park Capilano Playlot 1 Capilano Playlot 2 Captain Flint Park Captain Hook Park Captain Morgan Park Carriage Way Playlot Carrington Park Cathedral Grove Park Cathers Lake Park Charlaine Boat Ramp Chase River Estuary Park Chase River Watercourse Chesterlea Playlot Chinese Memorial Gardens Cilaire Parklot 1 Cilaire Parklot 2 Cinnabar Valley Park Clarence Way Park Colliery Dam Park Comox Playground Country Club Playlot 1 Country Club Playlot 2 Country Club Playlot 3 Dallas Square Davies Lane Playlot Departure Bay Centennial Park Diver Lake Park Dogwood Park Doreen Place Playlot Douglas Parklot Douglas & Eighth Parklot Duggan Road Playlot Duke & Robins Parklot Dunbar Park Dunstar Park Durham Playlot E&N Trail Eagle View Park Egli Park Elks Park Elmwood Park Emery Way Playlot Enwhistle Playlot Enwhistle/Cabriolet Playlot Everest Drive Park Fern Road Park Fillinger Boat Ramp Folk Fest Park Forest Drive Playlot Gallows Point Light Georgia Park Georgia Triangle Glen Oaks Playlot Gregalach Parkway Green Lake ROW Groveland Park Gyro 1 (Comox) Playground Gyro Parkette Gyro Youth Park Haliburton Playground Harbourfront Plaza Harewood Mining Community Waterpark Harry Wipper Park Hawthorne Village Park Hewgate Park Hidden Treasure Park Holland Road Park Horth Park Icarus Drive Playlot Idaho Place Playlot Invermere Beach Access Italian Square Jack Point Park Janes Park Jester's Way Playlot Joan Point Park John Weeks Park Jordan Avenue Playlot Jordan/Nova Parkette Keighly Parkette Kells Bay Road Park Kenwill Park Kerry Lane Park Kinette Evergreen Park Kinsman Park Kiwanis Park Knowles Playlot Koram Park Labieux Playlot Lakeside Park Lakeview Park Lagoon Parklot Laguna Playlot Lancashire Playlot Lewis Park Lions Square Parkette Linley Valley (Cottle Lake) Park Long John Silver Park Lost Lake Trail Loudon Park and Walkway Maffeo Sutton Park Malibu Terrace Playlot Mansfield Park May Richard Bennett Pioneer Park McGirr Park McGirr Playlot McGregor Park McGuffie Parkway McKinnon Place Parklot Millstone Parklot 1 Millstone Parklot 2 Morningside Parklot Morrell Nature Sanctuary Neck Point Park Newcastle Island Newcastle Park (provincial park) Ninth Street Parkette Nob Hill Playlot Northfield Nature Park Northfield Rotary Lookout Nottingham Drive Playlot Nova Playlot Noye Road & Big Bear Playlot Orchard Circle Playlot 1 Orchard Circle Playlot 2 Oliver Park Park Gully Parkway Drive Parkette Piper Park Pipers Lagoon Park Pirates Park Planta Park Pleasant Valley Park Porpoise Place Playlot Porter Road Park Queen Elizabeth II Promenade Rafter Road Park Railway/Connaught Playlot Ranchview Playlot Ravine Park Reservoir Park Roberta Road Park Robins Park Rocky Point 1 Rocky Point 2 Rosamond Parkette Rosstown Road Park Rotary Gateway Parkette Rutherford Park Ryan Road Park Salish Parkette Sandra Road Park Saxer Park Schook Parkette Seabold Park Sealand Park Sechelt Drive Playlot Shaughnessy Playlot Shenton Park Sierra Park Smugglers Park Southhampton Road Playlot Springfield Place Park St. George Ravine Park Staffordshire Playlot Stirling/Deering Playlot Sugarloaf Mountain Park Sun Valley Drive Park Swy-A-Lana Lagoon Taylor Place Parklot Theresa Terrace Playlot Third Street Park Three Lagoon Islands Thunderbird Playlot 1 Thunderbird Playlot 2 Townsite Square Tralee Road Park Trofton Park Turner/Carlton Park Uplands Playlot 1 Uplands Playlot 2 Walley Creek Trail Wardropper Park Waterfront Park Wellington Parkway Westdale/Leslie Playground Westhaven Park (Bayshore) Westwood Lake Park Williamson Road Park Woodstream Park

Page 67

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Kelowna
Guisachan Heritage Park Paul's Tomb A.S. Matheson Elementary Gyro Beach Park Pearson Elementary Anchor Park Hartman Park Poplar Point Beach Access Ballou Rd. Park Hartwick Park Purcell Park Bankhead Crescent Hollydell Park Quail Ridge Linear Park Beach Ave. - Beach Access Hollywood Park Queensway Boat Launch Belgo Elementary Hollywood/Teasdale Park Quigley Elementary Belgo Park Jack Brow Park Raymer Elementary Bellevue Creek Elementary Jack Robertson Park Recreation Park Belmont Johnson Road Park Redlich Pond Ben Lee Park Kasugai Park Redridge Park Bertram Creek Regional Park Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery Richmond Park Black Mountain Park Kelowna Yacht Club Rotary Beach Park Blair Pond Kerry Park Rotary Marsh Bluebird Rd. N. - Beach Access Kettle Valley Park Roxby Centennial Bluebird Rd. S. - Beach Access Kinsmen Park Royal Ave. - Beach Access Brandt's Creek Klassen Road Park Rutland Elementary Briarwood Park KLO Creek Park Rutland Junior Secondary Burne Ave. - Beach Access KLO Secondary Rutland Lions Park C.O.S.B.A. KLO Sportsfield Rutland Senior Secondary Cadder Ave. Beach Access Knowles Rutland Sportsfield Calmels Park Knox Mountain Park Sarsons Beach Cameron Park Knox Mountain Trail Scenic Canyon Regional Park Canyon Falls Lake Ave. - Beach Access Sonora Park Caro Park Lakeshore Rd. - Beach Access South Kelowna Centennial Park Cascade Park Lakeshore Road Boat Launch South Kelowna Elementary Casorso Elementary Layer Cake Mountain South Rutland Elementary Casorso/Barrera Triangle Lebanon Creek - A Spiers Rd. Park Cassiar Park North Leckie Place (Brent's Mill site) Springvalley Junior Secondary Cassiar Park South Lillooet Sportsfield Springville Elementary Cedar Creek Lombardy Sportsfield Stevens Coyote Ridge Cedar/Abbott Park Lower Dilworth Park Stillingfleet Park Centennial Park Magic Estates Strathcona Park Chichester Wetland Main Street (Kettle Valley) Sumac Rd. Park Christmas Tree Park Manhattan Point - Beach Access Summerside Park Chute Lake Road Mappin Court Park Summit Park City Hall Park Mary Ann Collinson Memorial Park Sutherland Hills Provincial Park City of Kelowna Waste Water Treatment Facility Matera Glen Park Sutherland Park City Park Maude-Roxby Bird Sanctuary Thomson Collett Rd. - Beach Access McKinley Landing Park Toovey Rd. Park Crawford Bridle Paths Miekle Ave. - Beach Access Valley Glen Wetland Cross Glen Park Mill Creek (where there is a trail) Vimy Ave. - Beach Access Curlew Park Millard Glen Park Water Street Boat Launch Dewdney Beach Access - 1 Millbridge Park Waterfront Park Dilworth Mountain Park and Trails Mission Creek Greenway Watt Rd. - Beach Access Dilworth Soccer Field Mission Creek Regional Park Watt Road Park Dubbin Rd. - Beach Access Mission Gravel Pit West Ave. - Beach Access Duggan Park Mission Recreation Park West Ave. Park East Kelowna Elementary Mission Ridge Park West Rutland Elementary East Kelowna Sportsfields Mission Sportsfield Whitman Glen Park Edith Gay Park Mission Sportsfield Wigglesworth (fenced area adjacent to Mission Creek Greenway parking Eldorado Rd. - Beach Access Monashee Park Wilson Creek Ellison Area Moraine Park Windermere Park Ellison/Rutland Softball Park Naito Park Woodhaven Park Enterprise Way Central Park Newport Glen Park Wyndham Crt. Park Fairhall Park North Central Area Park - 1 Farris Rd. - Beach Access North Central Area Park - 2 Fascieux Creek Wetland North Glenmore Area Francis Ave. - Beach Access Okanagan-Mission Hall Franklyn O'Keefe Court Park Glenmore (Brandt's Creek) Linear Park Old City Works Yard Glenmore Sportsfield Osprey Park Golfview Pacific Court Park Gopher Creek Linear Park Parkinson Sportsfield Government Campground Parks Division Yard

Page 68

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Kamloops
82 Parks with 1350 ha (3336 ac.) developed parks 229 ha open space 1121 ha Banana Island Provincial Park Bridge Lake Provincial Park Dunn Peak Protected Are Riverside Park Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park McArthur Island

City-wide parks District parks Neigborhood parks Tot lots Open space Parks

Page 69

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Arenas
Arena Nanaimo Frank Crane Arena Cliff McNabb Arena Nanaimo Civic Arena Prospera Place (formerly Skyreach Place) Okanagan Sportscentre Kelowna Memorial Arena Rutland Arena Mount Boucherie Arena: Winfield Arena: IceBox Arena Sport Mart Place Memorial Arena McArthur Island Sports Centre Brock Arena Valleyview Arena Norbrock Stadium Seating Capacity (if applicable) 2460 150 1700 6000+ Hockey rink Hockey rink To be phased out by April 2006 Multi-use. Primary use for the local hockey team, but can accommodate concerts One ice rink, 3/4 sheet (practice rink) Ice rink Ice rink with 2 sheets of ice Ice Rink Ice Rink Ice Rink Multipurpose arena, primarily for hockey (Home of the Kamloops Blazers) Ice Rink 1=hockey, 1=curling, 1=olympic size hockey under construction to be completed Jan 2006 Ice Rink Ice Rink Baseball Details

Kelowna

Kamloops

5158

1200

1000

Nanaimo Conference Space
# Rooms 3 5 8 2 11

Hotel Ramada Resort on Long Lake The Grand Hotel Nanaimo Best Western Dorchester Best Western Northgate Coast Bastion Hotel

Sq ft 1,588 4,000 6,750 1,280 7,500

Total

29

21,118

Page 70

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Appendix B – Internal and External Stakeholder List
Qualitative Research Participants Internal Stakeholder Interviewees: 1. Bruce Barnard, Painted Turtle Guest House 2. Volker Grady, Coast Bastion Inn 3. Ian Hall, Nanaimo Dive Association 4. George Hanson, Downtown Nanaimo Partnership 5. Tom Hickey, Nanaimo Parks, Recreation, and Culture 6. Donna Hill, Island Discovery Tours 7. Dave Ilyn, Buccaneer Inn 8. Bronwyn Jenkins-Deas, Malaspina University College 9. Camela Tang, Centre for the Arts 10. Sandra Thompson, Port Theatre 11. Deb Trueman, Nanaimo District Museum 12. Jeff Wolff, Marriott Hotels and Resorts External Stakeholder Interviewees and Focus Group Participants: 1. Sheldon Eggan, Charter Bus Lines 2. Barry Gee, BC Biotech Association 3. MaryLou Harrigan, Conference Consultant 4. Stan Hill, Westin Bayshore Hotel and Resort 5. Vanjie Johnson, BC Association of Optometrists 6. Brock Macdonald, Recycling Council of BC 7. Anne MacKenzie, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 8. Bill McKay, HarbourLynx 9. Norma Miller, BC Real Estate Association 10. Meredith Moll, Harbour Air 11. Dave Petryk, TAVI 12. Anne Philley, BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association 13. Diana Preoleasa, RezRez 14. Carla Rich, Westcoast Sightseeing 15. Craig Runsby, Fairmont Waterfront Centre Hotel 16. Brian Veitch, Gray Line Vancouver 17. Bob Wick, Western Turfgrass Association 18. Daria Wojnarski, Real Estate Institute of BC

Page 71

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Appendix C – Qualitative Research Report

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH REPORT CITY OF NANAIMO

Presented to: COSSETTE COMMUNICATION GROUP March 2005

Presented by:
Qualitative Research Associates Inc. 604-684-8758 qra@shaw.ca

Page 72

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

KEY FINDINGS Respondents selected from the tourism and conference-planning industry have a number of perceptions on the City of Nanaimo as a tourist destination and a conference location, as well as recommendations on its development.

Perceptions
o Overall knowledge of Nanaimo is limited. Many respondents have not spent sufficient time in Nanaimo and know it only as a place to pass through. Knowledge of transportation options to Nanaimo is also limited, and some think it is too difficult to access. Since ease of access is important when recommending a place to tourists or for conventions, that lack of awareness of transportation options becomes an impediment to recommending Nanaimo as a destination. As a conference location, Nanaimo is desirable for some because there are golf courses and other outdoor activities in the area that appeal to conference planners. However, the perception that access is difficult tends to override this. Those respondents who do have some awareness of Nanaimo see it as a quiet coastal town which offers a variety of activities. It has a quaint downtown area and a very attractive promenade along the harbour. But even those individuals feel that the city lacks a pulse or personality. A convention centre and hotel complex illustrates a commitment to tourism and business travel but is only one component of what is needed to make Nanaimo a desirable destination. Arts and culture, outdoor activities and heritage are all important but none of them can stand alone in attracting tourists.

o

o

o

o

o

Recommendations
o A starting point for developing a positioning for Nanaimo is to utilize what is natural to or about Nanaimo. The fact that Nanaimo is a small coastal city was seen by the respondents as its strong point. Many respondents referred to Nanaimo as a “gateway.” Some went on to imagine that visiting Nanaimo provides access to the things that Nanaimo has to offer but also to the entire surrounding area. Day trips to Chemainus, Parksville/Qualicum or even Tofino could be part of the visitor’s experience of Nanaimo. Any area of emphasis for promoting Nanaimo must have buy-in from the locals. Tourists are interested in experiencing the local flavour of places they visit. Having local buy-in also ensures that the city acts like a host to tourists, making them feel welcome and ensuring that they have a good experience. Any campaign to encourage tourism or convention travel must advertise the various transportation options for travel to Nanaimo.

o

o

o

Page 73

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

BACKGROUND Meyer, Norris Penny, Cossette Communications-Marketing, and PricewaterhouseCoopers are working jointly on a project to assist in developing a Destination Development and Marketing Strategy for the City of Nanaimo. This project encompasses the need for both quantitative and qualitative research. At the request of Cossette Communications-Marketing, QRA Inc. conducted a qualitative research project in the City of Vancouver amongst individuals from the tourism industry and conference planners. OBJECTIVES The objectives of this research were: To gain an understanding of perceptions of the City of Nanaimo as a tourist destination To understand perceptions of the tourism offerings within the City of Nanaimo To gain insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the City of Nanaimo as a conference location RESPONDENT SELECTION There were three groups of respondents: Tourism-related individuals: 2 groups of respondents were drawn from the commercial organizations who are directly involved in the booking and transporting of visitor groups to the targeted community. Individuals were selected based on their working knowledge of travel preferences in British Columbia, Alberta and the State of Washington. Conference planners: 1 group of respondents consisted of individuals who are responsible for conference coordination for specific organizations.

Page 74

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

FINDINGS Assessing Tourist Destinations in BC The tourism-related groups were asked to discuss several tourist destinations in BC and indicate the strengths and weaknesses of each Kamloops was described as a small town that some respondents associate with industry. In the minds of some, it is not a destination but rather a city that is passed through on the way to somewhere else. As a tourist destination it is thought to be underdeveloped but with some potential. Some respondents noted that Kamloops does have tourism value in its proximity to Vancouver, its accessibility via a good highway system, and its golfing and hiking opportunities. Skiing is also available nearby at Sun Peaks. The Kamloops area also has many lakes, offering good options for camping and outdoor activities. In spite of this, however, most of these same respondents admitted that they would likely direct a tourist to other destinations first. Places like Victoria, for instance, are seen as being prepared to host tourists, with an infrastructure that guarantees that tourists will be aware of and have access to the things they want. “Kamloops hasn’t sold itself,” according to several of these respondents. Kelowna was described as a family-friendly, year-round tourist destination. It has a great deal to offer, mostly outdoor activities, both summer and winter. It also has a variety of good restaurants and higher-end hotels, something that Kamloops does not offer. And Kelowna is seen as having been better marketed than Kamloops. Williams Lake has only one association — the Stampede. “There is no other reason to go there”. When asked for initial reactions to Nanaimo, respondents had some positive associations. Some see it as a quiet coastal town that offers a quaint downtown, a delightful promenade and an array of enjoyable restaurants. It also offers lots of outdoor activities. For these respondents, Nanaimo’s proximity to Victoria, Parksville/Qualicum, and even Tofino make it an appealing destination. It provides access to all parts of Vancouver Island and was consistently described as the “gateway”. Being referred to as the “gateway” generally has positive implications in that it offers the traveler a place to stay while providing access to many other appealing places. When used to describe Nanaimo, however, “gateway” actually means, for some, a place travelers pass through or by but do not stop and visit. “Nanaimo has done a good job at moving people past the city” with the highway bypass that takes travelers around the city rather than through it, and with the highway system from the ferry which successfully moves people to outlying areas without even the briefest experience of downtown Nanaimo. Kamloops was similarly described as a city that travelers touch on the way to somewhere else. For some, though, Kamloops lacks the quaint downtown core that visitors to Nanaimo can experience. Moreover, Nanaimo is coastal and thus offers the natural beauty that most travelers expect of BC. Recommending a Tourist Destination The two respondent groups involved in the tourist industry discussed how they recommend destinations to tourists. There was agreement that any recommendation for a tourist destination would be based on the needs or desires of the traveler, on what things the traveler likes to do. This plays the most important role in recommending which locations they could visit. Having determined what a traveler wants, the recommendation is based on what a location has to offer but also on its overall environment, the infrastructure that is in place to serve the traveler, and the ability of the location to host the traveler in an appropriate way.

Page 75

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Kamloops, for example, offers many outdoor activities, including skiing in the winter and golfing in the summer, and has many lakes in the surrounding areas. Yet most of the respondents would not recommend Kamloops because those things can be found in other environments that are more appealing and that have an infrastructure that will satisfy the traveler. In that regard, Kamloops lacks good hotels and its downtown is seen as unsatisfying because it lacks interesting shops and the quaintness associated with other places. Recommending a Conference Destination The group of conference planners discussed how they make recommendations for a conference destination, agreeing that there are several things that must be taken into account. The most important consideration for conference planners is whether the location has the necessary facilities. The size of the conference — including the number of booths, breakout rooms, and overall conference space required — will determine whether a location is even considered. Another determining factor is the number of hotel rooms and the quality of the hotels available in the area. Most of these respondents move their conferences to a different location each year. So having new places to offer is important. For some, past history with a convention centre is important. Some centres are created to allow easy access to the facility and have staff that is prepared to cater to the conference organizers to ensure that their needs are met. Most respondents also agreed that they would never book into a conference centre that is not yet built. Construction delays and staff who are unfamiliar with the centre are potential problems that these individuals want to avoid. They also want to select places that have activities to offer around the conference. Golf is a desirable activity, as is skiing in the winter. The availability of good shopping, good restaurants and the unique offerings of an area all play a role in ensuring that a location is part of the consideration set. Accessibility is also very important. Locations that are more difficult to get to often result in lower subscription to the conference. Poor accessibility translates into added cost to get there, which also affects enrolment. Holding a conference in Cranbrook, for example, is likely to have lower enrolment than one held in Kelowna, largely because of accessibility though also desirability.

Page 76

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

CONVENTION CENTRES All three respondent groups were asked to indicate their perceptions of various convention centres around the province. Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre This was described by some as a beautiful building with very professional staff who make the experience of being there comfortable. Many applauded the proximity to good hotels and the overall location of the centre. However, the convention planners group had some negative comments. There was the perception that the structure itself is less than desirable. The staff is unionized, thus creating a more cumbersome process for getting things done. And some respondents find the cost prohibitive. Grand Okanagan Convention Centre Most respondents like the Grand Okanagan Convention Centre, indicating that it is a good facility. It is smaller than Vancouver’s Convention Centre, low key, and lacks Vancouver’s high energy, but that is actually appreciated for certain types of conventions. With its proximity to the lake, the overall location of the Grand Okanagan is appealing to most. And the availability of the casino adds some spice to any conference that is held there. The hotel rooms available in the vicinity are comfortable and are capable of satisfying the needs of the business traveler. Again, though, a few of the conference planners had some more negative views. There is a problem with accessing this conference centre with larger equipment, and the ramp systems are awkward. The staff offer less expertise than some desire. Whistler Trade & Convention Centre This conference centre is celebrated, mainly because of its location. Whistler is seen as a year-round destination, offering “all that anyone might want”. It has an outdoor focus so is particularly appreciated by individuals who like outdoor activities. Though isolated, Whistler is fairly accessible. The fact that it is isolated actually allows more control over the conference delegates, as opposed to Vancouver where they might want to explore the city. The conference centre itself is considered to be a good one, with staff who work hard at solving problems and dealing with whatever arises. The fact that Whistler has so many good hotels in the immediate vicinity of the conference centre adds to its attraction. Whistler is also a destination that most people want to experience so a conference held there is always applauded. On the other hand, its popularity means that wintertime conferences are expensive and hotels and other suppliers do not offer deals to conference delegates. Nanaimo Convention Centre The proposed convention centre in Nanaimo was introduced to the groups and met with mixed response. Some respondents felt that Nanaimo would be a good destination. It is a relaxed environment and has the Page 77
KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

desirable qualities of a coastal town. It could be considered the “Okanagan of the coast”. Still, for others, a convention centre is just a building. Without the infrastructure and activities surrounding that centre, it has little value. For instance, available hotel space was mentioned as a negative. Nanaimo does not have many quality hotel rooms available. With the introduction of the Marriott Hotel, that impression changed slightly but even that hotel anticipates only 180 rooms so there are still perceived limitations. The design and scope of the convention centre will determine who would be able to hold a conference there. But all conference planners indicated that they would not even consider booking in that space until it is complete and all of the kinks have been ironed out. Discussion of travel to and from Nanaimo also met with mixed response. Some respondents feel that Nanaimo is easily accessible, via BC Ferries, floatplanes and regularly scheduled flights into Nanaimo airport. However, mention of BC Ferries raised questions for a number of individuals who fear that ferry travel, especially during busy times of year, is difficult with long waits. And Nanaimo (Cassidy) Airport was also mentioned negatively. That airport gets fogged in regularly, causing difficulties for conference travel where many delegates would be relying on air travel to get there. Overall, the discussion of travel to and from Nanaimo revealed a tremendous lack of information about modes of travel and the cost of getting there. Few people were aware of the schedules and cost of HarbourLynx, for example. Some were even unaware that Nanaimo has an airport. City of Nanaimo A general discussion of Nanaimo took place with respondents offering their perceptions of the City. Responses were very mixed, revealing that some individuals have current knowledge of Nanaimo and others don’t. Those who know Nanaimo see it as a city with a lot to offer. It has a quaint downtown core and a wonderful harbour area with a promenade. Along with an interesting heritage, it has a significant arts community, particularly in the performing arts. For others, however, Nanaimo is a city without personality. It offers some outdoor activities, but all of these can also be experienced in other, more appealing places. Its downtown is not particularly interesting and these respondents do not expect to find good restaurants nor much that is interesting in the area of arts and culture. What became clear throughout this discussion is that Nanaimo, regardless of what it has to offer, lacks a cohesive sense of self. It has no defined personality, nothing that will attract visitors regularly. It was mentioned that the City does host various festivals, most notably the bathtub races, which are world famous. But those offerings do not reflect Nanaimo. People are not coming to Nanaimo, they are attending the bathtub races, for example. What Nanaimo needs is something that reflects what the City is, rather than the events that it hosts. The popular destinations like Victoria, Kelowna and Whistler all have a definition, a personality that most travelers identify with. That is their attraction. When the respondent groups were asked to think about what Nanaimo could do to make them pay attention, a couple consistent themes emerged. First, the fact that it is a coastal town is in its favour. As a coastal town Nanaimo has a great deal of natural beauty, which can be capitalized on. Being a coastal town also suggests that it is laid back and casual, with perhaps a little quirkiness that makes it unique in some way. Second, Nanaimo is consistently described as a “gateway” and some feel that this could be the hook that will capture people. As a gateway it can offer not just what exists within the confines of Nanaimo but also much of the beauty and uniqueness of the surrounding area. As some suggested, visitors could stay in Nanaimo, traveling one day to Rathtrevor, the next to Chemainus and so on, but enjoying Nanaimo’s restaurants and theater in the evenings.

Page 78

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

Discussion of Attributes The groups were given a list of five attributes and asked to discuss their importance in terms of attracting tourists and/or business travelers. a. Conference and meeting facilities, – a meeting facility for up to 900 delegates and a new Marriott Hotel

This was thought to be an important component for Nanaimo in terms of attracting business travelers. A city with a convention centre is seen by some respondents as a city that is making a commitment to tourism. Additionally the new Marriott Hotel creates a slight change in the face of Nanaimo. However, there was a concern that the new hotel only has 180 rooms. If the meeting facilities can accommodate up to 900 there may be a shortfall of rooms for conferences of that size. While most respondents felt that this was an important component, it is not the end. As many reminded, “the convention centre is only a building.” The City must offer more and have an infrastructure that is willing and capable of hosting tourists. b. History and Heritage – Nanaimo’s coal mining and forestry history and its First Nations heritage

A few respondents saw a focus on history and heritage as being important. However, most felt that, again, it is only a small part of what is necessary to make Nanaimo an appealing destination for visitors. There was mention of historic walks that can be taken through Nanaimo. It was suggested that those walks are lacking, and that there are problems with the existing walks: One that was mentioned goes through an undesirable part of town at one point, while another walk takes the visitor across the highway, interrupting the feeling of history that is being created. c. Arts and Culture – festivals, artist studios, theatre

Arts and culture can be an attraction once one is in Nanaimo, but this would not necessarily be the draw that would attract people to go there. Many respondents indicated that, other than festivals that are a specific draw, artistic endeavors can be accessed in Vancouver and other areas of the province. Unless Nanaimo were to market itself as a artists’ colony rather like what Saltspring Island has done, those kinds of things are only valued after the fact. As far as festivals are concerned, unless the festival is somehow reflective of what Nanaimo is or what it stands for, then Nanaimo only becomes the host city and nothing more. An example offered was LaConner and the Tulip Festival. That festival is about something that is nurtured in LaConner and thus imbues the city with the flavour that is associated with that festival.

d.

Marine Activities – boating, diving, floating farmer’s market, educational marine interpretive centre

Most respondents agreed that Nanaimo is a coastal city and should focus on that fact. Marine activities are appealing, as are fishing, beaches and many other things associated with coastal towns. The floating farmer’s market was thought to be a great idea but with the reminder that it will not be effective if it is for tourists only and not appealing to the locals. Anything that is being promoted needs to be imbued with some local flavour. That is what people want when they visit a place — they want to feel the people and have a sense of the place. During this discussion there was frequent mention of Protection Island and Newcastle Island, pointing out that part of what is unique about Nanaimo is access to those places.

Page 79

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS

e.

Outdoor adventure sports and recreation – hiking, biking, fishing

These things are all valuable but can also be experienced in many other areas of British Columbia. They do not make Nanaimo unique in any way. SUMMARY In summary, the above attributes are all components of what Nanaimo has to offer. Each is important to the overall picture of the City, but none of them can stand alone in appealing to tourists or business travelers. What is missing is a local flavour, a commitment to tourism by the people of Nanaimo, and a more cohesive definition or description of what Nanaimo is. The fact that Nanaimo is a coastal city is thought to be the appropriate starting point for building a “personality” for Nanaimo. The fact that Nanaimo is a “gateway” to other places can be utilized as part of what it offers. The access the City provides to the Parksville/Qualicum area and to places like Chemainus and even Tofino could be utilized as part of the charm and uniqueness of Nanaimo, without diminishing what Nanaimo itself has to offer. Creating day tours or overnight tours for visitors from Vancouver is another way of introducing the City to those who do not know it already. With the availability of the HarbourLynx ferry, it is possible for visitors to come for a day trip to see and experience Nanaimo. In that respect, it is important critical that the various transportation options for travel to Nanaimo be advertised as part of any campaign to encourage tourism. To most of the respondents in this study, transportation is an important issue and there is insufficient knowledge amongst these individuals about those transportation options. Overall, Nanaimo appears to have the various components necessary to make it an inviting tourist destination. Now it needs to package what it offers in an appealing way.

Page 80

KNOWLEDGE BEYOND NUMBERS