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Tourism Pemberton requests VOP step up

Asks council for $15,000 marketing funds

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By Cindy Filipenko

Tourism Pemberton has asked the Village of Pemberton for $15,000 to offset its marketing budget for 2007.

The money represents a quarter of the organization’s marketing budget for next year as outlined in the recently released five-year strategic marketing plan.

If approved by the VOP, the money would be added to $20,000 committed by the province, and funds from local businesses. In addition, the group will also be seeking funding from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District to make its goal of $60,000. That baseline figure is projected to double annually for the duration of the five-year period.

Board member Brian Young presented Tourism Pemberton’s request to mayor and council this week, emphasizing that the campaign made good economic sense for the community.

“The campaign will bring in between $1.9 to $3 million in additional tourism revenue for Pemberton,” said Young, who also manages the Pemberton Valley Golf and Country Club.

Young pointed out that the average return on tourism marketing dollars is 25-to-1, but in Pemberton that ratio would be closer to 32-to-1 due to the community’s proximity to Whistler, an established tourism draw.

He pointed out that while marketing the area was nothing new, the approach TP was now taking differed from previous efforts.

“In the past marketing focused on specific businesses, we want to feature Pemberton in broader strokes.”

The idea resonated with at least once councillor.

“This is a great idea that’s long overdue,” said Councillor Mark Blundell. “The council has to get proactive in the community and support this initiative.

Council unanimously voted to support Blundell’s subsequent motion for staff to research the availability of funds to finance TP’s marketing initiative for 2007.

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