New chairwoman heads Tourism Leadership Committee

NANAIMO – The economic development corporation announces new leadership and directors of tourism board.

The Tourism Leadership Committee will need to find a balance between day-to-day tourism marketing and destination development, according to the board’s new chairwoman.

“I think there’s a lot of interesting challenges and opportunities we are going to be facing,” said Sandra Petryk, marketing and community engagement manager for the Nanaimo Airport and new chairwoman of the Tourism Leadership Committee.

“There’s a lot of new opportunities like the Chinese market and the new hotels, but we are also working as a destination so there’s lots of development work to do [and] in addition, we still need to worry about today and tomorrow and attract visitors for that.”

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation recently announced Petryk will take the helm of the Tourism Leadership Committee, an advisory body for Tourism Nanaimo. She will be taking over from Dan Brady, who was the chairman for the past two years.

Petryk calls Brady “the driving force” that got the committee started and to the point that it’s at today. She hopes to continue to help the committee achieve its strategic plan and help it develop better governance and structure, she said.

Five new members will also sit on the committee including: Inn on Long Lake manager James Young, Raj Banga, owner of Castaway and Royal motels, Geoff Wallace, general manager of the Best Western Northgate, Douglass Legg of Douglass Legg & Associates, and Leo Boon,  chairman of the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition.