To the Editor,
Re: Timing right for hotel tax, Editorial, May 13.
Early in my career in marketing, I learned from my mentors that being keen is good, but also never in the euphoria of enthusiasm, to ‘sell the sizzle’ before you have the steak.
Let’s be honest and frank; tourism in Nanaimo has great potential but it needs development. We need to develop the steak, not create more sizzle. The new hotel tax is a good opportunity to develop our tourism industry.
Currently we have a few good tourism assets but there is not enough in Nanaimo to keep visitors longer than a day or two in the city. And some of the tourism product in Nanaimo, is not market-ready. So what does that mean for Nanaimo? It means we shouldn’t spend our money on getting people here, but rather on creating reasons for people to want to come to Nanaimo, not through Nanaimo.
To make that change we need to work co-operatively to develop what we have. Add new products and get all of that at a level that is of interest to the travellers and tourists.
New hotels in Nanaimo – fantastic! Keeping people in our hotel and B&B rooms with something to do every day for three to five days is the next step. Those activities have to be wide-ranging to appeal to the different desires and interest of the visitors. Smile, Nanaimo, it is your chance to be in the visitor industry picture.