District 69 residents invited to dinner

Tourism association seeking people’s input on new, local brand

Does ‘Oceanside’ cut it anymore? The OTA wants to hear from local stakeholders in government

Does ‘Oceanside’ cut it anymore? The OTA wants to hear from local stakeholders in government

While there may not be a free lunch, the Oceanside Tourism Association (OTA) wants to buy some local residents dinner.

As part of their ongoing branding review, the OTA hired a consultant that surveyed visitors through the summer and now they are looking for input from local residents.

“The best brand in the world only works when it is embraced by local stakeholders,” said executive director Blain Sepos.

He explained that the destination marketing messages they send out to entice visitors from outside the mid-Island to visit, must be consistent with the experiences people have when they actually do visit.

The OTA Community Brand Team is inviting around 70 identified stakeholders from local government, tourism businesses and sports, arts and culture groups, and are looking for an additional 20 to 30 residents to complete the community wide cross-section.

They are looking for a wide sample of people who are not directly employed in tourism to fill out how local residents perceive the area and how to communicate that to the rest of the world.

In exchange for a few hours of structured table discussions about the emotional motivators behind tourism and how to match the message with potential visitors, they will provide a buffet dinner, Sepos said.

This is part of phase four of seven. Next the OTA will take all the information from the dinner and tourism surveys and develop logos, photos and the key messages for local tourism stakeholders to use to help entice visitors.

Parksville residents interested in the September 11 dinner need to RSVP to Sharyn at 250-248-6300 ext. 4 or sharyn@oceansidetourism.com by Tuesday, September 4.