Last week, the board and staff met to set the direction of the organization for fiscal 2019-2020, which begins April 1. Each of Central Counties’ 16 board members is also a stakeholder who is volunteering – taking time away from their own successful careers and businesses to take a step back to look at the big picture for tourism in the region. The board members were asked to answer the question “What does success look like for Central Counties”. It is a great question, and an important one for the direction of the organization.
The responses around the table were very similar and all revolved you, our people. Success for Central Counties doesn’t lie in dollars and cents because we own no assets. As we went around the table asking the question, it became evident that success for Central Counties also wasn’t about WHAT we do for our stakeholders to make them successful but rather HOW we work with, partner with and support our stakeholders so that they can build their own success. Success is hearing that a leveraged investment allowed a regional museum to double its attendance. Success is getting a call from one of the biggest tourist attractions in the province because they want to leverage their reach to help drive more overnight visitation. Success is being able to distribute a media advisory about the new partners added to a stakeholder-developed tourism route now in its fourth year. Success is having yet another Tourism Coordinator hired in a municipality which has completed and adopted a Community Tourism Plan.
Central Counties has been headed in this direction over the last few years. This current fiscal, one of our main goals is to grow our business-to-business channels so that more tourism businesses know Central Counties and understand the programs and resources at their avail. In partnership with our DMO’s, we have already begun booking time to speak with new municipal councils so that they understand that tourism matters and that by working together and leveraging our resources, we have the ability to grow tourism spending in a way that benefits businesses and residents. We continue to tell your good news stories to our larger stakeholder group because it is tangible and can motivate others to think about their organization within the context of the bigger destination.
When the board meeting ended, we left with a unified idea of what success looked like. We even crafted a draft high-level statement of what Central Counties does. Central Counties Tourism aligns tourism resources to expand the York Durham Headwaters stakeholders’ ability to grow our tourism economy. In a nutshell, we are only successful when you are and we can’t prescribe what success looks like for you. We are here to help you be prepared for and capable of including tourism visitation and spending as part of your annual plans.
So please continue to reach out to us to tell us HOW we can help you be more successful. And spread the word to your peers that Central Counties is here to help. We are actively engaged with hundreds of tourism stakeholders throughout the region and there is still room for us to grow together as more businesses become involved. You can reach out to me directly at email@example.com or connect with your regional field manager:
Headwaters: Emily Quinton; York: Sandra Quiteria; Durham: Eleanor Cook
Have a great day!