The tourism industry is coming to visit our city.
Prince George is the host for this year's Northern British Columbia Tourism Association conference and annual general meeting.
"This event is designed to provide professional development sessions, influence new ideas, recognize industry leaders and generate networking and mentorship opportunities for our stakeholders," said the agency's CEO Anthony Everett. "Over 100 delegates from northern B.C. tourism marketing organizations, local and provincial governments and tourism operations regularly attend the two-day event."
Everett estimated the tourism industry contributes about $1.1 billion per year to the northern economy.
"We are the largest tourism region in the province, so its always exciting to get together to learn and network with our colleagues from all throughout the region - from the Alaska Highway to Terrace to Haida Gwaii," he said.
According to organizers, the conference includes professional development sessions and some key guest speakers.
Presenters include Greg Klassen, vice president of the Canadian Tourism Commission; Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training; and Spencer Chandra Herbert, official opposition critic for tourism.
Special sessions on sport tourism, project funding and cultural tourism are also on the schedule, as is a feature workshop to close the event.
The WorldHost - Solving Problems Through Service session is free of charge and aims to "transform front-line employees into effective problem-solvers," said conference officials. It intends to boost knowledge of "an anticipatory service approach," plus "how to use creative thinking in challenging situations, how to say no graciously, and how to apply a problem-solving approach."
This is a separate workshop from the main agenda, so anyone wishing to attend must confirm it with an email to pscl...@telus.net. It is open to conference delegates and the public.
One of the principle workshops is called "The True North: Building Tourism on Authentic Culture and Heritage" with presenters Ursula Pfahler and Bruce Whyte.
Another feature presentation is former CBC host Jowi Taylor showing off his unique guitar "Voyageur" made out of pieces of culturally significant wood obtained from across Canada: The Golden Spruce of Haida Gwaii, Pierre Trudeaus canoe paddle, Nancy Greenes ski, etc. He will be discussing the importance of highlighting the stories within regional cultures - plus play some music.
The centrepiece of the conference is the announcement of the Northern B.C. Tourism Awards.
The conference happens Oct. 28 to 30. All those involved in tourism are welcome to attend. The complete agenda, as well as registration, are available online at www.nbctagm.com.