Destination Marketing and Visitor Services Staff
Comox Valley Economic Development is proud to be the regional Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) representing the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, and areas within the Comox Valley Regional District. Under the banner ‘Discover Comox Valley’ it promotes the region’s tourism attractions and attributes to enhance the economic well-being of the region. This exciting & dynamic role is lead by the volunteer-based Comox Valley Destination Marketing Advisory Committee, the broader tourism industry, and supported via the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre (VIVC, Comox Valley), and the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT), a 2% tax collected by Courtenay accommodation providers to be used for Destination Marketing initiatives. The following staff supports the development and implementation of annual tourism strategies:
Ivonne Doust, Retail & Visitor Centre Operations
Responsible for the daily management and operation of the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre and the entire Mobile Visitor Centre program. Undertakes the implementation of the Ambassador program, recruiting, hiring and training of visitor services personnel. Also responsible for ensuring there is an adequate supply of collateral materials and retail inventory on hand. Works with conference organizers and representatives by providing information to them regarding the services offered at the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre. Maintains regular frontline communication to industry partners and assists with product development efforts, media visits and trade familiarization (FAM) tours to Comox Valley. Leads the implementation of DBC Sector Marketing Partnership Program initiatives and reporting, including MRDT reporting.
Tansy Pauls, Market Development & Tours
Responsible for communicating with and working alongside travel trade and industry partners while at the same time assisting with regional tourism product development. Promoting opportunities for operators to participate in the Online Booking Program and implementing the Google My Business Program. Responsible for hiring and training of visitor services personnel, general Visitor Centre operations. Leads the implementation of DBC Cooperative Marketing Partnership Program initiatives and reporting, including MRDT reporting. Responsible for TV video sales, racking sales, hallway signage sales, web business listing sales, as well as marketing the boardroom. Helps develop new packages and tours to further draw visitors to the Comox Valley.
Destination Marketing Staff
Sanjali Thapa, Digital Marketing & Events
Responsible for creating and researching the content for Discover Comox Valley and Tourism Mount Washington e-blasts, ensuring content uses the correct branding and represents key tourism priorities. Undertakes communications and sales of VIVC Marketing Programs Sales & Services in the Visitor Centre, ensuring sufficient collateral and regional brochures in the Visitor Centre, and assists with the development & maintenance of the DiscoverComoxValley.com.
Heather Lorenz, Social Media, Communications & Events
Responsible for all social media channels, monitoring measurement of online marketing activities and engagement as well as tracking statistics for reporting purposes. Develops online campaigns, contests and promotions to increase social media participation and page likes to drive traffic to the DiscoverComoxValley.com website with the goal of increasing visitor traffic to the Centre and the area. Responsible for creating events to market the Comox Valley and drive increased overnight stays.
Kazumi Kobayashi, Marketing Programs and Events
Responsible for managing the online event calendar on the DiscoverComoxValley.com by sourcing events and checking for accuracy as well as assists with content for the E-Blasts and other social media content. Responsible for reaching out to business to secure new products for consignment in the retail store as well as for showcasing at events, also responsible for maintaining and updating photo and video libraries.
Michelle Beaule, Website and IT Support
Development and maintenance of technical infrastructure, software, data analysis, and web technology.
Visitor Services Staff
The Visitor Services department provides information on the Comox Valley through in-person counselling, via telephone, online, TripAdvisor and email. The goal is to encourage visitation and increase the length of stay in the Comox Valley by showcasing tourism experiences, also responsible for distribution of travel literature and merchandise sales.