Changes are afoot at both Tourism Powell River and Sunshine Coast Tourism as money from the newly created hotel tax has started coming in.
Sunshine Coast Tourism announced in a media release on Sunday, November 13, that it had hired Tourism Powell River’s executive director Paul Kamon to fill the newly created position of executive director for Sunshine Coast Tourism.
In addition to working at Tourism Powell River for the past five years, Kamon has worked as Sunshine Coast Tourism’s marketing director.
Kamon will now put his focus on leading the larger organization.
“We’re trying to redefine what role Tourism Powell River will have moving forward,” he said. “That’s all in discussion.”
Kamon said he is pleased to take on the new role. Annie Schroeder, who worked part-time as a marketing coordinator for Sunshine Coast Tourism, has been promoted to director of marketing. The development of the organization was made possible through the collection of the two per cent hotel tax that Sunshine Coast Tourism brought in last August, said Kamon.
The organization is starting to see some money come in from that, but Kamon added it will take a full year before they know whether their estimates on how much revenue the tax will create for regional marketing are accurate.
Accommodators are able to submit their collected tax to the provincial government on a monthly or quarterly basis.
“It’s hard to predict because it comes at different times depending on how the accommodators choose to submit it,” said Kamon.
City of Powell River councillor Russell Brewer, who holds the portfolio for tourism development, announced Kamon’s promotion at City of Powell River’s committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, November 15.
“He’s staying in Powell River,” Brewer told the committee. “We’re not going to lose him. It’ll be good to have a local playing a part in that marketing organization.”
Tourism Powell River has a five-year core funding service agreement with the city to operate the visitors’ centre and deliver tourism marketing for Powell River. The organization is about halfway through the agreement.
Brewer said council should expect a delegation from Tourism Powell River in the new year to talk about changes that the local organization will be undergoing.
Kamon said with Sunshine Coast Tourism taking over for marketing he is advocating the local agency to look more at longterm tourism infrastructure, including developing signage, wayfinding and tourist attractions.
In addition to announcing the new hires, Sunshine Coast Tourism also announced its new board that includes Old Courthouse Inn co-owner JP Brosseau, Town Centre Hotel owner Jack Barr, Footprint Kayak and Hike Explorations co-owner John Hermsen, Patricia Theatre co-owner Ann Nelson and Terracentric Adventures co-owner Christine Hollmann.