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Accent Inns & Hotel Zed wins Innovator Award

tourism-viOctober 14, 2016  Ucluelet, BC
Building Sustainable Legacies at Tourism Vancouver Island’s 53rd Annual Conference
For immediate release: Each year Tourism Vancouver Island has the pleasure of recognizing stakeholders who have demonstrated innovation and excellence in the tourism industry over the past year. The annual Tourism Vancouver Island Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony showcased the best of Vancouver Island tourism representatives and businesses. The awards were presented at Ucluelet Community Centre on October 6th, 2016.“The Vancouver Island region continues to be recognized internationally as a premier travel destination” say Dave Petryk, Tourism Vancouver Island’s CEO, “This is the result of the quality of experience delivered by our tourism operators in the region and our awards program recognizes the very best.”

Sponsored by Golf Vancouver Island, the Power of Partners Industry Award was presented to Aboriginal BC, West Vancouver. The 3rd Annual Victoria Aboriginal Cultural Festival brought together performaces and visual artists from over 21 different First Nations to the traditional territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nation to celebrate National Aboriginal Day. The success of the 2016 Festival relied on exceptional partnerships from the private and public sectors in the Victoria area lead by the Aboriginal BC team. These corporate partners include: Royal BC Museum, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, Butchart Gardens, Time Columnist, CTV, Robert Bateman Centre, BC Ferries Vacations, Clipper Vacations, Vancity, Victoria Native Friendship Centure, Island IT, Township of Esquimalt, CRD and Salish Sea Industrial Services/Ralmax Group of Companies.

accentinnfinalSponsored by Web Advisors, the Innovator of the Year Award recognizes a tourism stakeholder that has developed or renewed a tourism product, package, or initiative that captures the attention of visitors and increases the desirability of the Vancouver Island Region as a destination. John Espley of Acent Inns and Hotel Zed received the award. This award was presented to Hotel Zed for their innovative approach to marketing holidays and filling rooms during off-season. Hotel Zed’s quirky, out-of-the box alternative accommodations makes them “rebels of the ordinary” and draws in tourists who want to experience the vibrancy of Victoria, but with a much more affordable price point than properties located in the inner harbour.

Sponsored by Whisky Landing Lodge the Tourism Employee of the Year Award was presented to Wendy Hainstock of Whalers on the Point Guesthouse, Hotelling International. Wendy was nominated by her staff for her passion, love for people, dedication and enthusiasm as the manager for Whalers on the Pointe Guesthouse. Wendy goes out of her way to help customers by creating programs with other industry suppliers in the area that offer discounted rates and sustainable ways of experiencing the town such as bike rental programs. In addition, Wendy creates a community feel
for her staff by organizing monthly events, communal BBQ’s, art parties, movies nights and a live band on Friday at the hostel.

The Multi Media Marketing Campaign Award, sponsored by Tourism Victoria, recognizes a business or organization for its innovative use of various forms of social media and traditional marketing mediums. The result is a specific and targeted campaign that was successful in attracting visitors to their business and the Vancouver Island Region. The award was presented to Tourism Nanaimo, Tourism Tofino, Sooke Region Tourism Association and Black Ball Ferry Line for their Share Vancouver Island campaign. Share Vancouver Island is a multi-media campaign focused on delivering the raw natural beauty of Vancouver Island to the high-potential market of Washington state residents. Inspiring new and repeat travel through traditional media channels as well as social media and digital advertising this campaign saw 33,886 new images tagged with the #ShareVI, a total TV impressions of 24 million and website received over 33,034 page views.

innovator-awardSponsored by Wya Point Resort, the Tourism Sustainability Award recognizes a tourism business that has set out to minimize their environmental impact, conserve natural resources, respect local cultures and benefit local communities. Their commitment to environmentally responsible tourism and changing the way they conduct business serves as an example to the industry. This year Orca Spirit Adventures, Victoria received the award. John Douglas founder of Orca Spirit Adventures began the operation almost 30 years ago and at that time was instrumental in designing the responsible whale watching guidelines. Today, with the largest boat capacity, highest departure numbers and crew size of 45 Orca Spirit remains to be the leader in sustainable practices. Implementing a “Green Management Plan” and becoming a “Climate Friendly” partner with Offsetters are just some of the ways they reduce their impact on the environment. The crew lives, breaths, and thrives on respecting the environment, along with having fun on the water.

Continuing on from last year is the FortisBC Award, which recognizes a business or organization that utilizes natural gas in their tourism related operation. The Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort and Conference Centre, Parksville received the award. Congratulations go to the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort for their use of natural gas in key hotel operations including domestic hot water, air handling, kitchen, laundry operations and fireplaces. Recently, they have upgraded 11 of their natural gas hot water boiler through FortisBC commercial rebate program and will be receiving cash incentives for high efficiency appliance upgrades. This will enhance their domestic hot water system that supports the individual room showers, spa facility, laundry and kitchen operations.

The Most Valuable Player Award sponsored by The Sociable Scientists was presented to Line Robert, Island Coastal Economic Trust. This award recognizes Line in being instrumental in the development of several Vancouver Island initiatives including the “2010 and Beyond Strategic Plan”, “the Integrated Tourism Strategy for Vancouver Island North”, “the Value of Tourism” project, and phases one and two of the “Vancouver Island Trails Strategy”. Line’s work as CEO of the Island Coastal Economic trust has thoughtfully shaped the strategic direction of the Trust as it supports and funds economic development initiatives in the Region.

Tourism Vancouver Island is one of six regional destination management organizations in British Columbia that represent Destination British Columbia through the delivery of co-operative marketing and community development programs. In December 2011, Tourism Vancouver Island received accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) by demonstrating a commitment to quality programs and services.

Media Contacts:
Dave Petryk
President & CEO
Tourism Vancouver Island
Direct: 250-740-1211
Cell: 250-739-9088
Email: [email protected]

Heather McEachen
Trade and Media Specialist
Direct: 250-740-1214
Email: [email protected]