Letters to the Editor 

TW responds, University of Whistler?, schools closed for Olympics, back off Michel, one last word on London Drugs

TW welcomes interest, participation

In a recent letter to the editor, Jay Wahono made reference to Tourism Whistler’s upcoming annual general meeting on May 17, 2007 and highlighted the value of continuing a focused approach to growing tourism for Whistler.

We would like to thank Mr. Wahono for contributing to the dialogue regarding the importance of an engaged membership at Tourism Whistler and the significance of a committed and effective board of directors.

The leadership of Tourism Whistler’s board of directors has been critical to providing a framework for success. By focusing on key strategic priorities approved by the board, Tourism Whistler has positively moved the dial on diversifying our target markets, shifting distribution channels, driving room nights, and increasing revenues for the resort. Some highlights include:

• Growing group business (which represents approximately 25% of all room nights booked annually in the resort) particularly during non-peak periods of the spring, summer and fall; sales for the TELUS Whistler Conference Centre increased by more than 140% in 2006 compared to 2005;

• Purchasing 49% of Whistler.com, with transition of call-to-action occurring in the summer of 2006; bookings and revenues have almost doubled since securing Whistler.com as a community asset;

• Diversifying our target markets by increasing marketing investment into golf, mountain biking and health and wellness;

• Developing new plans to leverage opportunities associated with the 2010 Winter Games; including communications, marketing and visitor services;

• Securing more than $1 million of incremental funding in 2006 from tourism industry and government partners for further investment in marketing and sales initiatives;

• Leading a resort-wide value strategy aimed at improving the visitor experience in all three areas of the value equation: price, product and service.

Contrary to Mr. Wahono’s suggestion that the announcement regarding the 2007 AGM was low-key, Tourism Whistler annually provides two separate packages of information regarding the meeting and election of directors to all of its members (i.e. more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on Resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators, retail shops and residential homes). It is important to point out that only members are eligible to vote for representatives on the board of directors, and this is why detailed information regarding this process is distributed to our members and not to the general public.

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