By Amy Fendley A tourist arrives in Whistler. They didn’t know the resort offered dog sledding. They want to go, but there is no space for them, the reservation list is booked. Entrepreneur Rob Drynan, has created a unique business niche for himself in the world of travel and resort marketing, and is testing the market in Whistler. As a marketing consultant Drynan realized an opportunity existed for a middle man to fill the information gap between guests booking their vacation and arriving in the resort. He realized that while visitors need specific information to assist in pre-vacation planning and organization, local operators would benefit from direct marketing to qualified customers. Pluminfo works with local accommodation companies who offer the optional service to their guests at the time of booking, to receive free tourist information. Clients then receive the information at home within 24 hours. Clients can request information on summer, winter, food, beverage, entertainment and family activities. The operation has been functioning since May and is reporting success, sending out more than 1,000 information kits in that time and signing up new businesses daily. Among the first to sign up was the Chateau Whistler Resort. Even though the Chateau has a full-time concierge desk, the service helps them by saving time. It usually takes 15 minutes to half and hour to explain all the options and services available to the resort guest. Drynan has helped co-ordinate 400 upcoming winter vacations, but estimates Pluminfo has reached more than 5,000 individuals. "We’re setting the precedent for resorts," says Drynan. "Adding value for the Whistler tourist, and they don’t pay anything for it. This way they can do everything before they get here, know what’s going on and plan for it. "The point here is to not send information to people who don’t want it," he says. "There are three aspects to this: the hotel gets a free service that saves them time; the tourists get a free information service to help iron out their vacation plans; and advertisers, local businesses get a cost effective way to reach their customers." Drynan is currently experiencing a consumer demand for Christmas and millennium packages. In mid-October he estimates sending out between 500 and 1,000 packages, which he further estimates will keep him very busy.

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