Tourism Whistler launches business plan to tackle challenging tourism environment 

Plan focuses on the customers said new president Barrett Fisher

Global events have battered Whistler over the past two years, leaving a damaged tourism industry in its wake and a resort worried for its future.

Expectant eyes are focused on Tourism Whistler looking for answers to help weather the storm.

Under the guidance on its new president Barrett Fisher, Tourism Whistler has recently launched a strategic business plan to see Whistler through the years ahead.

"It’s a perfect time for me, sitting in this new seat, to look at the world very differently, to look at the organization very differently," said Fisher who took over the presidency of the organization four months ago.

"And if the tourism industry is changing and Whistler is changing, it makes perfect sense that it’s time that Tourism Whistler changes."

The changes documented in the new business plan range from an overhaul of the organizational structure to tightening the focus on key destination markets to maximizing the vast opportunities from the Olympics and the newly renovated Telus Conference Centre at Whistler.

The plan is certainly different from anything Tourism Whistler has launched in the recent past.

"The way we used to do marketing and sales might be different today so we have to adapt to the new ways," Fisher said.

Yet, at its heart lies the core mandate of the organization – that Tourism Whistler is a sales and marketing organization designed to drive room nights to the resort.

This is something Tourism Whistler’s board members do not want Fisher to forget.

"Our members have, to a certain degree, accused Tourism Whistler historically of trying to be all things to all people at all times," said Fisher.

"And what we are trying to do is focus on being a marketing and sales, customer-driven organization."

That powerful focus has manifested itself in many ways throughout the business plan.

One area Fisher believes will drive those room nights up and increase business is by taking a conscious step to develop Tourism Whistler’s customer relationships.

There are databases of information on past visitors sitting at Tourism Whistler’s fingertips. That information can let Tourism Whistler know what kind of a holiday a guest has had here in the past and as such they can customize an attractive package to entice them back.

"We have profiles on all of our customers so it’s ensuring then that we utilize that information and that we communicate with them on an ongoing basis to attract them to come back again," said Fisher.

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