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New Look, New Content

Thanks to the addition of a new web-based design tool, the Stakeholder Update has undergone a transformation to not only look better, but also to provide more useful information to stakeholders in a more convenient layout. In addition to updates on marketing, development and other programs at Tourism Nanaimo, the revamped Stakeholder Updates now include stakeholder interest & professional development articles, as well as four new stakeholder spotlights every month. Moving forward, the publication will be distributed on the last business day of each month. If you'd like to be featured in an upcoming edition of the Stakeholder Update, or have ideas for interest/professional development pieces that would benefit your tourism business, we welcome your input and suggestions. We hope you enjoy!

Stakeholder Interest & Professional Development

Creating Remarkable Experiences
The tourism game is changing; visitors are seeking out unique, authentic, and exceptional experiences. By catering to this trend through the development of new, or enhancement of existing, tourism products and experiences, tourism businesses can expect to see significant benefits.

Tourism product and experience design is an art, and taking a product or service to the next level, one which leaves a lasting positive impact on visitors, requires innovative thinking, unexpected partnerships and atypical approaches. Fortunately, by analyzing travel data, gathering input from small businesses, and sourcing industry experts, Destination BC has created a program to assist tourism businesses to create Remarkable Experiences.

Tourism Nanaimo and a handful of Nanaimo tourism stakeholders attended the program recently, and the Tourism Nanaimo team is eager to share the knowledge and ideas from the program with Nanaimo tourism stakeholders. First steps have included discussing key learnings, case examples and techniques from the program in our recent and forthcoming Stakeholder Discovery Sessions. Tourism Nanaimo hopes that these discussions encourage stakeholders to reach out to us to delve deeper into experience design specific to their Nanaimo businesses.

While we recognize that as small business owners, it may be difficult to accommodate attending the full program, we suggest that stakeholders review the program themselves to see the insightful, yet practical and directly applicable information they would gain from taking the program. In the mean-time, we hope stakeholders will take advantage of the transfer of knowledge from past attendees.
Do Your Front-Line Managers Have the
Right Skills to Succeed?

Front-line staff are essential to the success of any business, however in hospitality and tourism, the role of these front-line staff, and those who manage them, is even more critical.

Front-line staff are a significant touch point for visitors, and those with the right skills and product knowledge can be our community's greatest ambassadors. go2HR, formally the BC Hospitality Industry Education Advisory Committee (HIEAC), has compiled research and prepared an article regarding the role of front-line management and its impact in organizations.

The research demonstrates that there is a need for investment in front-line management leadership development, training opportunities and resource access, to help managers develop effective leadership skills and engage their staff  to become champions for our community and our local tourism businesses.
Recent Facebook Changes:
What Stakeholders Should Know

Recently, Facebook announced that it’s making changes to its News Feed. The changes prioritize content that’s meaningful to users, including posts from family and friends.

This means you’ll see content that’s likely more in line with why you joined Facebook in the first place - to keep in touch. It can mean a shift for small businesses who use Facebook to share information with their customers, and we’re conscious of that as well. Tourism Nanaimo is hopeful that the followers who currently engage with us will continue to do so when looking for trip planning tips. If you’re looking for an example on how to share this news with your customers/followers to encourage them to continue seeing your content, here’s a look at what Tourism Nanaimo has shared on our Facebook page:
Recently, Facebook announced that it’s making changes to its News Feed. The changes prioritize content that’s meaningful to users, including posts from family and friends. This means you’ll see content that’s likely more in line with why you joined Facebook in the first place - to keep in touch. While our content may not be as visible to a larger base with these changes, we are ultimately pleased to see a change that focuses on higher quality content. We strive to create inspiring and useful blogs, travel itineraries, and imagery for our followers, so these changes line up with our mandates.

We’re hopeful that the followers who currently engage with us will continue to do so when looking for trip planning tips. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us when you’d like a hand planning your #ExploreNanaimo adventures. If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss anything from us, you can update your following settings on our page.

Read more about the changes on the Facebook Newsroom.

Stakeholder Spotlight

Vancouver Island Market
Tell Nanaimo stakeholders a bit about your organization:
At Vancouver Island Market we are committed to bringing the best of Vancouver Island’s growers, bakers, and makers to our local community.

Working together with the support of our partners and vendors, Vancouver Island Market will provide educational workshops for the community to learn new creative skills while caring for the environment through the practices of upcycling, shopping and eating local.

Join us for Vancouver Island’s first curated Grow, Bake, and Handmade Show. Our inaugural Spring Kick Off event is on Friday, March 30th & Saturday, March 31st 2018, hosted at beautiful Nanaimo North Town Centre.

Tell us how you fit into the tourism landscape in Nanaimo:
Vancouver Island Market brings together local entrepreneurs to showcase a unique shopping experience for attendees, whether they are local or visiting. Because we bring the best of Vancouver Island’s growers, bakers, and makers to our Nanaimo market, it is also an excellent opportunity for local stakeholders to conveniently connect with a large number of local suppliers if they are looking to procure local food, goods and products to feature in their restaurants, retail stores and tourism packages.

What are some ways other stakeholders could partner with you:
By partnering with Vancouver Island Market, you can support local businesses as well as promote local stakeholders. Stakeholders are encouraged to connect with us via our website and/or social media to discuss ways to collaborate.

What is your favourite thing to share about Nanaimo?
We love that Nanaimo has one of the most capable communities who can grow their own food, build and make their own products, and support each other in a way that no other community can.

For more information, or to connect with Vancouver Island Market, contact:

Mei Dunlop and/or Janice Roberts
Vancouver Island Market
250.797.1218  |  250.713.3108
Vancouver Island Expeditions
Tell Nanaimo stakeholders a bit about your organization:

We create authentic, intimate and memorable visitor experiences while honouring the culture, heritage and natural beauty of Vancouver Island.

Whether it's a breathtaking nature hike or a local food, craft beverage & estate winery tour we make sure to show people the places that will inspire them to return and tell all their friends and family.

Tell us how you fit into the tourism landscape in Nanaimo:

We are a year-round tour company providing tours across Vancouver Island. We can handle groups of 2 people up to 150+ people. We specialize in two main areas: Nature/Wildlife Tours & Foodie Tours (Wine/Beer/Spirits/Food). All of our guides are passionate and have immense knowledge in both those areas. Wherever possible, we partner with other stakeholders when we have groups that want to do activities that are outside of our normal offerings. For example, if they want to do kayaking/paddleboarding, we'll partner with Brackish Adventures and we fully trust that they will be able to offer our guests the same experience level that we provide.
What are some ways other Nanaimo stakeholders could partner with you:

Since our main product is knowledge and connections, we need to partner with other stakeholders to make sure our guests have the best experience possible. We're always looking for new and creative ways to partner with other stakeholders to give guests the true, unique island experience that they can tell their friends and family about when they go home.

What is your favourite thing to share about Nanaimo?
That we have a pretty amazing foodie culture that many people don't even realize. Chateau Wolff was one of the first five wineries on Vancouver Island and is 25+ years old. Longwood Brewery is one of the few breweries in Canada that sources the majority of their ingredients within a relatively short distance of the brewery. Arbutus Distillery makes award-winning spirits, St. Jean's Cannery is one of the last remaining fish canneries in Canada and is ranked high for sustainability, plus we have many other passionate farmers and producers that are great to visit and love to show you why they love what they do.

For more information, or to connect with the Vancouver Island Expeditions, contact:

Leif Bogwald
Owner & Travel Curator
Vancouver Island Expeditions
101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo, BC   V9R 5J8
Phone: 250-739-9659
Tell Nanaimo stakeholders a bit about your festival:
Festival Nanaimo is a multi-dimensional community festival taking place in Nanaimo throughout the month of March.

Residents and visitors alike will experience great entertainment, concerts, theatre, art and crafts, culinary delights, including Whiskey and Beer tastings, Hops and Hounds - Nanaimo's Biggest Dog Photo, St. Paddy's Day, March Break activities, 4th Annual PirateFest, GeekCon, Easter Weekend events and so much more!  Of course a Festival celebrating Nanaimo would not be complete without our namesake dessert - the Nanaimo Bar!

The focus of FESTIVAL Nanaimo is to encourage residents of the region to explore the city and for visitors from outside the region and beyond to come and spend a weekend in Nanaimo in March 2018... celebrating everything we LOVE about our city!  

Check out the Festival Nanaimo’s 10 Signature Events 2018 – so cool!
Tell us how you fit into the Tourism landscape in Nanaimo:
FESTIVAL Nanaimo is a perfect fit for the Nanaimo Tourism Landscape – we are celebrating all that is awesome about our city. With activities, concerts, theatre, Spring Break activities – there is truly something for everyone – including your dog! This month of celebration encourages residents to come experience something new – something fresh. It also encourages visitors “from away” to come be part of Nanaimo. We want to showcase how amazing Nanaimo is – our hotels, our restaurants, and our fun, interesting and family-friendly activities.
What are some ways other stakeholders could partner with you:
You can add value to events already happening with special offers, a discount and/or take our flyers and share with your customers. Or consider being a FESTIVAL Nanaimo Community Partner – include an event (or create one) that will take place March 2018. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities!

What is your favourite thing to share about Nanaimo?
That is a BIG question. We love letting people know about arts and culture in our city! There is so much to see and do - The Vancouver Island Symphony, The Port Theatre, Theatre One, Crimson Coast Dance, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo International Jazz Festival, Nanaimo Museum and so much more.
For more information, or to connect with FESTIVAL Nanaimo, contact:
Kimberly Plumley
Community Outreach and Communications
Vancouver Island Symphony & FESTIVAL Nanaimo
Phone: 250-754-0177
Vancouver Island Conference Centre
Tell Nanaimo stakeholders a bit about your organization:

Just steps from the Nanaimo harbour in the heart of a walkable downtown, is Vancouver Island’s finest full-service conference centre. 

Opened in 2008, this visually appealing architectural delight is a vital part of redefining Nanaimo as it forges its future and image on a provincial, national and international scale. This multi-functional and versatile location has helped put Nanaimo on the map as far as meetings, conferences, expos, tradeshows, festivals, weddings and events are concerned! As of April 2018, we are managed by Spectra by Comcast Spectacor.
Tell us how you fit into the tourism landscape in Nanaimo:
We promote and sell Nanaimo as a conference, meeting, trade show, event and festival destination, and attract business travellers to our destination. Conferences create a huge economic impact for communities and with the help of our partners, stakeholders & community we can be the top of mind conference centre in the Pacific North West. Business travellers spend a significant amount of dollars in destinations they are visiting for business, such as hotel nights, pre/post activities, transportation, shopping and restaurants, so our role in the Nanaimo tourism industry is very important and one we strive to grow!
What are some ways other Nanaimo stakeholders could partner with you:

Attend sales events and meeting planner trade shows with us as we sell Nanaimo as a conference meeting destination in our target markets – Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Seattle!

Keep us up-to-date on new tourism businesses and new tourism products/services to add to our promotional and pre/post conference activity lists!

Add your email to our Conference/Events list email that goes out every Friday for updates on upcoming events/conferences/meetings.

Not all events/conferences have meals at the conference centre; there is a lot of opportunity to offer delegates specials at your restaurants while they are here to get them through your doors.

Interact with us on social media, we are on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram (VICCNanaimo).

Contact us about how to get in touch with conference/event organizers to offer them specials at your restaurants, tourism businesses, transportation services and retail outlets! 

Do you have a conference/large event in mind that you think would be great for Nanaimo? Let us know and we will do the work!

What is your favourite thing to share about Nanaimo?
There are so many things to share about Nanaimo, while meeting clients from all across Canada and parts of the USA, we let them know about our amazing landscape, our beautiful waters, Snuneymuxw First Nation history & culture, our unlimited outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, etc.  Everyone knows about the famous Nanaimo Bar, so we always share the Nanaimo Bar Trail and all of the amazing local restaurants, cafes, bakeries & breweries where visitors can try Nanaimo Bar inspired products!
For more information, or to connect with the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, contact:

Gina Bethell
Sales Manager
Vancouver Island Conference Centre
Spectra Venue Management
Office: 250-244-4050   Direct: 250-244-4063

Program Updates

Destination Development & Industry Engagement
Tourism Nanaimo is excited to announce that, along with the delivery of the $125,000 Tourism Development Fund (TDF), 2018 will also see the addition of incremental destination development resources to meet needs expressed by stakeholders in 2017.

A full introduction to these incremental enhancements will be presented at a Tourism Season Launch event in March. The call for applications for the 2018 TDF fund will be announced early February. Fund details, including 2018 applications, will be available shortly in the Stakeholder Portal under Grants and Funding. For more information created specifically for Nanaimo tourism stakeholders, be sure to visit the Stakeholder Portal often. 

Members of the Tourism Nanaimo team headed to Vancouver Island University on Saturday February 3, 2018 for go2HR’s "Winning Pitch", a case competition where post-secondary students pitch business plans to promote a local tourism activity. The competition is an opportunity for the bright minds of the future of our industry to strategize and develop new tourism business or service ideas based on local, realistic scenarios in support of destination development in our region. This year's theme asked students to develop ideas and business concepts for new tourism products or services that expand into and support shoulder season and off-season development. Tourism Vancouver Island's new CEO, Anthony Everett, was in attendance as one of the competition judges, and was joined by fellow judges Angie Barnard, Founder, Thrive Junction and Kim Burden, Executive Director, Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce.

Three teams of post-secondary students from the Vancouver Island region (Team Empress (Royal Roads University): Chiaki Komiya, Tran Le, Terrence Luk; Overhead Adventurez (Vancouver Island University): Sara Fulla and Edward Nathanson; and, VIU Power Team: Melody Kostamo, Julianna Tomaselli, and Crystal (Yunyi) Huang) competed in regional competition. VIU Power Team took home First Place with their proposal of "Nanaimo Bar Festival”. They will move on to pitch their plan at the provincial finals during the 2018 BC Tourism Industry Conference in Kelowna. Congratulations!

Due to demand, a second stakeholder discovery session was added for Sip & Savour on February 8, this time, in the morning. Outdoor Adventure and Beach, Boating & Marine, will be held late afternoon on February 22 and March 22, respectively. Email for additional information, or to be included on the distribution lists for any of the upcoming consultation sessions. 

In December Tourism Nanaimo had 1069 entries captured in our database, a 0.32% increase over the previous month, comprised of 492 businesses, 14 individuals and 563 contacts.Of the 1069 entries in the database, 566 of them have provided Express Consent to contact via email.
There were 333 recipients subscribed to receive December’s stakeholder e-update, a 2.46% increase over the previous month.  Of those sent, 133 were opened, resulting in a 40.67% open rate, 13.37% higher than industry average.
Tourism Nanaimo’s Weekend in Nanaimo campaign will launch in early February. Digital and social advertisements aimed at the Vancouver market will invite consumers to book a weekend in Nanaimo, and fly harbour-to-harbour on Helijet or Harbour Air. Several stakeholders are participating by providing special offers to encourage booking.

Tourism Nanaimo has purchased a print advertisement in Go Camping BC, a publication in association with BC Parks that is distributed at Visitor Centres around the province.

The Nanaimo Hospitality Association, in partnership with Tourism Nanaimo, are preparing a mountain biking tourism marketing campaign that showcases the many trails and off-trail activities available for the riders of all abilities in Nanaimo. Of particular note, Doumont trail has recently become a legal trail and is currently under renovation by the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club. Stay tuned as we release new pages on, a printed map and a social campaign that includes video of professional riders riding Nanaimo trails.
To date, Tourism Nanaimo has added 128 images to our image databank, and these images are available for stakeholder use. If you would like access to our image bank for tourism marketing, please contact Karen Bannister.
Current advertising opportunities include: Discover Victoria & Vancouver Island, a publication by Certified Folder.
In this rack-size publication, thanks to the financial support of the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, there will be a special six page Nanaimo Section. This print publication (350,000 copies) will be distributed on BC Ferries, Washington State Ferries, at the Peace Arch Border Crossing, at Seattle Airport brochure locations, in Visitor Centres around Vancouver Island and Vancouver, and in Visitor and Corporate Locations in Seattle, Portland, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego. Interested parties can connect directly with Cindy Pollard at Full details can be found on the sales sheet.
For all marketing related inquiries, please contact Karen at 250-740-1222 or by email at
Visitor Services
Tourism Nanaimo is pleased to announce that as of February 1, 2018, we have added Visitor Services to our portfolio. After an open call for applications, attracting a significant volume of highly qualified applicants, we would like to introduce the newest member of our team, Dino Tsembelis, Visitor Services Specialist.

If the name sounds familiar, that is because Dino was also the previous Visitor Information Specialist and Communications Clerk at the Visitors Centre on Northfield Rd, a role in which he has demonstrated his ability to effectively lead teams and provide outstanding customer service in a fast-paced and dynamic setting.
For those who know Dino, it is easy to see that his undeniable passion for Nanaimo and Vancouver Island, paired with his skills, experience and impressive product knowledge, makes him an excellent asset to the Nanaimo Visitors Centre.
We encourage Nanaimo tourism stakeholders to tap into Dino's knowledge; you can connect with Dino via phone (250.751.1556) or email ( Guests and visitors can also be directed to
Welcome to the team Dino!
Social Media

As a larger city centre on the island, many residents from the west coast and the north island travel to Nanaimo to shop for holidays and special occasions.

There were a number of activities this past December that incentivized families from surrounding communities to extend their Nanaimo visits and enjoy family friendly festivals and events before and after shopping.

Tourism Nanaimo launched a holiday shopping page on the website in December, and used a paid social media campaign to drive additional interest around shopping and booking a hotel stay. The campaign successfully drove 790 clicks to the website; the city that showed the most interest in the campaign was Port Alberni. 
Travel Trade & Media

Tourism Nanaimo’s Trade and Media department is continuing to plan and prepare for its winter and spring initiatives. Two spring familiarization tours are being organized to showcase some of the city’s tourism products and encourage off season visitation.

In February, Tourism Nanaimo will be participating in Tourism Vancouver Island’s annual Explore Vancouver Island event. In addition to attendance at the receptive tour operator networking event, Tourism Nanaimo will be hosting a portion of the post-event familiarization tour.

In partnership with the BC Ale Trail, Tourism Nanaimo is working on two media trips set for the coming months. The journalists will experience our local breweries as well as some of the attractions, restaurants, accommodation and events that compliment the Ale Trail.

Nanaimo 360° Videos

Explore 360°
Adventure 360°
Savour 360°
Photo Credits: Andrew Nixon, Lietco, Mike Anderson, Melissa Mills, Nancy Shields
Copyright © 2018 Tourism Nanaimo, All rights reserved.

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