The Invest in Iconics Strategy is a long-term strategy to responsibly increase tourism revenue and visitation to British Columbia through dispersion, using Place Branding and Place Making (destination development) to competitively differentiate BC on the world stage. By identifying a small number of globally compelling routes and places, this strategy provides a powerful new way to package and market British Columbia to international visitors and facilitate the development of remarkable in-destination experiences.
The Invest in Iconics Strategy represents the third pillar of Destination BC’s 2020-23 Corporate Strategy which focuses on increasing revenue across the province through geographic and seasonal dispersion. This strategy provides the opportunity to re-imagine our province—creating iconic, inspirational routes and places that will strengthen travel appeal in all regions of BC, in all seasons. In the short-term, we recognize the need to rebuild high season in all areas of our province. Long-term, this strategy balances the capacity needs and market-readiness of our communities—focusing on shoulder-season growth in our cities and mature destinations, while fostering all-season growth in high-potential communities and rural destinations where capacity exists.
Beginning in Fall 2019, Destination BC undertook the following discovery work to develop the strategy.
At the core of this work, are BC’s destination development plans. These are 19 Destination Development planning area strategies that form the foundation of our work, and will guide activities to support existing and future revenue potential for all parts of the province. These plans were developed between 2016-19 through a process of engagement with xxx (insert number) of tourism industry stakeholders.
We are currently in the process of validating and confirming the final set of Iconic routes and places. This work is scheduled to be complete by March 2022.
These are working titles only and are not finalized.
The Invest in Iconics Strategy is focused on creating globally compelling brands for routes and places to elevate them to compete on the world stage. The development of these brands will go hand-in-hand with Place Making activities, to ensure that the emotional promise of our branding is delivered by on-the-ground experiences when visitors arrive and travel in BC. Place Branding is about taking BC’s extraordinary routes and places and making them more famous and more globally compelling than they are now.
We have identified a small number of potential routes and places that, in total, cover the entire province. With consistent, collective investment in Place Branding and Place Making over the next several years, each has the potential to compete on a global stage.
Through the Invest in Iconics Strategy, we will work in different ways to encourage travelers to visit more areas of the province, in more seasons. While branding is a critical component of the strategy, these iconic brands will only thrive and survive if they are supported by equally compelling on-the-ground experiences through our Place Making activities. Place Making is the process of developing long-term competitiveness. It is focused on enhancing existing experiences, and creating new experiences that elevate and deliver on the uniqueness of each Iconic Place Brand.
When Place Making and Place Branding come together, we will achieve our goal of driving industry revenue growth and ensuring that visitor experiences deliver on the brand promise. Destination BC continues to work with communities across the six tourism regions to build on existing destination development strategies that pull together planning, policy, and capacity building efforts.
Even though Place Branding typically takes place first, Place Making is a critically important part over the long run. It’s the activity that really brings the destination to life as the brand intended it too.
The Invest in Iconics team is working in partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC), the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, and Regional Destination Marketing Organizations to support the ongoing recovery, resilience and growth of BC’s tourism sector. Our partnership with ITBC is of particular significance to this strategy, as Indigenous culture, language, and stories are fundamental to its success. We are working closely with ITBC on the planning and implementation of this strategy, to ensure all of our activities include, respect, and are more compelling because they are guided by Indigenous perspectives.
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