Central to Tourism Vancouver’s destination development strategy is the work done around destination planning. For the planning to be effective, Tourism Vancouver collaboratively developed a long-term and regenerative vision for the destination with our tourism industry Members, municipal and regional government agencies, Indigenous communities, other Metro Vancouver destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and industry organizations. We aspire to integrate tourism into our community’s economic, social, and environmental stewardship. Destination planning is focused on the supply side of tourism; which is the collection of products, infrastructure and services that to create the collection of experience of place that will delight residents and entice visitors.
During the planning process we sought to develop an understanding of existing internal and external influences on the destination and incorporate an understanding of tourism supply and demand forecasts. Our goal was to develop a clear direction for the destination that can serve as a reference for the strategies and actions, the destination brand and positioning, the roles and responsibilities, ongoing management processes and performance measures.
Destination Development began in 2010 after Vancouver had just successfully hosted the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and also opened one of the world’s most modern convention centres. Tourism Vancouver started something that proved to be as significant as it was unorthodox – it was decided it was time for a total rethink. The idea of Rethink Vancouver was to carry out a yearlong strategic assessment and visioning process that would respond to two key questions: What is it that the tourism industry would like to accomplish together in the coming decade? And what, then, does destination marketing for Vancouver look like going forward, beginning in 2011?
One of the planning recommendations from Rethink was to partner with the City of Vancouver to develop a Tourism Master Plan that would help integrate tourism considerations into municipal planning and infrastructure decision making. The Vancouver Tourism Master Plan (TMP) followed Rethink Vancouver’s visioning process and started community consultation in 2012 and was completed in 2013.
In 2017, Tourism Vancouver started planning once again with a different approach to complement the TMP. The Tourism Vancouver 2030 Report was to be a future looking initiative with the objective of identifying a variety of scenarios for what tourism in Vancouver might look like in the year 2030 to guide our strategic planning and destination development. The process sought to look beyond forecasting market conditions based on current trends and instead to build a series of potential futures based on research and insights into potential demand and supply developments and constraints.
Through 2019 and 2020, Tourism Vancouver collaborated with Destination British Columbia and all regional community destination marketing organizations (DMO) to help shape a 10-year Metro Vancouver Destination Development Strategy will provide direction for the region and guidance for local and regional planning. This initiative will enhance Metro Vancouver’s ability to leverage resources and programs and foster joint action and inter-community dialogue. Tourism Vancouver is part of the Metro Vancouver Destination Management Council that is tasked with developing priorities and action plan that will support the rebuilding of a responsible, sustainable tourism ecosystem that is resilient and uniquely positions Metro Vancouver in the post-COVID-19 visitor economy.