Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly E-newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
SECOND QUARTER 2014 | SUMMER

From international and regional marketing campaigns to music and sports events, Tourism Sun Peaks promotes awareness and drives new visitors to resort businesses. These are highlights and successes from the last quarter.

In this e-Newsletter:
Message from the President
Central Reservations: Selling New Activities and Tours
Sales: New Promotions and Industry Firsts
Marketing: Concert Series the Anchor in Summer Advertising
Media Relations: Proactive Media Reach Out Continues
Events: Increased Energy in the Sun Peaks & Region Farmers' Market
Message from the President

 Dear Members,

The resort occupancy numbers this summer look promising. Total summer visitation is forecast to increase over last year. A strengthening economic confidence has generated modest growth from international markets. This has also come about by new tour companies including Sun Peaks in their itineraries thanks to direct sales pitches buttressed by the resort’s growing reputation as a summer destination.  

A key strategy for summer 2014 is to grow multi-night bookings. Purposeful tweaks to the programming and investment of the Resort Municipality Funds in the summer event strategy allowed TSP to schedule two day music festivals, rather than single concerts. The immediate result has been an increase in Friday night bookings in addition to a Saturday night reservation. This has propelled the total number of reservations over the summer months. The longer stay is also expected to increase spend in the resort as guests seek activities, meals, and shopping during their visit.

Part of the summer success is also due to business owners diversifying their offering for guests. New retailer Sneaky Scallywags places a child’s slide next to their storefront to attract kids, and thereby entertain parents and visitors. Alpine Images has introduced Segways (stand-up electric scooters) to the resort’s activity options. A weekly Friday night 'Music in the Plaza' series has been spearheaded by Peter Ernst with TSP support. Sun Peaks Resort Corporation has greatly expanded its offerings with tennis lessons, new guided hiking and biking tours, and new trails. These new additions create a vibe and atmosphere and have enhanced the visitor experience. 

This coming winter, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) will be investing new dollars into the US market. The ski industry is partnering with the CTC on a new campaign that will assist driving visitation to Sun Peaks through new routes such as the new San Francisco to Kelowna flight by United Airlines (Tourism Sun Peaks operates a Kelowna Airport to Sun Peaks shuttle). British Columbia’s ski initiatives for alpine and Nordic skiing are also being shaped. As Chair of both the national and provincial ski marketing committees, we are actively working to ensure these campaigns complement and leverage one another to maximum benefit.

The messaging from Sun Peaks this coming winter will highlight the new terrain. The added Gil’s and West Morrisey terrain makes Sun Peaks the second biggest ski area in Canada. For skiers and snowboarders that have not visited Sun Peaks in recent years, the new terrain provides a compelling reason to return to the resort. By ensuring our guest service delivery exceeds expectation, this winter provides a huge opportunity to create new fans. 

Cheers,


Christopher Nicolson
President, Tourism Sun Peaks
President@SunPeaksTourism.com

Central Reservations: Selling New Activities and Tours

Submitted by Theresa St. Louis, Central Reservations Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS


Summer Occupancy Pacing Ahead
Overall summer resort occupancy is pacing ahead for the key summer months that attract regional and FIT travellers - July and August. July is pacing 9% ahead of the same time last year and August is pacing 5% ahead.
 
Selling Resort Experiences
Summer concert tickets and event registration sales are available through Central Reservations including Front Stage Access tickets for the July 4 & 5 and August 30 & 31 free concert performances, Art Zone’s Animal Textures workshop by Terry Isaac on July 12 & 13, Wildflower Photography Clinics on August 2 & 3 and registration for the ‘Run to the Sun’ Car Gathering on September 20.

The Sun Peaks Adventure Centre
Summer Adventure Centre sales are now in full operation. We are pleased to have returning to the resort horseback trail rides, carriage rides and pony rides. Featured activities include the new Segway Tours, Voyageur Canoe interpretive tours, Nordic Pole Walking instruction and interactive tours, canoe and kayak rentals and Geocaching Adventure Pack rentals. In addition, activities located a short drive from the resort are sold, including Stand Up Paddle Boarding tours and lessons at Heffley Lake, Zip Line Adventure at Chase Canyon and White Water Rafting on the Adams River. Hours of operation are 9:00am to 5:00pm daily, in the upper village located in the Tourism Sun Peaks office in The Residences building. Call 250-578-5542.

LOOKING AHEAD

Winter Packaging Now Available
The popular Ski and Stay Free, 4 for 3 winter package is now available for reservations. Guests can enjoy 4 nights and 4 days of skiing for the price of 3 – blackout dates apply. http://www.sunpeaksresort.com/plan-your-trip/winter-vacation-packages 

The Progressive Tasting - Sun Peaks Winter Okangan Wine Festival
The 17th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival progressive tasting event packages are now available. The package includes one night accommodation and a ticket to the flagship tasting event on Friday, January 23, starting at $149* per person. Contact Central Reservations for additional details at 1-800-807-3257.

Sales: New Promotions and Industry Firsts

Submitted by Colin Brost, Director of Sales

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Leveraging Partnerships
Tourism Sun Peaks has secured a joint promotion with Air Canada and the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. The contest will promote Sun Peaks through mass media and run July through August 2014. Coverage includes print and online mediums. One e-blast will be sent to a qualified audience of 100,000+ recipients.

Trade and Consumer Shows
Spring is a busy time for the TSP sales team. In the past three months TSP attended four regional consumer shows primarily promoting summer 2014 and hosted more than seventy-five B2B appointments promoting winter 2015-16 and even summer 2016. TSP also coordinated the annual Australia and New Zealand ski show tour and has hosted fifty fam tour individuals from around the globe.

Industry Firsts
TSP continues to strategize and develop plans to enter emerging markets and create new opportunities without impacting our presence in existing key markets. In April, TSP successfully bid and hosted the Canadian Inbound Tourism Association – Asia Pacific AGM. This is the first time the industry event has taken place outside of Richmond/Vancouver and endorses the increased demand from Asian markets.

In partnership with Destination BC, TSP hosted the first WorldHost workshop in the resort, focused on the Chinese traveller. TSP members were invited to attend the one day workshop to better understand the wants and needs of a mainland Chinese traveller to enhance their ability to attract new visits and be successful in this market.

LOOKING AHEAD

Persistance Pays Off
Much of the next quarter will focus on increased regional efforts to support and promote summer 2015 events along with follow up from the meetings at the spring trade shows including developing cooperative marketing plans for winter 2014-15.
Marketing: Concert Series the Anchor in Summer Advertising

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Summer Regional Advertising Highlights
This summer’s regional consumer advertising campaign continues to focus on the target geographic markets of Kamloops and area, Kelowna and the Okanagan, Prince George and the Cariboo, the Fraser Valley and some very targeted initiatives in the Lower Mainland and Edmonton.

New this summer, three billboards positioned on Highway 5 north of Sun Peaks will reach consumers driving south from Jasper to entice last minute decisions to check out the resort. We continue to promote the resort experience and summer concert series through out-of-home placements including Aberdeen Mall in Kamloops, Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna, and bathroom boards throughout Kamloops. Radio campaigns and contests are key in promoting the summer concerts series, with over 15 contests to date. A huge thank you to our accommodation partners for supporting these contests with room nights. A selection of television and newsprint executions have been integrated into the campaign, together with the online advertising strategy that continues to utilize Google Ad Words, Facebook, video pre-roll, and select niche websites.
 
E-mail Communications Performing Above Industry Average
Utilizing the Tourism Sun Peaks email database continues to be a key strategy in communicating events to those already engaged with Sun Peaks, approximately 6,500 subscribers. Contests are used to add new members to the database whenever possible. We continue to experience higher than average open rates, between 35%  and 45%.

LOOKING AHEAD

Winter Consumer Advertising Planning
Through July and August, planning begins on the winter consumer advertising program, including selection of media, timing of placements, packaging and messaging. We are excited to develop the integration of user generated content and firsthand experiences into the traditional advertising platforms, and a campaign microsite will be key in the delivery of this season’s strategy. 

Media Relations: Proactive Media Reach Out Continues

Submitted by Brandi Schier, Media Specialist

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

In Market Media Calls
After early spring media calls and media reception in Vancouver, similar efforts were made in Kamloops in June to update local writers and broadcasters on summer events and stories, as well as foster positive, ongoing relationships.
 
Media Kits & Story Ideas
New summer story ideas and the 2014 Summer Media Kit are now online on the media centre (www.SunPeaksResort.com/media-centre). The summer media kit has been distributed to key media and features information on Sun Peaks’ summer experiences as well as unique summer story ideas, drawing on events, local personalities and more.  An early 2014-2015 Winter Media Flatsheet featuring new terrain and new and expanded family programming has been distributed to ski and international media. 

Summer Media Visit Invitations and Confirmations 
This spring, TSP has been actively inviting journalists to visit Sun Peaks during the summer to experience and write about many core experiences as well as planned festivals and events. Over 60 selected journalists have been contacted so far with Sun Peaks media visit opportunities, resulting in several confirmed high quality media visits this summer including Canadian Living, The Richmond News, The North Shore News, KamloopsParents.com, Sun Cruiser Media, Senior Living Magazine and VancouverIsAwesome.com.

Early Season Media Coverage
This spring Sun Peaks has been featured in a large, two page spread in the Vancouver Sun, resulting in $41,577.39 in earned media coverage. This is perfect timing to influence summer travel plans and bookings.  Shinpo, a daily Asian language newspaper in the Lower Mainland also featured a large, two page article, outlining core activities and events. As a result of media fams last summer, there will also features in Western Living Magazine and Calgary’s Avenue Magazine appearing shortly.


LOOKING AHEAD

Go Media 2014
This August, the media relations team will travel to Winnipeg for the largest travel media conference and networking event in Canada. Hosted by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Sun Peaks will attend over 30 one-on-one appointments with high quality travel media and several social networking events. New this year, Sun Peaks will also be part of a pre-Go Media  fam trip which will have up to five top travel journalists in Sun Peaks prior to conference in early August.

New Destination BC Staff Fam
New this summer, to further Sun Peaks’ reputation as both a strong winter and summer destination, Tourism Sun Peaks will host eight  valued colleagues from Destination BC’s media, marketing and sales teams during the first summer concert event on July 5. This DBC fam will aid TSP’s efforts to have Sun Peaks included in future summer sales and media fams, marketing opportunities, etc. and also reiterate the past efforts of TSP to bring summer the forefront. (Destination BC is the provincial tourism agency for British Columbia.)
Events: Increased Energy in the Sun Peaks & Region Farmers' Market

Submitted by Janice Nankivell, Events & Adventure Centre Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Farmers' Market 2014
The Sun Peaks & Region Farmers’ Market Board of Directors have been meeting regularly to increase the promotion of the market and increase awareness and importance of buying local produce. The introduction of social media content is key to this focus so check out the new Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest news. The market will run Sundays from June 29 to September 7, from 9:30am to 1:30pm.

Maternity Leave Placement
We are pleased to announce that Carissa Hayes has joined the Tourism Sun Peaks team in the role of Events & Adventure Centre Manager to cover Janice Nankivell’s maternity leave.

LOOKING AHEAD

Blue Rodeo & Dan Mangan - 2014 Summer Concert Series
With the addition of a Friday evening act, our first summer concert for the season is expected to exceed the weekend visits seen in 2013 for Burton Cummings. The Free Outdoor concert takes place on Friday, July 4 with Dan Mangan + Blacksmith and Saturday, July 5 with Blue Rodeo. Musical entertainment starts in the village at 11am on Saturday.

New Country Fest
This brand new festival is part of the 2014 Free Summer Concert Series, featuring one of Canada’s most played country artists, Aaron Lines. Country Fest will take place over two days, July 19 & 20 with a weekend full of country themed music and activities for the whole family.

Free Summer Concert Series - July 4 & 5
Dan Mangan + Blacksmith on July 4 and Blue Rodeo on July 5!
New Country Fest - July 18 to 20
Ten musical performances, including Canadian favourite Aaron Lines!
Sun Peaks & Region Farmers' Market
Every Sunday from June 29 to September 7
Canada's Alpine Blossom Festival - August 1 to 3
Free Doodlebops musical performance and other kids entertainment, Reach the Peak Tod Mountain Summit Hike, photography workshops and more.
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