By Laura Keil
Valemount’s tourism committee will be no longer, after it’s decided to follow a consulting firm’s advice to transition to a new independent Destination Management Organization.
Council approved the recommendations by the Village committee to transition to a fully independent non-profit body that will be managed by “tourism experts.” Currently the board is a Select Committee of Council made up of a variety of local stakeholders such as hotel and restaurant owners.
The Village of Valemount hired Stormy Lake Consulting to prepare a marketing strategy for Tourism Valemount and to review the governance structure of Tourism Valemount. Stormy Lake Consulting advised the Village that in order to establish a “high functioning marketing position,” Tourism Valemount needs to be an organization “completely dedicated to tourism and autonomous to meet stakeholders’ needs.”
According to the Tourism Industry Association of BC a Destination Management Organization (DMO) should be
• governed by an industry-led board with some local government representation;
• managed by tourism experts who drive and execute promotional programs and projects that are designed to advance the tourism industry within a community;
• structured as a not-for-profit society with the full weight of transparency and accountability outlined in the B.C. Societies Act.
Stormy Lake Consulting suggested that in the next 1-3 months the Village form a transitional steering committee, develop a transition plan and terms of reference for the new organization, form a hiring Sub-Committee, and develop a CEO job description for the new DMO.
The firm suggests that in the following 4–6 months, they hire a two-year term CEO through a competitive process. The next 7–12 months would allow the CEO to initiate the development of a non-profit society and select an appropriate non-profit structure and entity (a new one from scratch or else integrate it into an existing entity, for instance Chamber or VARDA). The CEO would then develop Terms of Reference for a new board, governance and organizational structure.
The next 12–24 months would include evaluating the CEO’s performance against metrics at the end of their two-year contract.