Tourism Mount Washington Doubles Its Membership

 Tourism Mount Washington has doubled its membership in one year, propelling the destination marketing arm of Mount Washington Alpine Resort on the right path, says Manager Sarah Nicholson.

'We started the 2012-13 membership year with approximately 435 members,' she said. That represents about two-thirds of the community. 'It’s positive to see more people wanting to step up and take an active role,' she said.

The increase in membership has allowed Nicholson to take on an administrative assistant. Kristy Pedersen started April 15, also the day Tourism Mount Washington moved into a new office at #205-841 Cliffe Avenue, in downtown Courtenay (opposite Courtenay City Hall).

'Much of our business is done with other tourism bodies and other partners. The office will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members are welcome to visit by appointment.

With the new membership year in full swing, Nicholson said the organization is turning its focus towards internal marketing initiatives.

When Tourism Mount Washington started four and a half years ago, its focus was on external marketing activities as well as getting to know its members. Pedersen is revamping the TMW website and there is also a Facebook page.

Nicholson attended the London Ski Show prior to the winter season, and it paid off with a visit from two British journalists, writing for the Telegraph, Skier and Snowboarder Magazine, the Independent and Scotland on Sunday.

For the summer, Tourism Mount Washington has partnered with Tourism Vancouver Island with the Go Vancouver Island campaign, targeting the Alberta market. There has also been a 10-week campaign on Global TV Alberta as well as an online component targeting viewers 35 years and older.

'This is a big investment for us,' the target is to reach 80% of Albertans 35 and over, Nicholson said. Other partnerships, such as with Comox Valley Airport and BC Ferries, to offer printed material on their racks, are also in the works. A poster campaign with QR codes that ran on routes between Nanaimo and Vancouver as well as at shopping malls in Victoria were well received, Nicholson said.

'Our messaging to our potential visitors in summer is while it’s high season on Vancouver Island, it’s actually low season on Mount Washington, so there are some great deals to be had.'