Cariboo ChilcotinTourism Association CEO Amy Thacker.

Cariboo ChilcotinTourism Association CEO Amy Thacker.

CCCTA here to promote local business

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is here to help local businesses, says association CEO Amy Thacker.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is here to help local businesses, says association CEO Amy Thacker.

The CCCTA is a non-profit society, governed by a board of directors, selected by businesses in the region, and completely independent of government, Thacker said in an address to the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, Sept. 27.

The board functions as an advisory body, while staff in the office deliver programs.

Programs are delivered on behalf of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Labour and on behalf of the BC Film Commission.

There are a number of standing committees, and marketing is one of the most actively seen outreaching into communities, Thacker explained.

“We encourage you to get involved, share information and focus on the message you want us to be sharing.”

The magazine published each year by the CCCTA goes out internationally to tourism offices, to journalists vetted through the BC Travel Trade Operators, anybody doing initial investigation to come into the region and do tourism or film work.

“We urge you to check out the section about you, and if we’re missing anything, or it’s not the information you want us to carry, please let us know,” Thacker told Chamber members.

She also told members communities in the region do have the option to submit annually to the Community Tourism Opportunity (CTO) through the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Labour, for projects that would help attract tourists.

A recent example of CTO funding recently garnered in the region was for the Xat’sull Heritage Village, CCCTA marketing and community relations manager Brad McGuire said.

“They just had some new signage placed on Hwy. 97 both north and south — one at Deep Creek and one right at Xat’sull from the north.”

It’s not just signage that CTO’s involved with, but it’s one of the more noticeable ones from the general public, he added.

Another program in place, attracts journalists to give unpaid coverage of the region.

“The media program brings the journalists here through flight and transportation support, so it’s not out-of-pocket, and they write stories about you that you don’t have to pay for,” Thacker explained.

A travel trade program works with tour operators around the world to talk about your communities, your business, and to sell. “They are selling experiences to private business and tourists around the world, which is again marketing the community and the region.”

Additionally, the CCCTA provides workshops to community, most recently around social media, world host online reputation management, but those are driven by what stakeholders are asking for.

“They are always evolving,” she said, adding they hold an annual tourism summit and are always doing advocacy work.

“We have a committee that works with you in lobbying efforts or navigating bureaucracy if there is something that is impeding your business and your ability to do business.”

This November, CCCTA will be celebrating its 50th anniversary of incorporation, Thacker said. It was the Cariboo Tourism Association at the time, made up of chambers and boards of trade in the region.

Today the CCCTA covers the area from Lillooet to Stoner, just south of Prince George, and from Wells Gray Provincial Park to the central coast.