Message from Interim President & CEO, Stephanie Clovechok
On September 15th Todd Brandt officially retired from his position as President and CEO of Tourism Saskatoon after almost 23 years of service. His legacy and work to establish a thriving visitor economy in Saskatoon will be carried forward with strength and confidence. Tourism Saskatoon’s team is focused on our business priorities while the search for our future CEO continues. In alignment with our succession plan, I am honoured to accept the responsibility as the interim CEO. The team and I remain committed to our tourism industry partners during this time and ensure we are delivering on the needs of our sector.
Saskatoon is an anchor for the province’s visitor economy which is an industry of industries – hotels, attractions, airlines and an airport, retail, restaurants, festivals, conferences, and events. We understand the interconnectedness of our member businesses and the direct impact you have on Saskatchewan’s vital supply chain that includes food and beverage providers, farmers, caterers, transportation, and construction, to name just a few. Advocacy for the survival and resilience of our industry is a continued priority for me. Your voices will be heard at the following local and national advocacy and committee tables:
- The Saskatoon Combined Business Group
- The Saskatoon Chamber COVID-19 Operational Committee
- Event and Contention Advocacy Group
- Destination Canada TradeX Strategic Advisory Committee.
“Find Your Moment in Saskatoon” is a video resource we are using now to leverage industry sentiment as we advocate for continued financial support to our members.
The “Find Your Moment” leisure marketing campaign was launched in late August to drive awareness, consideration and visitation to Saskatoon by showcasing iconic experiences in and around Saskatoon while offering pre-packaged itineraries that travellers can book through our partners at Uniglobe Travel. Traditional and digital tactics are driving potential travellers to findyourmoment.ca where these packaged offers can be found. If you are not yet engaged in this staycation initiative, please connect with Sarah Berger, Director of Leisure Marking and Media firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Travel Trade team recently attended the first virtual “Travel & Leisure Show” in partnership with Destination Canada and Anderson Vacations. Given the global pandemic, virtual shows are becoming our new reality. Our members and partner hotels were well represented as we shared our collective story with 1,886 travel agents and tour operators and, 1,217 consumers interested in booking a Canadian vacation.
The Destination Innovation team has been filming “virtual experiences” since the beginning of June, enabling us to provide compelling invitations to potential leisure, business, and association travellers in the future with this immersive digital content. Once complete, our sales and development teams will work to host virtual familiarization (fam) tours with travel agents, tour operators and third party planners to ensure Saskatoon remains top of mind for these key partners that will drive high volumes of visitation to our city when travel resumes and our province opens to higher volumes of travel.
Finally, we are very proud of the work that has been done to create the Saskatoon CommUNITY Commitment. This city-wide safety pledge continues to set us apart from other Canadian destinations and exemplifies our continued strength in ensuring the highest level of safety for our community members and travellers alike. If you have yet to become a CommUNITY Commitment partner, please visit our website and connect with our team to ensure you have established internal controls that help to mitigate as much risk of COVID-19 transmission within your business as possible.
To further provide safety and security in Saskatoon, we have partnered with Awasis Boutique in the creation of Saskatoon masks that showcase some of our city’s most iconic images. These masks are complimentary and available at our Visitor Centre along with Tourism Saskatoon hand sanitizer. If you are welcoming travellers or wish to have these resources for your team, please connect with our Director of Media, Sarah Berger at email@example.com or 306-931-7585.
With our community and members at the heart of everything we do, I invite you to connect with me to discuss your opportunities, challenges, the state of our industry as a whole, and how we can move it forward together. Thank you for your continued partnership as a member of Tourism Saskatoon.