The tourism sector is an important contributor to the Powell River and the Sunshine Coast economy. However, the area is still often considered a “best-kept secret”, making it difficult to realize the region’s full potential. Hosting the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver provided an opportunity to capitalize on the world’s media presence and optimize on story ideas beyond the city’s boundaries.
Recognizing this occasion, Tourism Powell River assembled a portfolio of prepared stories (many written by locals) to promote their community. With the help of media relations expertise, the editorial content was used in print, electronic publications and on broadcast outlets. Tourism Powell River further increased their meeting and retreat capabilities by developing a strategy and tools to attract similar small and mid-sized gatherings to the area.
The project, completed in 2011, also included the creation of a Writer’s Conference and workshop.The Powell River Writer’s Conference brought together professionals and aspiring writers as an example of the community’s host potential. In addition, many compelling articles and stories, highlighting the region’s assets, appeared in a variety of media. Many writers have also been brought to Powell River on press trips. The feature articles written provide increased visibility for the tourism industry in larger markets and international markets where they could never afford to advertise.