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City Recognized at TOTA Conference

By Emily Wessel - Merritt Herald
Published: April 02, 2013 9:00 AM
Updated: April 02, 2013 9:15 AM

The City of Merritt was recognized three times at the recent Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) conference for “embracing its potential” — which was the conference theme — said City of Merritt Economic Development Manager James Umpherson.

“[The city was] highlighted three times at the conference and this is a fairly significant conference,” Umpherson said. “If we’re going to do tourism, let’s do it right and use best practices. It kept coming back to what Merritt’s all about and what Merritt wants to do as a community.”

Umpherson represented the City of Merritt at the 2012-13 Thompson Okanagan Tourism Industry Summit and annual general meeting which took place at Quaaout Lodge and Spa, outside of Chase from March 25-27.

The annual tourism summit brings representatives from communities throughout the region for workshops and presentations on tourism planning.

Umpherson said one of the reasons Merritt was recognized was because of the tourism planning and marketing event hosted by the city and facilitated by TOTA in February. That was the first step in the city-driven tourism plan, which has the goal of establishing a destination marketing organization, he said.

“Now, all of TOTA knows that the City of Merritt has embraced that and said, “We want to go forward,” he said.

The tourism plan is currently in development within the TOTA facilitators’ framework.

“This conference about embracing your potential was a pinnacle moment for Merritt because we were highlighted at the entire conference several different times. To me, it speaks to what we, as a city, have been trying to do — embrace our potential,” Umpherson said.