Over the course of the summer, while operators were serving customers and enjoying a very busy season, TIAPEI continued work on implementing the industry’s new strategic plan. With the release of the report in the spring, it has been interesting to observe that local operators and associations have taken steps and invested in new or extended programming that are very much aligned with the major recommendations in the Plan. For example, as part of the June/Spring Open for Business product development, visitors were welcomed to new initiatives such as the eastern PEI Lobster Festival, sponsored by the PEI Fishermen’s Association and the Culinary Adventure Co. – Signature Events, launched by Experience PEI. Additionally, the Mi’kmaq Sustainable Tourism Strategy Development has received support funding to move ahead.
Even as industry gets on board with the overall recommendations to proceed with the adopted Implementation Plan, it is recognized that a coordinated implementation approach is now the main order of business. First up was the recommendation to form a set of committees to guide and oversee the process. TIAPEI’s Strategic Leadership Committee is seeking expert support to ensure that the committee structure is sound and representative of all regions and sectors.
Operators will also recall that MacPherson, Roche and Smith were tasked with addressing the Leadership component of the Strategic Plan and their final report should be available shortly. Before diving into committee structure process TIAPEI’s Strategic Leadership Committee wants to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. The Committee intends to consult with the RTA umbrella group as well as DMOs and sector groups to establish the most effective process. As part of this phase, the focus will be on defining the committees and subcommittees. Recruitment of volunteers should be open to the industry at large with feedback/recommendations from the RTAs and DMOs.
As well, TIAPEI has noted the need for a dedicated staff member to coordinate the ongoing strategic plan implementation process. Requests for funding this position have been raised with government, but no commitment has been made to date. TIAPEI will continue to provide regular updates to the strategy implementation process, so watch for news in the TIAPEI newsletter as well as at the Tourism Matters website.