Future of Tourism Series | Guest Blog
By Nancy Small
In March 2020 when the pandemic hit, Tourism Richmond’s revenue, reliant on a hotel tax, very quickly dropped close to zero for several months. Radical action was needed to rethink and reinvent.
We took immediate action on reimagining our operations. We significantly reduced the team and looked hard at our operation costs and took immediate advantage of government programs and funding opportunities. And we preserved cash to ensure we were solvent for the future.
We started listening. We started thinking. We took a long hard look at Tourism Richmond’s relevance for our community and we started looking forward beyond the devastating situation of COVID-19.
We engaged our stakeholders, our team, our board and some of the best minds in the industry to reimagine our relevance and “what is next” for us, our community and the industry as a whole.
Here’s where we landed:
- PURPOSE | We believe that everything we do is…
to ensure Richmond and our community benefit from a thriving visitor economy.
- VISION | When we accomplish this, we imagine a future where…
Richmond is a can’t-miss part of the Metro Vancouver experience.
- MISSION | We are in the business of…
building Richmond’s reputation and making it a desirable place to live, work and visit.
We start our journey into the uncertainties of 2021 with three guiding principles. This future orients us to sustainable tourism for Richmond BC that empowers the local economy, makes Richmond a better place to live and shares the best of what we have to offer as an authentic and vibrant community.
- Community Building: Align the public and private sectors around a shared vision for the future that prioritizes opportunities for locals and our stakeholders.
- Customer & Stakeholder Engagement: Know that our community is the brand. The creativity, innovation and purpose within Richmond fuels the engagement with local and global visitors and helps to drive their interest in us.
- Organization Sustainability: Define new roles and KPIs around equitable growth, quality of life, inclusivity, and sustainability to ensure long-term relevance. We have revised our corporate scorecard to reflect these new dynamics.
As we look to a different future, Tourism Richmond is ready – as a flexible, agile, focused, community-oriented destination organization.
Tourism Richmond is a mid-size destination organization in Beautiful British Columbia. Richmond is the home of North America’s top airport over 10 years running – YVR. We are minutes from beautiful downtown Vancouver and have a thriving and successful tourism and hospitality ecosystem. And our hotels have seen huge success – leading Canada in occupancy for several years running.
In March 2020, we were awarded a coveted industry accolade (British Columbia’s Destination Marketing Organization of the Year) for excellence in partnerships, innovation, and digital prowess. It was a great honor and one we look fondly back on – but that was a different time and space.
CEO, Tourism Richmond
Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Nancy has worked all over the world – including stints in The Netherlands, Toronto and Sydney, Australia. With an extensive background in the tourism industry, she specializes in strategic planning, destination management, stakeholder development and marketing strategy. Nancy’s experience outside the tourism industry includes senior-level executive roles in the retail sector, advertising agencies, and in high tech. She also has been a board member with several organizations including the BC American Marketing Association and the Burnaby Board of Trade.
Nancy is very active in the tourism industry and in the Richmond community – and is current chair of the BC Destination Marketing Association, co-chair of the Metro Vancouver Tourism & Hospitality Response & Recovery Task Force, a member of the Metro Vancouver Destination Development Steering Committee, a member of the Richmond Community Task Force for COVID, and is the chair of the KPU President’s Advisory Council for its Richmond campus.
She is passionate about all things Richmond and loves its diversity of food, the biking trails, culture and shopping.