District of Sooke will bid on tourism conference

The conference could attract up to 150 delegates to Sooke in 2018

  • Jan. 24, 2017 7:00 a.m.

The District of Sooke will bid on the 2018 Tourism Vancouver Island Conference and AGM. The conference is expected to attract 150 delegates to Sooke, who will be catered with a golf event, delegate bags, food, refreshments and entertainment. Costs, including transportation for guest speakers and delegates, as well as sponsorship and marketing, is $12,340. District chief administrative officer Teresa Sullivan said the funding would come from the council contingency fund, which could be part of the annual budget going into 2018. No location has yet been determined, though Sullivan noted the Prestige Hotel is a viable option as rooms are often discounted around the time of the conference, which will be in the tourist off-season. “It makes sense for us to try to attract conferences into our town core in the shoulder seasons and through the winter,” she said, adding the emphasis would remain on keeping the venue local. “Our policy is to use local and where we can, that would be staff’s first priority.” Coun. Kevin Pearson, along with other council members, unanimously agreed with the idea, saying it will help put Sooke on the map. “It’s time for us to start putting our name out there in a way that generates tourism. We have to brag about ourselves a little bit, and to do that, we have to get people here,” Pearson said.