WestJet Airlijnes director of business development, Robert Dungan, speaks at a Thursday announcement of a new partnership marketing agreement with Tourism Victoria, whose president and CEO Paul Nursey listens. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Tourism Victoria, WestJet partnering to attract more conference business here

New co-marketing agreement will give Victoria-bound delegates preferred rates

A new partnership marketing agreement between Tourism Victoria and WestJet Airlines is expected to give the capital region an even bigger boost when it comes to competing for convention and other non-peak season visitor business.

Paul Nursey, CEO of Tourism Victoria, said it’s all about working to become more competitive.

“Tourism is a very competitive business and the conference space is really, really competitive,” he said. “So having an airline partner to help give us preferential rates for our conference delegates and meeting planners, and a commitment from both parties do joint marketing in the business-to-business space, will help give us a competitive edge over every other city we’re bidding against.”

While conference business is already being booked for Victoria into 2022 and 2023, Nursey said the partnership and the joint marketing will begin immediately.

“When our proposals hit the desks of our customers, it’ll be better because it’ll have an airline component.”

The multi-faceted agreement will see the two organizations align their marketing to help each other boost business during non-peak seasons. Here in Victoria that means filling hotel rooms when they might otherwise sit empty, a strategy that has a spinoff effect for local businesses.

WestJet director of business development, Robert Dungan, said the airline also has non-peak times where it is looking at creative ways to fill seats on its planes.

“It’s looking for those opportunities with the convention market and looking for those periods where people are travelling off-peak,” he said. “Maybe it’s more [certain days] of the week where we can work closely together to help bring more business here on flights where we need it, and frankly the city can benefit as well.”

Nursey said WestJet, which has been flying in and out of Victoria for 22 years, is a “great cultural fit” for his organization. “We’re both ambitious and we’re both growth-oriented and we’re going to make it work.”

He pointed out that the airline has a meetings division of its own that works with the conference business. “We’ve partnered with them informally, but now we’re going to partner formally. We’re really honoured that a big national company like WestJet has chosen to work with us; they could have chosen to work with anyone in the country.”

WestJet offers direct flights from Victoria to Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary and Edmonton and during the summer months offer four weekly non-stop flights to Toronto.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Sooke lottery winner has come forward

The $1 million ticket was sold in Sooke for Lotto 6/49

First Nation supporters march to Premier John Horgan’s MLA office in Langford

Upwards of 30 people moved across the West Shore Wednesday morning in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

EDITORIAL: Safe water should trump traffic plan

Emergency Malahat route through Sooke watershed a non-starter

Donation bin deaths raise questions about safety

Recent deaths have prompted the removal or retrofit of boxes in Greater Victoria

North Cowichan will host new permanent rowing centre starting October 2020

Saanich’s bid for national rowing centre at Elk Lake sunk

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

SUV wedged on top of car in B.C. mall parking lot has customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

Tom Lavin and the Powder Blues Band among acts to perform at Comox Valley’s Winterfest

Participating hotels offering half-price “ski & stay” packages

May government faces no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would stay put in her leadership role

Vancouver Island soccer player a first-round major-league draft pick

Callum Montgomery goes fourth overall to FC Dallas in MLS SuperDraft

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external committee

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Most Read