In his 27 years at Destination BC, Peter has made a tremendous contribution to the success of British Columbia’s tourism industry. While his dedication and deep industry knowledge is evident in his years of service, it’s best viewed from his meaningful personal connections with so many people in the tourism ecosystem, where he leaves a lasting impact spanning all corners of BC.
In recognition of the contributions Peter brought to our organization and industry, and ahead of his retirement, we are celebrating his journey with a few of his countless career highlights.
Peter joined when Destination BC was ‘Tourism BC’ and a division of the Ministry of Small Business Tourism and Culture. Beginning as a Senior Business Manager in 1994 looking after North America long haul marketing, he went on to become our Regional and Sector Marketing Manager, then Director of Partnership Marketing, before Director of Destination Development and Co-op Programs, and finally our Director of Industry Partnerships and Visitor Services.
Despite the various titles, Peter’s role has always revolved around partnerships with industry. He was instrumental in creating many, if not all, of our industry partnership programs, starting in 1995 with the Vacation BC Co-op Program. This was designed, with typical Peter-style enthusiasm, to complement our campaign at the time called BC Time to Play, which was focused on getting BC residents out to explore more of the province throughout the seasons. He was responsible for the Tourism Partners Program, working closely with the six tourism regions, as well as the Experiences BC Program, the Community Foundations Program, the Community Tourism Opportunity Program. And, after an extensive industry consultation process involving over 1000 stakeholders, Peter implemented the program we run today – our Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program.
In his earlier years in government, he was on the team that developed and launched the Buy BC Program, with Peter managing the development of the brand logo that is still in place 30 years later. And ahead of most when it came to anything technology related, he was responsible for recommending a vanity line (1-800-Hello BC) for Destination BC’s call centre and the corresponding website name HelloBC.com. Later on, through the Community Tourism Foundations program, Peter and his team helped develop tourism strategies for nearly 100 communities, many of them new to tourism, which led to the creation, funding models, and success of many Community Destination Marketing Organizations (CDMOs) across the Province.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Peter worked with his team and stakeholders to ensure all our partnership programs under his oversight were adjusted to provide enhanced flexibility and additional funding. He provided the initial advise to the provincial government on the impact of COVID on CDMOs and the Province later provided a $10 Million provincial support program. He also worked with our excellent partners at Western Diversification to secure an additional $6.2 Million from the federal government for CDMO support.
Peter has also guided Destination BC’s management of the Vancouver, Coast and Mountains Tourism Region since we took on this role in 2016. A tall order that Peter met with a vision of possibilities and optimism. Many would credit Peter’s style and exceptional relationship building skills to have played a key role in fostering the trusted and respectful partnership we have with Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) today. In Peter’s words, he: “had the privilege and honour of being responsible for our partnership and relationship with ITBC for almost 15 years.”
Integrity is a virtue that Peter holds in high regard. He was a guiding light on this front, with a management style that focused on trust, empowerment, and supporting those around him to make their own decisions, always on hand to offer advice and cheer them on. His teams and tourism partners would say he approached work collaboratively and enjoyed problem solving, always motivated to reach win-win solutions that represented a fair outcome for all.
Peter will be sorely missed by the many stakeholders, partners, and colleagues that he has supported and advocated for over the years. His calm demeanor and optimism, even in the toughest times, radiates to those around him and encapsulates the spirit of tourism. This is a mark he will leave at Destination BC as we wish him the very best for a well-earned retirement. His last day will be Thursday, October 28, 2021.
With heartfelt thanks and many happy memories, we will remain grateful for Peter’s tremendous contribution to our organization and BC’s tourism industry.
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