Episode 165:

Marsha Walden is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Destination BC. A lifelong British Columbian, Marsha’s career spans corporate leadership roles in marketing, strategy, transformation, operations, communications, and social responsibility. Marsha holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, loves to travel, and takes full advantage of family life in our extraordinary province.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Marsha Walden, President and CEO of Destination BC, talks strategy for provincial destination marketing. She shares insights about collaboration, digital marketing, and data in the travel and tourism industry.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The work Marsha is currently doing with Destination BC
  • How Marsha made the transition into destination marketing
  • Marsha’s insights about collaboration, digital marketing, and data in the travel and tourism industry
  • What Marsha and her team are doing to cut through the noise and make Destination BC stand out
  • How Marsha uses destination development plans to draw more tourism to the province as a whole
  • How Marsha partnered with government in tourism
  • Why Destination BC operates with ten-year plans
  • How Destination BC manages a network of separate destinations

Provincial Destination Marketing

President and Chief Executive Officer Marsha Walden spearheads Destination BC’s product development efforts, content commonwealth, and tourism data hub; the lifeblood of its growth strategy. And it has enabled Destination BC to realize its vision for the future while staying highly competitive in one of North America’s densest tourism markets. Marsha has spent most of her career in different marketing disciplines and she is a lifelong resident of British Columbia, so the opportunity to combine those parts of her life was irresistible. She joins us on the latest episode of Destination on the Left to talk about Destination BC and share insights about collaboration, digital marketing, and data in the travel and tourism industry.

Destination Development Plans

To cut through the noise and make Destination BC standout from the crowd, Marsha’s approach is to focus on both sides of the revenue-driving equation. Destination BC puts a lot of energy and resources into building its brand and marketing it in the right ways. Marsha and her team maintain a strong digital presence so that they are constantly communicating with their target audience in the place where they spend the most time. Simultaneously, Destination BC creates remarkable experiences to ensure their communication strategy is portraying the most compelling possible product to the consumer. This is accomplished by formulating destination development plans to make each section of the destination the best it can be, and it is extremely effective.

Ten-Year Plans

Determining what you want to be known for as a destination requires a lot of collaboration. So, out of a necessity to grow, Destination BC has invited a lot of new parties to the table. Municipal governments, tourism businesses, industry stakeholders, and other governmental associations/organizations all need to be involved in setting the strategy. But these things take time, so Marsha and her team operate with ten-year plans which allow for realistic timelines to hit their goals. This strategy enables DMOs to take a more reactive approach to new market trends, and it provides an outline that keeps all of the collaborators on the same page.

Episode Transcript

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