Tourism, Pride join forces
Photo: Valaura Jones/By Jove Co.
Carla Bechard (she/she), Kelowna Tourism Marketing Programs and Partnerships, Lisanne Ballantyne (she/she), President and CEO of Kelowna Tourism, Fahmi Baharuddin (he/he), President of Kelowna Pride, and Bobby Bissesar (he / him), Vice President, External, Kelowna Pride Society, to celebrate the signing of the MoU.
Kelowna Pride and Tourism Kelowna has officially announced this.
After working together for several years to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, the two organizations have announced a MoU to continue their efforts to raise awareness, educate and bring visitors to the Okanagan.
“After downsizing our festivities over the last two years, we are thrilled to be able to schedule a full list of activities for this year’s Pride Week. Announcing our agreement with Tourism Kelowna is an exciting way to start the week. This collaboration recognizes the many ways our associations can work together to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community now and in the future. We hope this collaboration will be the first of many that will advance the development of the Okanagan Central,” said Fahmi Baharuddin, President of Kelowna Pride.
The agreement also means that Tourism Kelowna will expand its marketing efforts, promote more events, create more articles to support the community, and continue to expand the range of pride-related merchandise available at the Kelowna Visitor Center.
Kelowna Pride will continue to raise awareness of Kelowna as an ideal meeting and conference venue, provide content to engage the 2SLGBTQIA+ travel market, and develop and host inclusive social events and educational programs.
“Official recognition and promotion of the good work that has been done between our two organizations over the years is an exciting step forward,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna.
“A positive and collaborative approach to raising awareness of Kelowna as a welcoming community is an important factor in attracting the 2SLGBTQIA+ tourism market, which, according to the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, spends $12 billion annually worldwide. We are excited to continue working with Kelowna Pride to welcome visitors and work with residents to make our community a place where everyone feels like they can be themselves.”