Media Releases

Monday, January 30, 2017

Tourism Whistler announces new organizational structure


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Whistler, B.C. – Tourism Whistler has announced an organizational restructure.

The changes reflect the evolving nature of the tourism industry and meet current and future demands, while capitalizing on the strengths of the Tourism Whistler team, explains Barrett Fisher, Tourism Whistler’s President & CEO.

Kirsten Homeniuk will oversee the Marketing division in the role of Vice President, Marketing. Formerly Tourism Whistler’s Director of Marketing Services, Homeniuk brings extensive marketing experience, and an unparalleled passion for Whistler, to this role. The new marketing portfolio includes the departments of: Advertising & Creative, Digital Content and Partnerships & Promotions.

Homeniuk replaces Louise Walker, Tourism Whistler’s former VP, Marketing, who left the organization in 2016 to pursue another opportunity. That vacancy, explains Fisher, created the opportunity to examine the organization’s structure, identify new focus areas and expand current roles.

“Not only are we able to really look at the industry and respond to the trends that we see developing, but we are also in a position to align the strengths of our team and further develop some of the positions within the organization,” she said.

“In the world of consumer marketing, for example, there has been explosive growth in the areas of digital, social, data and content marketing, with rapid change being the new norm. We need to constantly be responding to that change and prepare ourselves for the future.”

Tourism Whistler has also established a Destination Development division, which combines the areas of Research and Product Development, along with Visitor Experience, Member Relations and Communications, moving those areas under the umbrella of Destination and Market Development, overseen by Karen Goodwin, Vice President, Destination and Market Development.

“Historically, tourism bureaus have focused primarily on marketing and sales efforts,” explains Fisher. “With the growth in two-way communication and the capability of customers to now share their content and opinions real-time through social media and customer review sites, the guest experience becomes an even more important part of a DMO’s role.”

Tourism Whistler will expand its Destination Development role in supporting a remarkable visitor experience by increasing its efforts in two existing departments of Research & Product Development and Visitor Experience.

Research & Product Development will be led by Tourism Whistler’s former Manager of Research, Meredith Kunza, in the expanded role of Senior Manager, Research & Product Development.

Overseeing the areas of Visitor Experience, Member Relations & Communications, will be Tourism Whistler’s former Communications Manager, Patricia Westerholm, in the expanded role of Senior Manager, Destination Development & Communications. Within this division, Jody Hallet, formerly the Visitor Services Manager, will fill the new role of Visitor Experience Manager.

With the shift to Visitor Experience, operation of the Visitor Centre will move to Wendy Brandt, formerly the Whistler.com call centre manager, who will oversee both the call centre and visitor centre agents in the expanded role of Manager, Visitor Information & Reservations.

The Whistler.com department, led by Tory Kargl, Director, Whistler.com, has been moved into the Finance and Operations division, overseen by Heather Boxrud, Tourism Whistler’s former Director of Finance, in the expanded role of Vice President, Finance & Operations.

“There will be a period of transition as we confirm these new roles and responsibilities, but I am very pleased that we’ve been able to review and update our organizational structure, recognizing the strengths of our team, the needs of our organization, the requirements of our resort, and the changing trends of our industry,” Fisher said.

The restructure does not result in the addition of FTEs (full-time equivalent employees), as new positions were created as a result of shifts and vacancies.

“As a customer-driven, member-supported organization, it is important that we continue to evolve and change; that we remain relevant; and that we add value to our members,” said Fisher.

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Whistler is Canada's premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.

Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.944.7853 and whistler.com - Whistler's official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

Media can visit whistler.com/media for Whistler facts, media releases, story starters, local personality profiles and access to images and B-roll.

Broadcasters: Whistler now has the capability to take you live with our enhanced fibre network. The significantly expanded network of more than 200 kilometres of fibre optic cabling throughout the resort allows instant transmission of HD signals to any location at any time. Details on how to access, and book the fibre are available on our media site.

Media Contacts

Marion Young
Coordinator, Communications
T: 604.938.2726
E: myoung@tourismwhistler.com

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