Destination Management

What is Destination Management?

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, destination management consists of the coordinated management of all the elements that make up a tourism destination. For destination marketing organizations like Tourism Whistler, destination management is about broadening our traditional marketing and promotion focus to include a strategic approach to increasing the economic, social and environmental benefits of tourism.

Tourism Whistler’s destination management focus is closely connected to our Long-Term Tourism Vision & Strategy, which aims to cultivate a sustainable tourism plan for the resort that balances the needs of residents, businesses and guests. It is based on the belief that in order to be successful, Whistler must balance a vibrant, prosperous destination with a desirable, livable community.

Key Areas of Focus

Balancing Year-Round Visitor Volumes

Whistler was built for tourism and to welcome visitors from around the world; however, we sometimes experience strain on our local infrastructure during high volume peak season periods. That is why Tourism Whistler is focused on achieving a comfortable carrying capacity by levelling out the peaks and boosting the valleys in resort occupancy to create more balanced visitation and to ensure Whistler has a vibrant, prosperous, year-round tourism economy. We are taking steps to achieve this goal through strategic marketing programs, Destination Development initiatives, and resort programming and dispersion strategies.

Improve the Visitor Experience

Tourism Whistler is committed to ensuring our destination delivers a great guest experience for all visitors. The better we can manage the end-to-end customer journey, from the path to purchase to the in-resort experience, the better our ability to ensure guest stories and word of mouth are positive, in turn influencing other potential visitors. To achieve this, we collect visitor research and customer feedback to identify pain points and gaps in the resort experience. We then aim to take a leadership role with the business community and our Members to create innovative solutions to problem areas and to facilitate the creation of new experiences and/or improvements to existing products and experiences to cultivate memorable interactions between visitors and locals that are aligned with the Whistler Brand.

Tourism Stewardship

Tourism Stewardship seeks to improve the social, cultural and environmental impacts of tourism in Whistler. This involves developing and improving sustainable practices and policies within the Tourism Whistler organization and in alignment with Member businesses and resort partners to ensure we are all collectively working towards protecting and preserving Whistler’s desired future. Examples include promoting local businesses with strong sustainability practices, encouraging visitors to make sustainable travel choices, and helping meeting and incentive partners to plan environmentally responsible meetings at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Encouraging Responsible Visitor Bahaviours

Encouraging visitors to be socially, culturally and environmentally aware when they visit a destination is critical to protecting Whistler’s beautiful natural environment and to preserving the relationship between local residents and guests. Implementing responsible tourism marketing strategies to try and help visitors understand how to “tread lightly” when travelling have become increasingly popular within the tourism industry. Working to incorporate responsible tourism principals into our marketing strategies and visitor messaging has been a key focus for Tourism Whistler for a number of years, particularly within our owned channels and digital content production.

Destination Management Resources and Tools

Get Involved!

Members interested in supporting Tourism Whistler’s destination management efforts can do so by:

  • Participating in Member Opportunities designed to balance visitor volumes and improve the visitor experience.
  • Leveraging our Messaging Toolkits through their own visitor communications and marketing efforts.
  • Aligning with Tourism Whistler’s seasonal marketing strategies and campaigns.
  • Not promoting sensitive areas/experiences in Whistler to visitors – for example, floating the River of Golden Dreams in plastic inflatable devices.
  • Avoiding imagery in summer marketing that includes campfires or fireworks (due to the extreme fire risk in Whistler during the peak summer months).
  • Encouraging visitors to protect Whistler’s wildlife and environment by being Bear Smart and Fire Smart.
  • Educating visitors on responsible backcountry recreation by sharing AdventureSmart principals.
  • Discouraging the use of single-use plastics.
  • Promoting shared and active transportation options.