Tourism Regina will be under a new direction as Economic Development Regina (EDR) has agreed to transfer its responsibilities to the Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL).
Council approved that EDR will remove the marketing and promotion of tourism services for Regina and the region from its mandate and add it to REALs.
Mayor Sandra Masters said that with a new CEO in Chris Lane for EDR and REAL being responsible for the majority of tourism in the City, it made sense to change roles.
“73 per cent of tourism is coming out of REAL. They also have more than 500 staff members,” she said. “One of the things we heard regularly over the past is that tourism perhaps doesn’t the people to execute on producing festivals when they have a staff of six or seven. It just makes a whole bunch of sense to leverage the community cooperation that has the resources and skill set.”
Masters said that to make sure they don’t promote themselves, they will have a responsibility to the entire City and be held accountable by the city council.
“As for promoting 103 acres, they’ve done a great job. We want that great job to expand to the city boundaries,” she said. “It’s really about using a civic asset that is very large and expanding its reach across the City to help facilitate and promote all of the events that we have going on.”
FROST Regina, which saw REAL collaborate with the Downtown and Warehouse Disctics and Wascana Centre, triggered the conversations to make the transition.
“What was fairly evident was that the exhibition association had all of these resources, had people, had a database of volunteers that they then pushed out into the other districts. It really highlighted the fact that we had something that we underutilized and needed to push out in order to promote activities going around the City.”
Masters added that with no responsibility for tourism, this would allow EDR to focus on recruiting people and investments in the City.