We all have heard about the fate of the NFVA/Visitors Centre and the need for a new building to provide visitor services. We’ve received some questions about whether or not the Levy funds could be used to support a new Visitors Centre.
Destination Marketing Levies have been introduced across North America, and much of Europe, to fill an important gap in funding tourism marketing. Frequently, Destination Marketing Levies are being used to fund marketing programs that promote and brand a single city destination. Across Canada these taxes or levies fund destination marketing of individual cities so that this marketing activity does not increase taxes on local residents.
Until recently the Government of the Northwest Territories and the City of Yellowknife had contracts with the Northern Frontier Visitors Association (NFVA) that provided operating funds to help pay for Yellowknife and area visitor services. However these contracts were not sufficient to cover the cost of servicing the increasing number of visitors that now visit Yellowknife.
These visitor services contracts have now been terminated at the request of the NFVA. Currently the City of Yellowknife has a temporary location to offer visitor services in the Prince of Wakes Northern Heritage Centre. The ongoing and future delivery of visitor services in Yellowknife is being discussed by the City and the GNWT.
In most other cities across Canada the funding of visitor services is separate from the funding of destination marketing. Both are recognized as very important – but with somewhat different goals, staffing expertise required and day-to-day activities.