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Tourism Victoria drops forecasting from agenda

Uncertain economy means no guarantees

You won't be hearing a lot of forecasting from Tourism Victoria for a while, as the destination marketing organization has realized in these wild economic times there are simply no guarantees anymore.

"Rather than saying here's a percentage [increase or decrease in tourism revenue], let's run with it, we are saying we just need to be able to respond as best we can to anything that comes our way, both negative and positive," said Rob Gialloreto, president and CEO of Tourism Victoria, following a year-end address to the organization's membership.

Gialloreto said the tone of his address was sombre, considering there is so much uncertainty out there.

However, he noted instead of focusing on uncertainty as a negative, they are looking at the other side of the term.

"The other part of it is we're not really sure how good this could be or how much of an impact we can make," he said, referring to the highlights the city has on its calendar for 2009 -- events such as the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Royal B.C. Museum's Treasures exhibit and the Olympic torch relay.

"We're uncertain how successful they can be when faced with this kind of [economic] uncertainty," he said.

Tourism Victoria also unveiled its 2009 board of directors yesterday. Randy Wright of Harbour Air Seaplanes will be the board chairman, with the following named as directors: Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Public Relations; Pauline Rafferty, Royal B.C. Museum; Dave Cowen, Butchart Gardens; David Roberts, Prince of Whales; Reid James, Hotel Grand Pacific; Mandy Farmer, Accent Inns; Nancy Arsenault, Tourism Vancouver Island; Don Calveley, Truffles Catering Group; Ian MacPhee, Abbeymoore Manor Bed & Breakfast; J.C. Scott, JC Scott Designs Associates; and Jim Allard, Hyack Air.