OUTAOUAIS TOURISM ANNUAL MEMBERS’ MEETING: A NEW CHAIRPERSON AND AN UPDATED GOVERNANCE MODEL
Outaouais, September 28, 2017 – The members of Outaouais Tourism’s 2017–2018 board of directors were elected at the organization’s 36th annual members’ meeting (AMM) held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa. The board now consists of 14 directors, as specified in the new governance model adopted at the 2016 AMM. The new structure promotes greater flexibility, efficiency and dynamism in Outaouais Tourism (OT)’s communications and interactions.
The board also has a new chairperson: Geneviève Dumas, general manager of the Fairmont Le Château Montebello and former vice-chair of Outaouais Tourism. “Having served on the OT board for six years, I accept this new position with confidence,” said Ms. Dumas. “We intend to continue to build on the tourism industry’s achievements over the last few years.” Outgoing chair Manuela Teixeira will now serve as vice-chair. “My staying on as vice-chair will ensure a smooth transition and transfer of knowledge,” noted Ms. Teixeira. “The tourism industry is my milieu, my passion, but it’s time for me to make way for the next generation. I have every confidence in Geneviève’s ability to move our many regional files forward!”
Manuela Teixeira joined the OT board in 2008; she served as vice-chair 2011–12 and as chair 2013–17. Ms. Teixeira’s commitment to tourism development in the Outaouais is well known. She is currently on the board of the Alliance touristique du Québec, and co-chaired the 150th Committee for the Gatineau 2017 celebrations. Highlights of her term as OT chair include the release of the Outaouais Region Strategic Tourism Development and Marketing Plan 2014–2020, major organizational changes, the adoption of the 3.5% accommodation tax, OT’s participation in the Canada 150 celebrations with their exceptional economic benefits, the inauguration of the Culture Trail in partnership with several other organizations and agencies, the opening of the first official tourist route in the Outaouais, and stronger connections and joint projects with several partners, including the City of Gatineau and Ottawa Tourism. Throughout her tenure on the board, Ms. Teixeira has promoted the tourism development potential of the Outaouais region as a gateway to Quebec.
Incoming OT board chair Geneviève Dumas is actively involved in the regional tourism industry. She has 21 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, and has been general manager of the Fairmont Le Château Montebello since 2011. She was named vice-chair of the OT board in 2013. She currently serves on the boards of the Association de la Capitale mondiale des bâtiments en bois rond and the Regroupement des hôteliers de l’Outaouais. She has received several leadership awards and honours. “I’m delighted to step up as chair of Outaouais Tourism, and I feel very fortunate to be part of such an active and vibrant industry!” commented Ms. Dumas.
2017–18 Board of Directors
The board members elected at the annual members’ meeting are:
Representing the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau CRM
Representing the Papineau CRM
Representing the Collines-de-l’Outaouais CRM
Representing the Pontiac CRM
One director elected from among OT members who charge the accommodation tax
Two elected officials from and appointed by the City of Gatineau, as per the memorandum of understanding
The 14th director will be selected based on recommendations from the other board members.
The new governance model has also reduced the number of executive positions. The members of the executive were appointed at the board meeting immediately following the AMM.
2017–18 Executive Committee
Chair: Geneviève Dumas
The next AMM will be held in spring 2018.
2016–17 Annual Review
In her review, outgoing chair Manuela Teixeira emphasized the tourism industry’s importance to the local and regional economy. “The Quebec tourism industry comprises some 32,000 organizations and employs 363,000 people. In the Outaouais, the industry creates nearly 18,000 jobs,” she pointed out. Equally noteworthy are the many initiatives implemented during the year that strengthened OT’s partnerships with various industry stakeholders, including the City of Gatineau, the CRMs, representatives of various levels of government, the Alliance touristique du Québec, the National Capital Commission, Ottawa Tourism, and OT members.
Outaouais Tourism general manager France Bélisle acknowledged the magic that unfolded throughout the region in 2017. “Everything was set up to succeed, from the investments by the various levels of government to the enthusiasm and vision of the promoters who seized every opportunity to maximize the benefits,” she said, referring to the recently released review of the summer tourist season.
Highlights of 2016–17 include the opening of the Chemins d’eau tourist route, the renewal of the regional tourism partnership agreement (Entente de partenariat régional en tourisme, or EPRT), the creation of a new fund to support small-scale events, festivals and attractions, and a hospitality training program for 250 tourism industry employees.
The upward trend shows no sign of slowing, and as predicted, 2017 attracted a record number of visitors! The watchword for the coming year is to maintain the same course so that the tourism industry can continue to reap the benefits.
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