Thursday, February 4, 2010

Have Your Read the Business Plan for Destination Winnipeg?

I have a friend that works over at Destination Winnipeg. We got to talking about the mandate of the organization, and its relation to many of the development projects going on in Winnipeg. I was unclear on whether Destination Winnipeg is focused more on economic and business development or tourism. Therefore I thought I'd go through the website to get a better understanding.

It was clear to me after reading through areas of their website that they are in fact responsible for both. Quite a task for an organization that receives very little funding support from both levels of government in Manitoba. Naturally, I was curious how they would plan to execute two very different mandates? So...I went to read their business plan from 2007 - 2009. What did I find?

What I found was exactly the same information that I found on the website. There was no measurable plan of action. Simply regurgitation of who they are, what they do, what they don't do, and who they work with and won't work with. There is no execution strategy anywhere in the document. Allow me to share some examples:

In the "Strategies & Actions" section, they list the following:

- Increase “earned media” to help increase awareness of the city in external
markets through publicity on positive developments and city attractions

How will they do this? Its mentioned no where. Is it PR's? I sure hope its not through their promotional videos. Though very well produced, most of them have barely cracked the century mark in viewers.

- Attract group travel to Winnipeg through targeted packages to our primary
regional market. New focus is on youth and women group markets that offer
growth opportunities.

What are the primary regional markets? What is a targeted package? How will you communicate/advertise to these markets? What media will be used? How will you know if its successful?

The list goes on.

I challenge anyone reading this blog to go to Destination Winnipeg's website; read the business plan, and then please respond to let me know if I'm just going crazy and can't comprehend what I'm reading, or if in fact the business plan is simply stating what they do as opposed to how they will actually do it.

On a side note, you can now book your hotel rooms through their website. I'm sure the hotels - who Destination Winnipeg is supposed to be helping fill vacancies for - are quite happy to now have to pay them a percentage if a room is booked through the DW site. Hmmm...let's help the hotels by cutting their margins. Brilliant.

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