When it comes to the world of tourism, there’s no denying Tofino has earned heavy weight champion status.
At the Annual Tourism Vancouver Island Awards Gala hosted in Ucluelet on October 5, Wendy Hainstock, manager of Hi-Tofino Whalers on the Point Guesthouse, brought home the Tourism Employee of the Year award.
“Everybody works so hard on Vancouver Island. I feel honoured for sure. This town (Tofino) should share in this award,” Hainstock said.
“I want to thank my staff and the community at large,” she said. “All my staff are incredible. They go with the flow, they are flexible.”
The award recognizes a tourism employee that has demonstrated exemplary work performance above and beyond the regular call of duty. Alana Janisse from Ucluelet Parks and Recreation, Andrew Keeling from CN Backpackers and Andrew Corrigan from Jamie’s Rainforest Inn were also put forward for the award.
Hainstock’s nomination letter was penned with love by fellow co-worker, Allyssa Rygersberg.
“She’s really proactive around the hostel. She started a lot of things, like the adventure centre and the bike rentals,” said Rygersberg. “She makes the hostel a fun place to not only work but to also just be.”
Under Hainstock’s management, Whalers on the Point has also claimed the 2015 North America Hostelling International Award (large hostel category) for Cleanest Hostel, Friendliest Hostel and Hostel of the Year. In the high season, Whalers welcomes about 1,800 guests per month.
The Tourism Tofino team earned Tuff’s second trophy of the evening for a co-shared multi media marketing campaign with Tourism Nanaimo, Sooke Regional Tourism Association and Black Ball Ferry Line called “Share Vancouver Island.”
The Multi Media Marketing award recognizes a business or organization for the innovative use of social media and traditional marketing mediums in a specific and targeted campaign that successfully attracts visitors to the Vancouver Island Region. Tourism Ucluelet also earned a nomination in the category.
According to a press release issued by Tourism Tofino, the Share Vancouver Island campaign brought a group of major U.S. and Canadian social media influencers with approximately 1.5 million followers to Vancouver Island to share content.
The campaign garnered more than 4.3 million social media “likes”, 30,000 social media posts that included the #ShareVI hashtag and 4,900 email newsletter subscribers.
“We took a radical approach to regional marketing with the Share Vancouver Island campaign and it really paid off,” executive director of Tourism Tofino Kirsten Soder said in the press release.
“The integration of contesting, digital and influencer marketing, consistent social media posting and highly effective traditional marketing methods resulted in an immediate and measurable boost in visitors to the region. The power of collaboration, combined with a deep understanding of the target market, is evident in the campaign’s stellar results,” she said.