Major changes afoot at Kimberley info centre

Tourism Kimberley takes the reins at Visitors Centre from Chamber

On Monday, December 17, 2012 Kimberley City Council endorsed a contract with Tourism Kimberley to manage the Kimberley Visitor Centre.

The Kimberley Chamber of Commerce will be shifting to more of a business focus, says Chamber President Darren Close.

Tourism Kimberley will be moving their operations into the Visitor Centre building in early 2013, and the Chamber is looking to relocate.

The visitor centre building itself is owned by the Kimberley Chamber, and will be leased to Tourism Kimberley. The Chamber has been managing the info centre since its days in the old railroad station on Ross Street where Shoppers Drug Mart currently sits.

“The Visitor Centre is a perfect platform to sell the community to visitors,” said TK President Craig Campbell. “We are excited about the opportunity to learn more about visitors coming here and enhance the tourism products in Kimberley accordingly.”

Close says negotiations on the switch have been ongoing for quite some time. Chamber staff will remain at the Visitor Centre to assist the transition.

“The existing staff will remain so the face won’t change at all,” he said. “All the staff have been taken care of.”

As for the Chamber itself, it will be without a home temporarily, but is seeking a new office, hopefully one just as visible as the info centre location, perhaps a storefront in the Platzl, Close said.

The voice of business and a key player in fostering a healthy economic environment, the Chamber will continue to focus on serving the needs of local businesses. Member services will be enhanced with the goal of promoting and improving business retention and development.

“We want more focus on business,” Close said. “We recognize the need to provide value to our membership, in terms of support services that makes it easier to run a successful business. The Chamber is excited about the opportunity to focus on business development, investment attraction, and advocacy.

“We are hiring a new general manager. We’re just working out a few more details before we ask for applications. The advantage for the Chamber is that the new general manager will have less to do with tourism activities in Kimberley and more time to focus on business.”

The Chamber will still operate the JulyFest event, as per their contract with the City of Kimberley.

Tourism Kimberley is the non-profit destination marketing organization for Kimberley. The voice of the tourism sector, it has been promoting Kimberley since 2007 providing leadership in tourism marketing through a partnership funding model.

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