February 23, 2005

On Monday, Tourism Vancouver unveiled a new brand identity to enhance the city's marketing of the 2010 Olympic Games and expansion of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. The new Tourism Vancouver logo -- a "V" formed by two exclamation points -- accompanies a brand promise to "exceed visitors' expectations" and "deliver a superior value within a spectacular destination that is safe, exciting and welcoming" to all. "The new brand identity encompasses the promise that we're making to visitors about how we want them to feel," said Tourism Vancouver chair, Paul Tilbury. 

Because of a budget crisis in Erie County, N.Y., public funding of the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau has been slashed from $2.7 to $1.7 million, amid a flurry of cuts that have affected essential services countywide. The CVB and convention center used to receive effectively all of the county's 5 percent hotel occupancy tax; now part will be diverted to help patch up gaps in other county services. Richard Geiger, president and CEO of the CVB, hopes the sales tax will be raised to replenish some of the funds, but for now, he plans to trim the staff, cut back on marketing and look for alternative revenue sources to compensate. "It's definitely an inappropriate way to fill a county deficit, by using a hotel occupancy tax that's been designed to fund tourism and convention promotions," said Geiger.