Regina city councillors in a unanimous vote of 9-0 approved the transfer of Tourism Regina back to the city.
This means Tourism Regina will no longer be under the leadership of Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL).
Earlier in the week the board of directors voted unanimously to end its oversight of Tourism Regina.
The board has requested that the City of Regina remove the strategic leadership of Tourism Regina from REAL based on recommendations from an independent review performed by George Cuff and Associates.
In March of this year, Tourism Regina rebranded as Experience Regina and was managed by REAL.
One of the first things it did was launch a promotional campaign that used sexist slogans like “Show us your Regina” and “The city that rhymes with fun.”
According to the management, the slogans were used in error.
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters says this is not the first time Tourism Regina will be moved.
“The City of Regina is kind of a neutral party; in some respect, it owns the two municipal entities. We are the neutral party and in fact, we should own the brand the ‘City of Regina’ that anyone can use,” Masters said.
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The councillors also agreed that in one year the city administration will report back to the council with an update on the transfer of Tourism Regina into administration and recommendations on the best structure for Tourism Regina.
“A year from now we are going into net budgetary process, we would expect that they would come back and say, ‘If you want to do this, you have to spend this much money,’” Masters said.
The mayor believes there is still a lot of work to be done on branding as well as collaboration. The transition will take place in January.
“The staff within the City of Regina will be working with the tourism staff. We want to bring the two of them over but also to transfer some of the work and to have an understanding for social media contracts or other things that may have been committed to in 2024,” Masters said.
In a statement, REAL board of directors chair Wayne Morsky said this approval will allow it to focus on its core business.
“City Council’s approval of REAL’s request to remove the leadership of Tourism Regina from REAL will allow REAL advance on the recommended actions of the Cuff and Associates Report,” Morsky said.
“REAL is committed to focusing on its core business to support Regina’s visitor economy through its amenities and operations. Tourism is critical to the economic viability of Regina, and it is the position of the Board that this transition is the best path forward for both organizations. While we work with City Council to finalize the details, REAL will continue to service Tourism on an interim basis to ensure that the needs of the city are maintained.”
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