A couple of tourism industry heavyweights were on the Sunshine Coast this week.

The heads of Destination BC and the Tourism Industry Association of BC took part in the Sunshine Coast Credit Union’s “Business of Tourism” event.

Destination BC CEO Marsha Walden (at left in pic) says changes, that include ending the relationship with Vancouver Coast and Mountains, mean local tourism organizations will now have better access to some of the 50 million in provincial funds Destination BC controls.

The Association’s Ian Robertson (center in pic) says tourism is an important driver for local economies, and they need to share that message.

Robertson also stressed the growing importance of local funding for tourism initiatives.

At the moment the Sunshine Coast does not have an accommodation tax. Nanaimo just recently got approval for the levy, which is expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Local tourism operator Candace Campo of Talasay Tours (far right in pic) got one of the bigger laughs, saying the Sunshine Coast shouldn’t focus too much on scenery when marketing itself and do more to focus on the people of the region and “promote our quirkiness”