Dianna Ducs

Dianna Ducs and her board have created a marketing plan to engage and excite the Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism stakeholders

Dianna Ducs is the executive director for Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism.

Dianna Ducs is the executive director for Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism. — Photo courtesy Dianna Ducs

Dianna Ducs has been the executive director for Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism (NKLT) since 2011, after 20 years in the marketing world. She credits her strong, diverse board for the organization’s success.

“Engaging with them and with the tourism-related businesses face to face builds relationships and contributes to our success,” she said. “Our paid membership model with more than 150 members allows and encourages our members to have a voice in setting our direction and our priorities.”

In October 2016 NKLT rolled out a brand-new campaign called “Finding Awesome,” and Ducs expects that over the next two years the growing momentum of the campaign will significantly raise the profile of tourism in the Nelson area.

Ducs spoke with us about her work and her personal take on life and work in the West Kootenay.

Beyond the obvious product or service you provide, what is the most important thing your company contributes to its customers?

Unification—one tourism umbrella for the over 150 tourism-related businesses in the region.  Before they had the tourism organization here, everyone was on their own, doing their own marketing. Now, we’re representing all of them, and it’s quite powerful. We are the voice of tourism, and if there’s an initiative or an issue, then our members can turn to us for a solution.

What’s changed in your industry over the years, and what hasn’t?

Online social influence has changed and is changing right now with Airbnb announcing its new platform. What hasn't changed is the need for credibility and the value of word-of-mouth.

What is your business focus for 2017?

Speaking and communicating directly with our tourists, face to face and online. We’ll hold events for our members to get them on board and we’ll go door-to-door with businesses up and down the lake. As we move into our new initiative in the coming year, we will rally all the businesses to participate in where we’re going.

Dianna Ducs enjoys some solitary stand-up paddleboarding on beautiful Kootenay Lake. — Photo courtesy Dianna Ducs

From a business perspective, what book/podcast/blog do you recommend? 

Blogs vary depending on what I'm researching. There isn't one place I go to regularly. However I do still watch the evolution of and read National Geographic online.

What are five words that belong in your personal definition of success?

Trusting, playful, honest, transparent, creative. It’s organizational as well as personal, and implementing these concepts and staying true to them on a daily basis comes through even in our marketing.

What’s a valuable piece of advice that you received?

Most recently, during this morning’s coffee conversation at the office: speak to the people.

What personal trait do you consider to be your greatest strength?

My willingness to say "yes," to listen and be collaborative. “No” doesn't get anyone anywhere.

Who is a business person that you admire, and why?

Peter Moynes from Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine. They have an inspired focus and created a professional, credible, authentic magazine that is recognized as the authority on the mountain culture in the Kootenays.

Do you have staff, or is this a solo operation?

I have one full-time staff, Janneke Guenther, who does graphic design, website updates and social media. I also have part-time staff depending on funding opportunities, and I have a handful of contractors for specific marketing tasks: writing, web development, video and photography.

What’s your favourite inspirational quote?

Relax. Nothing is under control. —the Dalai Lama

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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