tourism bc, Travel & Tourism

Online Revealed in Ottawa

By William Bakker | 05.23.06 | Comment?

Online revealed panel
From left to right: Jens Thraenhart – Canadian Tourism Commission, Julien Cormier – Tourism Quebec, William Bakker – Tourism BC, Daniel Cayer – Travel Alberta, Cameron Spence – Tourism Banff/Lake Louise.

I spend last week in Ottawa at the Online Revealed conference in Ottawa. The conference was organized by the Canadian Tourism Commission and it included a one day session with all ebusiness strategists of the Canadian provinces and territories and a two day open conference where I participated on a panel discussing content and technology.

It was very nice to meet my counterparts at the other provinces and to hear about what they are doing. Like most conferences, the networking part was the best part although there were interesting sessions.

I enjoyed participating on the panel and I think we had a meaningful discussion. Beforehand we agreed I should talk about user generated content and HelloBCBlogs.com. So I didn’t get a change to talk about the incredible cool things we’ve done on HelloBC.com. I promise I will post some information about what we’ve done on this blog soon.

Daniel Cayer from Travel Alberta showed some of the great work they’re doing. He also shared his thoughts about technology and in particular how he favours building his own CMS tool instead of using a enterprise content management system. He was very vocal about this and his believes about how these applications are hard to implement and maintain. I mentioned I disagreed with him because we’re using Microsoft CMS and we’re happy with it. I also mentioned would like to talk about it over a beer but I never got the change unfortunately.

Afterwards, a few people asked me questions and thanked me for disagreeing (and they weren’t vendors of CMS systems) with Daniel and I even received a phone call about it. So I’ll elaborate a little further here. My main point is that Tourism BC is a marketing organisation, not a technology developer.

I agree to keep things simple and not letting technology drive your business. But to translate that into building your own systems is a risky proposition in the long run. By using a CMS tool, we can be ensured we have technology that will continue to evolve over time. And with Microsoft CMS, the tool will likely be around for a while and we have access to a variety of vendors and developers who are certified to work with the tool. A safe bet when you’re working with public money.