Island County Tourism Board Unveils New Brand, Strategic Direction and Invitation to Join in Building a More Prosperous and Regenerative Future
Whidbey and Camano Islands
Formerly known as Whidbey and Camano Islands Tourism, new name and brand Hugs Whidbey and Camano islands reflects the shift to a rethinking of tourism; Tits shift to embrace the destination is an organizational mission to bridge this gap and create a holistic strategy that positions Whidbey and Camano Islands as a thriving place and community for many years to come.
ISLAND COUNTY, Wash., May 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This spring, the Island County Tourism Board is unveiling a new strategic direction that invites the community to join in building a regenerative tourism approach. Formerly known as Whidbey and Camano Islands Tourism, new name and brand Hugs Whidbey and Camano islands reflects the shift to a rethinking of tourism.
Led by Transformational Travel Council experts over an 18-month period, this new framework was created to preserve and improve the islands for residents. It is an invitation to co-create richer experiences for visitors and to harness the power of tourism as a force for good.
“Regenerative travel occurs when visitors travel with the mindset of leaving a destination better than it was before they arrived, and the experiences go beyond a traditional vacation,” said Jackie Henderson, president of the board of Embrace Whidbey and Camano Islands. “Embrace Whidbey and Camano Islands is an invitation to build a thriving future for the destination and to connect with the community in creating a visitor experience.”
The people of Whidbey and Camano Islands have managed to maintain a sense of place by offering a slower pace and close-knit communities with a variety of activities and experiences that embrace the island lifestyle. These elements are appealing to residents and visitors alike, but multiple challenges such as lack of affordable housing, delicate environmental considerations, socio-economic imbalances and several other factors are a reality. This shift to embracing the destination is an organizational mission to bridge this gap and create a holistic strategy that positions Whidbey and Camano Islands as a thriving place and community for many years to come.
“This shift in thinking from ‘how do we get people here’ to ‘who are we and how do we connect with the people coming here’ is at the heart of regenerative tourism,” notes Mona Campbell, owner of Canopy Tours Northwest at Kristofferson Farm and a member of the Destination Regeneration Steering Committee. “This shift in perspective encourages reflection on what it’s like to be in this beautiful place, what we care about, and how we express that to the people who come here so they can share an interest in the nature, art, history and culture we value so much.” a lot.”
Driven by a sense of place and sensitivity to the natural environment, Embrace Whidbey and Camano Islands will continue their destination management work under the pillars of:
Healthy Nature: Community members nurture, respect and value marine and terrestrial ecosystems, we invite visitors to do the same.
Access: Cultivate a rich quality of life for all residents through equitable access to all resources within Island County.
Building bridges: unite all community members around a shared vision and goals, fostering collaboration through effective communication systems.
Transformative thinking: create positive change in individual communities on our islands through conscious engagement, authentic participation and active learning.
More details of the plans and direction are available in the Embrace Strategic Plan available for download at this link. It was developed by the Destination Regeneration Steering Committee, comprised of Island County residents and small business owners in partnership with the Transformational Travel Council and the Embrace Whidbey and Camano Islands creative team.
For Whidbey and Camano Islands
Just north of Seattle, in the heart of the scenic Salish Sea, lie two of the Pacific Northwest’s most enchanting island destinations. Camano and Whidbey offer different experiences for each season. A colorful palate of local shops and restaurants provides deep and delicious connections to the community and the land. Off the beaten path and beaches share refuge, privacy and a deeper connection with the incredible marine and forest ecosystems that thrive in these communities. Rich history and a healthy dose of local flavor in all mediums are provided by many artists in the region. Accommodation options range from nationally known hotels with farm-to-table restaurants to secret spots perfect for quiet seclusion. For more information on amenities, lodging and a calendar of events, visit www.whidbeycamanoislands.com. Connect on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook via @GoWhidbeyCamano.
Media Contact: ON Public Relations for Embrace Whidbey and Camano Islands
Erin Osborne, [email protected], 206-948-6059
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/65de415c-2beb-44dc-83be-05c3ec6139f7