Florenceville-Bristol has a new face in its tourism department and new goals in its pursuit of tourism opportunities.
On May 11, CAO Sarah Pacey issued a press release introducing Florenceville-Bristol native Bobbie O’Donnell as the town’s Tourism and Business Development Manager.
O’Donnell, who started May 10, will replace Charles Walker, who takes over as head of the Recreation Department, where he began his career with the town.
Part of O’Donnell’s new role includes leading the enhancement of Florenceville-Bristol as an emerging New Brunswick travel destination, Pacey said in the release.
Pacey said O’Donnell has an extensive background in communications, public relations, marketing and promotion, with a specialization in entertainment and event management.
“With these skills and a passion for business start-up and development, working at the community level and the creation of unique experiences, Bobbie O’Donnell is very well aligned with the town’s stated objective of building a strong tourism economy,” she said.
Pacey said the town would also benefit from Walker’s efforts in the recreation department.
“He will bring his 12-plus years of town experience to the position, including two and half years in the recreation department when he first joined,” she said.
Pacey said under the town’s restructuring, many of the events, such as the Outdoor Summer Market, Snow Blast and Hallowscream, previously under the guidance of the tourism department, moved to the recreation department.
On April 27, the town issued a press release outlining its focus on using the region’s key assets, such as agriculture and the St. John River, to boost tourism.
“This is an important moment in time for Florenceville-Bristol and its opportunities for tourism development and investment,” said Mayor Karl Curtis. “With new tourism-related infrastructure on the horizon, and with new quality roofed accommodations and new foodservice experiences being established, it is timely for our municipality to take full advantage of an optimistic investment climate, even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The mayor said the municipality is keen to work with private investors and the provincial and federal governments to “maximize our natural assets and our unique cultural characteristics.”
Curtis said Florenceville-Bristol spent the past 18 months in planning, assets development and building its brand, which are essential steps toward creating an in-demand destination area.
“Much of this work has been done in partnership with both the provincial and federal governments, and we intend to continue along that path of cooperation and collaboration,” he said.
Pacey provided the River Valley Sun with an outline of the responsibilities involved with O’Donnell’s and Walker’s roles as follows:
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun