A key member of the capital region’s tourism community has announced that he’s stepping down from his post.
© file photo
Dick Brown is the president of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association.
Dick Brown will retire as president of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association sometime before June of this year, the organization announced on Friday.
That will bring to an end Mr. Brown’s 14-year tenure at the organization, which plays a key role in raising money to help market Ottawa to potential visitors around the world.
Mr. Brown was responsible for spearheading the destination marketing fee, a program started in spring of last year that sees area hotels remit three per cent of their room revenues to promoting the capital.
The program is set to provide $8.5 million annually to the city’s main tourism marketing body, Ottawa Tourism.
“The incredibly positive impact that Dick has had on the city and destination during his tenure at OGHA cannot be overestimated,” said Noel Buckley, the president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, in a statement.
He has also played a big role in advocating on the hotel industry’s behalf through his participation in a variety of municipal and provincial boards, committees and task forces, an OGHA press release said.
Dick joined the OGHA after a 33-year career in various positions with Carleton University, the release said.
“When Dick first came to work for our hotel association we were an informal group of hotel general managers who wanted to help grow Ottawa’s tourism sector,” said Kristine Dempster, chair of the OGHA board of directors, in a statement.
“It didn’t take long for us to benefit by having our interests represented by Dick with his energy and innovative ideas to help grow tourism.”
Mr. Brown will be retiring to spend more time with his wife Heather, his children and seven grandchildren.
In the news release, he said it was a privilege to be able to serve in the position.
“Our hoteliers work collaboratively to attract visitors and conventions to town then, as competitors, they fight like cats and dogs to get those visitors to stay at their hotel,” he said in the news release.