Ian Robertson, Chief Executive Officer
I was pleased to join GVHA as its new CEO on April 27, 2015, at such an exciting period in the organization’s history. Building on the success of several major projects in past years, the theme for FY2014/15 focused on consolidating what the organization had achieved, while also enthusiastically looking toward new goals. During the last fiscal, our team tirelessly worked—and continues to work—on a new 10-year strategic plan which will be published in fall 2015 and a 3-year business plan which will be completed spring 2016.
The coming fiscal year will be a time of collaboration with stakeholders in tourism and the community at large; a time for bold innovative plans—a new master plan for Ogden Point (a 30-acre blank canvas), for the marinas under GVHA stewardship, and more. We’ll continue to foster our partnership with the City of Victoria, our member agencies, and the general public to get a better vision of what our Inner Harbour should look like in the future.
One of my personal goals is to see at least one cruise ship call Victoria its home port by 2020—an ambitious goal, but achievable given that passengers are incredibly enthusiastic about visiting our wonderful city. A recent report from Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas showed that on a regular Thursday visit, 2,398 of its 2,402 passengers disembarked in Victoria (its last port of call before heading home to Seattle). The fact that only four passengers remained on board on their last evening illustrates what a massive draw Victoria is to cruise tourists. One ship, one evening, over 2,000 people spending money in our city—the economic impact is indisputable.
At the same time, I want to work with residents living close to Ogden Point to mitigate movement through the community by working to refine transportation issues that have, in the past, been contentious. Again, collaboration will be key, as will innovative solutions.
I feel honoured to assist in the role of custodian of the facilities for which GVHA is responsible and look forward to working with all stakeholders to treat each asset independently and ensure their long-term sustainability.
On a personal note, I have a deep-seated commitment to Greater Victoria and in particular its harbour, which I truly believe is one of the most spectacular in the world. My familial relationship with this wonderful city goes back more than 100 years—from one of my office windows I can see the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, which my grandfather built; from another I can see the bench my brother and I dedicated to my parents who loved to sit in the inner harbour and enjoy its never-ending activity.