Travel Drumheller look­ing to build con­nec­tions

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

Travel Drumheller sees po­ten­tial in a re­cent round of new fund­ing to help sup­port tourism in­fra­struc­ture.

On Novem­ber 8, the Al­berta Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced Bill 30: In­vest­ing in a Di­ver­si­fied Al­berta Econ­omy Act. This rolled out two pro­posed tax cred­its. This in­cludes the Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment Tax Credit, which would of­fer a 10 per cent non-re­fund­able tax credit of up to $5 mil­lion to Al­berta Com­pa­nies in­volved in man­u­fac­tur­ing, pro­cess­ing and tourism in­fra­struc­ture.

Alyssa Berry, of Travel Drumheller says their or­ga­ni­za­tion has had some dis­cus­sions about the pro­posal.

“The next step is we are go­ing to look at how, as an or­ga­ni­za­tion, how oper­a­tors lo­cally can ac­cess some of th­ese tax cred­its and what that ex­actly looks like,” said Berry. “It’s a good step for the gov­ern­ment to do that and ob­vi­ously tourism is a big eco­nomic driver in the prov­ince.”

“It makes sense that with tourism be­ing such a big eco­nomic driver tourism would be looked at in the fore­front of di­ver­si­fy­ing the econ­omy.”

Travel Drumheller is look­ing for­ward to the com­ing sea­son. Last year it took time to work on build­ing its brand story and fo­cus­ing on its goals.

“Our key 2017 ini­tia­tives are cre­at­ing a bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­fra­struc­ture be­tween our stake­hold­ers and re­ally in­creas­ing the level of stake­holder en­gage­ment be­tween Travel Drumheller and lo­cal tourism oper­a­tors and ed­u­cate around the tourism in­dus­try and what it means,” said Berry. “We are look­ing at host­ing a few net­work­ing events.”

They are also look­ing at pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment for oper­a­tors such as cus­tomer ser­vice or cre­at­ing mar­ket­ing plans.

“We re­ally want to be more con­nected and cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties for learn­ing and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment and be the leader in that,” he said.

Mar­ket­ing wise, they have a new fo­cus of sto­ry­telling. To that end, the 2017 tourism guide will be re­vamped as more of a mag­a­zine sized pub­li­ca­tion fo­cus­ing on sto­ry­telling. This is com­ple­mented by a new up­dated web­site and dig­i­tal guide that can be lever­aged through so­cial me­dia.

“The next step is to get Travel Drumheller in­te­grated into the dig­i­tal land­scape, which in 2016-2017, is def­i­nitely im­por­tant as an or­ga­ni­za­tion. We need to have a greater pres­ence in the dig­i­tal land­scape, not just through so­cial me­dia but con­tent creation,” said Berry.

Go­ing for­ward, they are tar­get­ing their mar­ket­ing to the shoul­der sea­son. The key tar­gets they are look­ing at are fam­i­lies as well as the mil­len­nial market.

“Mil­len­ni­als want to fo­cus on what is new, what is in­ter­est­ing, what is dif­fer­ent. And we want to cre­ate ex­pe­ri­ences in those ar­eas, es­pe­cially since that de­mo­graphic will travel in th­ese shoul­der sea­son,” said Berry.

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