Summer kicks off with busy Victoria Day Weekend
The summer season is here, and it was an incredibly busy weekend for the valley.
The unofficial beginning of the tourism season is May Long Weekend. A quick drive through the valley saw attractions bursting at the seams. Roads were filled with bicyclists, motorcycles, RV's and all kinds of family trucksters taking in all the valley has to offer.
On Sunday afternoon the Atlas Coal Mine celebrated its centennial and the birthday cake lasted only minutes. The site was busy all day, and their overflow parking filled.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum saw line-ups throughout the day, with visitors streaming to explore the galleries. The museum saw 16,665 visitors over the holiday weekend, up 9 per cent over last year. Sunday saw 5,738 visitors alone.
Carrie Ann Lunde, head of marketing and public relations for the Tyrrell, says they expect a busy season, and already had a strong kick off
with record numbers during the Family Day weekend.
“We expect to be very busy. Last year was a record breaking year at the museum, and we are about on par this year in term of numbers,” she said. “While we are down a little this year, we are still up 14 per cent over the five-year average.”
One reason to expect the busy 2017 is the amount of press the museum has been receiving, related to its new exhibit that features the Nodosaur. While most of the Tyrrell's visitation comes from right here in Alberta, this might spur more international visitors.
“The sheer amount of media coverage I am still fielding from the nodosaur, I think it is going to be busy,” she said “There might be some trickle down too because a lot of the coverage we are getting is international I had a TV outlet from Bangladesh here yesterday, and another coming from Germany. So we could see some increase in international numbers over the next few years.”
She adds that part of her role is to look at how to increase visitorship, and the Museum has been working hard meeting both, local and interna- tional operators to take another look at Drumheller.
“The more we go to international trade shows and get more tour operators to come out here, and the more profile we can get with news internationally all contributes,” she said.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum saw its visitation over the holiday weekend up 9 per cent over last season.