New service offers day trips to southern Alberta attractions
“We don’t realize how spectacular southern Alberta really is.”
But Allen Gibson wants to change that,
A veteran of the tourism marketing industry, Gibson is launching a new service for southern Alberta residents and visitors.
Filling a gap in Lethbridge’s tourism attractions, he’s offering day trips this summer which will offer catered meals and special events like bull riding during a themed tour each weekend.
“I’m really excited to being offering regular tour options to the residents of Lethbridge and their visitors,” he says. “We think this is something that’s been missing in our tourism mix.”
Eight Star Tours, he says, will initially offer two destinations.
On June 21, Gibson will take guests to Writingon-Stone Provincial Park. A highlight of the day will be a visit with Wendy Sloboda, who became a world-famous researcher after discovering dinosaur embryos on the Milk River Ridge.
Next Saturday, his tour will take in part of the Mormon Trail Chautauqua Festival. The day’s special event will be time with horse trainer Rod Olsen, as he demonstrates how he works with a young colt. Gibson says the two tours – with special features changing week by week – will be offered on an alternating basis through the summer. Dates and details are available at 8StarTours.ca.
Future possibilities, he says, include a tour focusing on southern Alberta’s power sources – wind, solar and geothermal as well as the hydro turbines in the Oldman Dam.
“What we have here is truly special,” Gibson says. But for many southern Albertans, the only time they visit major attractions like Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is when they’re entertaining family members or friends who’ve come for a visit.
By organizing narrated tour packages, he says, he’s helping local residents learn more about their local area – while allowing them to enjoy the experience with their guests, without hunting for special attractions, making restaurant reservations or searching for detailed maps.
“I think southern Alberta is ready for this kind of thing,” he says.
Based in Lethbridge, Gibson is a travel writer who’s also worked on marketing for such attractions as Fort Whoop-Up and Waterton Lakes National Park.