Cap­i­tal­ize on Tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Drumheller Mail - - AGSAFE FAMILY - Patrick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

There is no ques­tion that Drumheller is one of the premier tourism des­ti­na­tions in Al­berta.

The ques­tion is how en­trepreneur­s cap­i­tal­ize this? do on

Al­berta Tourism is host­ing a day of in­for­ma­tion for those who are in­ter­ested in start­ing up a tourism-re­lated busi­ness.

The Tourism En­trepreneur­ship Start-up Sem­i­nar (TESS) is a free sem­i­nar on Mon­day, March 19 at the Bad­lands Com­mu­nity Fa­cil­ity. It is de­signed to as­sist startup tourism en­trepreneur­s and busi­nesses to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion and re­sources to in­crease the like­li­hood of suc­cess.

Di­rec­tor of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ment at­trac­tion for Al­berta Tourism, Bruce Tan­nas, says there are great en­trepreneur­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties in the val­ley.

“The Tyrrell makes a great an­chor point, where vis­i­tors can come into your com­mu­nity, from lo­cal, re­gional or in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, but in or­der to take full ben­e­fit from that visi­ta­tion Drumheller needs to de­velop fur­ther tourism prod­ucts,” said Tan­nas. “There is an op­por­tu­nity. If some­one is al­ready com­ing to the Tyrrell, if there are other prod­ucts avail­able to them whether it be raft­ing, bik­ing or hik­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for food and culi­nary op­por­tu­ni­ties, to stay and en­joy these op­por­tu­ni­ties. At the end of the day, those are driven by en­trepreneur­s.”

He ex­plains Al­berta Tourism can help en­trepreneur­s who are al­ready in the sec­tor or are think­ing of en­ter­ing sec­tors by of­fer­ing tools and con­tacts to sup­port them to fully de­velop their po­ten­tial.

“If there are more ex­pe­ri­ences to be had, peo­ple will spend longer in the com­mu­nity and that will ben­e­fit not just those who are in­volved with tourism di­rectly, but those who are not,” he said. “When a tourist comes to town and they buy a meal, ob­vi­ously the restau­rant ben­e­fits di­rectly, but be­yond that, the farmer in the area who sup­plied them the in­gre­di­ents for the meal ben­e­fit, the ser­vice sec­tor that ser­vices the restau­rants, the land­lord who owns the build­ing. The money per­co­lates through your com­mu­nity a num­ber of times… there is a broader ef­fect.”

He says that through­out Al­berta the win­ter sea­son is the most chal­leng­ing, and that can come down to the cre­ativ­ity of en­trepreneur­s. He cites Ed­mon­ton and its win­ter ice carv­ing fes­ti­val as a suc­cess­ful event in the off­sea­son.

“The shoul­der sea­son, as you build up more prod­ucts in Drumheller, some of that will take care of it­self. As the ex­pe­ri­ence ma­tures a lit­tle more and be­comes “ex­port ready” then it can be sold as a pack­age to tourism or­ga­ni­za­tions and bus tours. Bus tours seem to be shoul­der sea­son ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

“If a com­mu­nity has a num­ber of ex­pe­ri­ences, if a bus is driv­ing into the Tyrrell, rather than leav­ing, they are go­ing to stay overnight in a ho­tel be­cause they can take ad­van­tage of some­thing else hap­pen­ing in the com­mu­nity.

He adds that tourism des­ti­na­tions of­ten have su­pe­rior ser­vices such as restau­rants in the off-sea­son for lo­cals to en­joy.

To learn more about the Tourism En­trepreneur­ship Startup Sem­i­nars or to regis­ter go to www.cul­ture­tourism.al­berta.ca and fol­low the links

The Tyrrell makes a great an­chor point, where vis­i­tors can come into your com­mu­nity, from lo­cal, re­gional or in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors”

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