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Want to Attract Global Visitors? We can Help

Experience Development Team Opens World Markets

International travellers are coming to Alberta like never before and contributing to the province’s visitor economy. There’s never been a better time for Alberta tourism operators to grow new business by tapping into the global market.

Travel Alberta’s experience development team can make it easy to navigate this unfamiliar territory. Since 2013, this dedicated team has helped operators across the province get their products ready for sale to international travellers through the receptive tour operator (RTO) network.

“Diversification is key for Alberta tourism partners to enable longevity and sustainability of their experiences,” says Stephanie Clovechok, Travel Alberta’s manager of experience development. “It’s important to market to both the regional and international traveller so they can maintain their businesses should one market go soft.”

International Markets are Essential for the Future

To meet our collective goal of surpassing $10 billion in tourism revenue by 2020, Alberta needs more export-ready product. That means providing authentic and compelling experiences to encourage travellers from international markets to stay longer and spend more money while they are here.

Here’s why everyone should be thinking about working with receptive tour operators:

  • International visitors are higher-yield. They tend to take longer trips and they spend more per trip. Although international travellers make up five per cent of visitations, they drive 18 per cent of total revenue.
  • International visitors build incremental business by driving new money into the economy. Working with travel trade allows you to build business for mid-week or shoulder seasons.
  • By expanding your business into the international market, you are protecting it for the future through diversification.

Travel Alberta can Help you Succeed

Through one-on-one coaching and consulting, Travel Alberta’s experience development team will help you to meet the criteria of being export-ready and help you tailor your experience delivery to the most suitable international market. They’ll connect you to the appropriate RTO network and train Travel Alberta’s marketing teams to promote your experience through their channels as well.

For partners new to the world of travel trade, Travel Alberta offers an annual scholarship program to support you in selling your experiences at Canada’s West Marketplace, which attracts more than 120 international tour operators and wholesalers.

Perhaps most importantly, the experience development team is on top of emerging trends on how people travel, the changing demographics of group tours and the evolution of consumer needs.

“We will ensure the right connections are made to our global business development and marketing teams to help you get prepared for and succeed in the future,” says Clovechok.

Success Story: Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery

Eau Claire Distillery is Alberta’s first independent craft distillery. It is a unique, new experience in the province offering tasting and tours.

Located in Turner Valley, its opportunity is to become part of larger itineraries. Travel Alberta’s experience development team helped the distillery build out its business and offer rates to accommodate international clients by working with receptive tour operators.

They helped make connections with tour operators offering day trips from Calgary, as well as from Waterton along the Cowboy Trail. They are also now talking with the Bar U Ranch about partnership with that iconic attraction.

“We’ve seen some good pickup on Eau Claire Distillery from RTOs and with their attendance at Canada’s West Marketplace, they will be well-prepared to make lasting connections,” says Clovechok.

Other Alberta experiences developed for export-readiness by the team this year include: Calgary Food Tours Inc.; Anderson Vacations’ Drumheller and Canadian Badlands Tours; Canadian Photo Adventures; Elk Island National Park Snowshoe and Bison Watch; Homeplace Ranch; and Kananaskis Outfitters.

Here’s What to Expect

The experience development team will work with you to build or enhance your product for the international market, work on export-ready specifics, help with marketing materials and flat sheets.

They’ll talk to you about offering a net rate for tour operators, committing to prices and products at least a year in advance, committing to guaranteeing your experience for at least three years and signing contracts with travel trade partners.

“Building your business through the travel trade will take time and commitment,” explains Clovechok. “It’s not as simple as putting out your shingle and having international tourists flock to your door. It will usually take two to three years to see strong growth in visitation. You must build partnerships and relationships with your trade partners to ensure your collective success. The benefits of this investment in your time and resources will pay off in spades for years to come.”

For more information, contact Travel Alberta’s experience development team at experiencedevelopment@travelalberta.com.


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