Summer Successes . . . Out and About in The Badlands
The summer of 2015 has been a busy and productive season for Canadian Badlands Tourism! The Canadian Badlands region's profile continues to be on the rise, and almost all of the major tourist attractions saw significant increases in their visitation this year. Fort Whoop-Up reported an 11.5% increase, and the Royal Tyrrell Museum reported a 12.1% increase in visitation over last year. The second year of the Canadian Badlands Regional Marketing Campaign was an incredible success, exceeding all metrics, and we continue to work with communities and tourism businesses to take their tourism experiences and services to the next level.
Early in the spring we worked with the Atlas Coal Mine to help reconfigure their retail space and develop two new experiential programs. That site showed an impressive 34% increase in visitation this year! Working with the Canadian Badlands Passion Play, we provided assistance in planning, fundraising and marketing to launch an incredibly successful concert featuring Tom Cochrane, playing in their unique natural amphitheater site. The concert was sold-out, and they are already planning next year's event!
Down south we conducted both guided rafting and paddling pilots on the scenic Milk River. In collaboration with Writing a Stone Provincial Park staff, and rafting professionals, we will help shape this tourism experience by working with the community of Milk River to create a business case for further development. In working with the communities of the Mormon Trail, including Raymond, Stirling, Magrath and Cardston, we assisted in planning an exciting new festival for 2016, known as a Chitagua.
Farm Festivals were piloted in an effort to bolster participation in Open Farm Days. Fort Whoop-Up in Lethbridge, and Rocking R Guest Ranch in Strathmore, were participants in 2015. We continue to support the Canadian Badlands Pheasant Festival - Stettler, and are providing support to communities like Rockyford, Drumheller, Oyen, New Brigden, and Special Areas to incubate and hatch new pheasant festivals in 2016 (excuse the pun).
Canadian Badlands Tourism is providing support to the Newell Regional Tourism Association for their exciting Project 52 Festival Development Plan. In Medicine Hat we continue to support the Sunshine Skillet culinary event, and in cooperation with Tourism Medicine Hat, piloted a culinary tour of that community.
In an effort to bring us "full circle," we continue to push forward the exciting plans for a scenic touring route connecting Dinosaur Provincial Park and Drumheller.
Assisting communities with their tourism visioning and planning is another important service we provided to Irricana, the MD of Taber, the Town of Taber, Vauxhall, Cardston, Magrath, Raymond, Stirling, Brooks, Bassano, Duchess, Rosemary, the County of Newell, Castor, Coronation, Halkirk, Consort, Veteran, the County of Paintearth, and Special Areas #4. We have also been supporting exciting developments in the Town of Hanna, providing feedback on project plans and pilots related to their roundhouse and their Hanna/Parker Wedding event.
On the marketing side we have been out and about in a big way too!
The major push of our campaign continues to be increasing awareness of the Canadian Badlands region as a whole. Working with Travel Alberta and key supporters from Canalta Hotels, Heritage Inns, and the Medicine Hat Lodging Association, we coordinated a widespread campaign using social media, print advertisements, National television coverage, and pre-movie advertisements in theaters. The campaign marketed our beautiful region to potential tourist from Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Montana, Ontario and many other locations. Canada AM shot feature stories in Writing on Stone Provincial Park, the Birds of Prey Center in Coaldale, and Fort Whoop-Up Historic Site in Lethbridge. The Weather Network also shot segments in Writing on Stone Provincial Park, and Drumheller. And the mystery of the Dinosaur Clone-spiracy featured Medalta Potteries in Medicine Hat, Niko Yuko Japanese Gardens in Lethbridge, the Town of Milk River, and Drumheller Golf Course, to name a few.
Outside the region we were promoting the Canadian Badlands experience at the Calgary Stampede, Renede-vous Canada in Niagara Falls, at the annual Travel Media Assoc. of Canada conference in Peterburough, Ont., and at GoMedia in Penticton, B.C.
As we work towards our vision of making the Canadian Badlands region an iconic tourism destination, we are dedicated to bring both short and long term benefits to our valued Shareholders. Each year we identify new development projects, and find new attractions and experiences to highlight in our marketing. However, we can't do it without you, so please do not hesitate to contact us!
Don't forget that you can easily publish your event and attractions information on our website. Simply visit http://www.canadianbadlands.com/data/ and follow the steps to upload your accommodation, attraction, and event information.
Also, if you would like help in developing a new tourism experience, or taking one of your current attractions to the next level, we would love to be involved!
The travel economy continues to grow in our region, steadily increasing the revenue it brings to our Shareholder communities, and helping to diversify our province's economy.
Domestic and international travel trade is recognizing what we already know; that the Canadian Badlands region is one of the most unique and exciting locations in Canada!