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Cochrane sees tourism membership growth

The Cochrane Tourism Association (CTA) which was formed in 2007, saw tourism membership grow at a recent AGM according to a recent article by Rachel Maclean in the Cochrane Eagle on March 15. CTA co-ordinator Hillary Richardson pointed to a membership drive that brought the volunteer base to 35 after launching in January. She said members range from hotels to restaurants to non-profit groups.

“We have had a good response from a lot of groups in town,” said Richardson, pointing to groups such as the Arts and Culture Foundation of Cochrane, the Cochrane Lions and the Historic Perrenoud Ranche.

The group also got a recap of last year’s achievements, such as successfully partnering with the town for $34,000 in funding. Funding is also derived from membership fees, a Canalta Super 8 Hotel levy and the Destination Marketing Fund (DMF) — a three-per-cent levy on overnight stays at Days Inn and Rockyview Hotel to fund tourism initiatives. Overall, Richardson said CTA invested $10,000 in marketing projects this past year but received $31,500 in promotional value through matching grants from the provincial government and other partners.

Other achievements, Richardson said, include a Bragg Creek Chamber of Commerce partnership for a October Calgary Herald insert promoting the area, an ad in the Cowboy Trail visitor guide promoting communities along Highway 22 and supporting the Pride of Cochrane. She said the intitiative to buy the tarp of Cochrane’s Grant Profit for part of the Calgary Stampede’s Rangeland Derby chuckwagon races is great exposure for the town, so it’s a natural fit for CTA to expand that and let people know what Cochrane offers.

This year the group will also participate in the Calgary visitor guide, the Cochrane Trade Show and Alberta Icon Passport — which encourages people to travel and see provincial monuments to collect passport stamps. CTA is also partnering with a local member, The Red Shed’s graphic designer Kimberely Gunn, to put out 30,000 Alternate Routes — a new Cochrane Visitor Guide — in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The tourism group also elected a new board with eight board members re-elected, two new members and new president Cheryl Hardy. “I’m looking forward to strengthening partnerships and being active in the community,” Hardy said, although she is no stranger to public service as she has helped organize Light Up and the Labour Day parade. “I want to let people know that Cochrane Tourism is here to support them.”
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