ATIS Content Best Practices
The following best practices have been developed to assist you in navigating the Alberta Tourism Information System (ATIS) and help ensure that your listing gets published the first time. These are guidelines only; for additional support, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An ATIS listing is defined as information about an Alberta tourism product that is relevant to the leisure traveller. For most tourism products (excluding events) it is recommended that your first step after setting up your ATIS account is to create a listing. Depending on the product that you sell, you may be eligible to create multiple listings with different listing types (categories).
Examples of businesses that would only need one listing:
- Hotel offering accommodation only (under the Accommodation category)
- Restaurant (under the Food and Entertainment category)
- Retail outlet (under the Attraction category)
- Spa (under the Spa category)
Examples of businesses requiring multiple listings:
- Ranch that offers accommodation and a horseback riding tour that can be booked separately would be eligible for two listings (Accommodation and Guided Tours categories)
- Accommodation that offers an on-site restaurant (cannot be a chain restaurant) is eligible for two listings (Accommodations and Food and Entertainment categories)
- An attraction that also runs a tour, an attached RV park and watercraft rental (Attraction, Guided Tours, Accommodation and Rental categories)
Additional listing categories include Natural Attraction (a look out, recreation area, park, trail mountain range, river, canyon or beach), Transportation and Visitor Service.
General Listing Guidelines and Best Practices
- Must sell Alberta product
- Must be market ready and a tourism product (see definitions below)
- Write a clear description with full sentences that capture the unique aspects of the business; focus on what visitors expect to see and do
- Must be customer-focused and highlight an experience or activity
Events present an opportunity to attract visitation and provide a sense of urgency to travel within the event timeframe.
An ATIS event is defined as information about an Alberta tourism product that takes place as a single organized event or as a series of organized events over a short time period (not exceeding four months). Events typically have a strong spectator component as opposed to participatory.
Events differ from listings in that an event is typically a special event that does not occur frequently throughout the year. Frequently occurring events may be better suited to a listing or an offer instead.
Consider adding your event as an offer if the event requires a long lead time in order to purchase tickets to the event (i.e., the event cannot accommodate walk-in traffic on most days/nights) or if there is a packaged component.
General Events Guidelines and Best Practices
- Must be market ready and a tourism product (see definitions below)
- The following events are NOT considered as ATIS events: Trade shows, garage sales, workshops, lessons, camps, community focused events or other events that are not of interest or open to the general public
- Tourism events are considered to be significantly impacted by the absence of leisure travellers
Once you have spurred the interest of a traveller through listings, events, photos and articles (see next section), offers are your final invitation to travellers to come and experience your product. A well-developed offer can make all the difference in attracting travellers to your experience.
An ATIS offer is defined as pricing information about an Alberta Tourism product, or packaged group of products, which provide(s) a service to the leisure traveller. The price of the product, or group of products, may be a regular retail price or a discounted price.
General Offers Guidelines and Best Practices
- Packaging with other partners is a great way to increase your exposure to other areas within travelalberta.com. For example, if you are an attraction and you partner with an accommodation, your offer will appear within the attraction section and the accommodation section of the website.
- Ensure your description captures the unique aspects of your offer and keep it brief but interesting. Avoid listing every detail.
- “Value-adds” can be just as powerful as discounting. Look for interesting ways to fill need periods through value-adds that entice visitors to your business. Consider partnering with a local event in town and carry the theme of the event to your attraction.
- Ensure your site lists the details of your offer and link your ATIS offer directly to that page on your website. Be sure to make your offer easy for customers to find.
Articles will help to increase your online exposure. Telling interesting stories in an authentic way can help to create excitement around your experience and connect to you potential visitors by giving them more reason to visit.
Use the ATIS Content Best Practices guide to get the most out of your article. These guidelines cover permissions, what makes a great image, style, voice and what to include in your article. Download here.
People are more attracted to website content when it includes attractive, good quality images. Be sure to include images when you submit listings, events, offers and articles through ATIS.
General Images Guidelines and Best Practices
- Size: 640 x 480 pixels for listings, events and offers; 960 x 540 pixels for articles.
- Representative of the business or activity that the visitor can participate in; images that include people are most appealing (remember to get a waiver signed).
- Listings and articles should use photos only (no posters); we will accept posters for offers or events but these should include only minimal text on the image and any text must be large and legible enough to read on a mobile device.
- Should have minimal filters that can be distracting or inauthentic.
- Black and white photos will not be accepted.
Glossary of Terms
Market ready tourism product providers have a legally registered business and follow a defined business plan that allows them to provide their product in a way that meets typical customer needs and expectations. This includes having an online presence that represents their Alberta based business (or with content devoted to Alberta tourism product), delivering their service during defined business hours, and maintaining a minimum 24-48 hour response time to customer requests during operating seasons.
A product is considered to be tourism product when expenditure on the product by leisure travellers represents a significant share of the total expenditure on the product. This implies that the product may be significantly impacted in the absence of leisure travellers.
Natural attractions that can be correctly classified under the Natural Attraction ATIS listing category are considered to be tourism product.