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Travel Alberta

ATIS Examples and Best Practices

Content Types Overview.

The following is an overview of the different content types that are available for you to promote your business through ATIS. The more relevant content that you produce, the greater the potential for increased exposure for your business through Travel Alberta’s channels and ATIS distribution partners.

Each content type presents a unique opportunity to support the consumer in their vacation planning process, whether it’s helping to develop excitement and discovery through articles and listings, providing urgency on timing through events or helping consumers make purchasing decisions through offers.

By utilizing as many content types as are relevant to your business, you can support a consumer’s mindset wherever they are in their purchasing decision.

Listings

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).

Depending on the product that you sell, you may want to create multiple listings to best represent the experiences that you offer. Each listing you create should contain only one product or element. If your business offers multiple products utilizing multiple categories (see Listing Categories and Types) you will need to create a unique listing for each of your products.

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 that would be eligible for multiple listings include:

  • An accommodation with an onsite restaurant. The restaurant operates under a different name than the hotel and attracts locals and visitors. This business would be eligible for two listings under the following categories: Accommodation and Food & Entertainment.
  • An attraction that also operates an attached RV Park. This business would be eligible for two listings under the following categories: Accommodation and Attraction.
  • A ranch business that offers an accommodation and guided horseback tours. Visitors are not required to stay at the ranch in order to book a horseback tour. This business would be eligible for two listings under the following categories: Accommodation and Guided Tours.
The most impactful Listings include the following elements:
  • Well-written description that describes the benefits and aspects of your experience that make your experience unique. Ideally the description should range between 4-6 sentences. Learn more about How to Write a Great Description
  • Strong, compelling images that motivate a visitor to want to learn more about your business. See Image Tips for more thoughts on creating great images.
  • Include a Trip Advisor link. Once linked, your Trip Advisor ratings and comments will appear with your listing. Search for your business on Trip Advisor to include your link in your listing.

For a full list of categories visit Category Definitions.

Events

Events present an opportunity to attract visitation and provide a sense of urgency to travel within the event time-frame.

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 may be a one-time or annual event offered over a single day or a series of days within a specified period of time. An event can be a special set of activities that you offer at your establishment as a way of increasing visitation or happen outside of a recognized attraction as a standalone experience.

Events differ from listings in that an event is typically an experience that does not occur frequently throughout the year. Frequently occurring events may be better suited to a Listing or an Offer instead. Activities that are included in regular price of admission are typically considered an Event.

Offers

Once you have spurred the interest of a traveller through Listings or Events, Offers are your 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.

Adding your regular admission price is an acceptable practice, however including a value add or unique visitor experience that is engaging can be the most effective Offers.

Great offers include enticing photography that depicts the offer you are promoting and a well-written description that outlines the Offer's unique features. Examples of great Offers include:

  • Hands-on experiences such as culinary events
  • Experiences that bring visitors behind-the-scenes or after-hours
  • Offers that connect visitors to local culture or history

Consider partnering with other attractions, or accommodations in order to expand the activities available for your Offer. Incorporating local events in your offer is also a great way to garner additional interest in your property and capitalize on influx of visitors. For example if you run an accommodation and your town is hosting a winter festival consider providing guests with items that would make their Winter Festival experience more enjoyable, such as a free hot chocolate bar and to-go mugs, for example, as a value-add to attract visitors to your property during this time.

Offers vs Events

Events differ from Offers in that typically events are spectator based where visitor attend to watch rather than participant. A good example of an event would be a concert or festival with outside entertainment.

If the event or activity requires the visitor to be a participant, where the activity would cease to exist without visitor involvement, it would typically be an Offer. A good example of this would be a brewery tour, long table supper, accommodation or most other offers that center on an activity.

Here are a few helpful tips to distinguish between Events over Offers:

  • If your event is free, it would be classified as an Event and not an Offer. It is not a requirement that an event be free, but if it is free, it is always an Event.
  • If the experience is included your regular admission price, it is typically an Event and not an Offer. For example, if you feature special activities for a holiday, such as Canada Day, or a festival that does not require special ticket purchase, this would be classified as an Event. If the experience requires a ticket purchase outside of your regular admission, this may be better suited as an Offer.
  • Special price or discounted rates should be submitted as an Offer. To note, you can create a discount offer for an event if you are trying to push sales to compensate for low attendance or drum up advanced sales. A 2-for-1 admission coupon would be an example of this.  
  • Activities that are offered throughout the year as part of your regular programming are typically Offers.
  • Activities with a strong festival atmosphere and varied programming or experiences that are more spectator in nature are typically Events.

Refer to the business scenarios below for some examples on when to add your experience as an Event and when to add as an Offer.

ATIS Categorizations and Scenarios

Each business is unique and there are many way’s that to use the content types in ATIS to promote your business. The following business scenarios are meant as a guideline to help you choose the content types that will best support your activities.

Business 1: The Honey Bee Farm

The Honey Bee Farm is business that sells a variety of honey-based products that are farmed right on site. In addition to selling their products in the on-site gift shop. Honey Bee offers guided tours of their facility (for a fee) that are run by the head farmer. They also run a full service, campground with 30 sites.

Eligible ATIS Categories:
  • Listings:
    • Accommodation: Campground
    • Attraction: Retail Outlet
  • Offers:
    • Guided tour of the facility

This business would not qualify under the Guided Tours category and this category is reserved for companies whose main business is delivering scheduled tours. In this scenario, tours are an additional element of the experience and would qualify as an offer instead.

Business 2: Prairie Distillery

The Prairie Distillery makes and sells whiskey and other liquors made from ingredients farmed in the local community. They offer twice-weekly tours of their facility and a store where people can stop by and purchase some of their products. They also operate a restaurant next door under a different name. A few times a year, they offer classes on making home brew and partner with a few local attractions on culinary events for small groups throughout the year that require advanced ticket purchase. Once a year they also hold a harvest festival where guests can participate in a number of harvest related activities.

Eligible ATIS Categories:
  • Listings:
    • Attraction: Retail Outlet (optional)
    • Food and Entertainment: Winery and Brewery
    • Food and Entertainment: Restaurant
  • Offers:
    • Home Brew Lectures
    • Culinary Events – one per event (only one partner should create the event)
  • Events:
    • Harvest Festival

The Home Brew classes and Culinary events would be offers instead of events because they do not have a spectator component and a consumer would likely be required to purchase the tickets in advance in order to participate.

Business 3: Mountain Peak Ski Hill and Recreation Centre

Mountain Peak is offers a ski hill in the winter and bike trails in the summer. The attraction also offer a zipline, luge track, mini golf and more. They also have a museum on site dedicated to Sports Memorabilia that is a destination unto itself. A variety of restaurants are located on site for visitors of the park who want to stay and play all day.

Eligible ATIS Categories:

  • Listings
    • Attraction: Amusement Park (include the different activities within the description: luge, biking, mini golf, etc.)
    • Attraction: Ski Hills
    • Attraction: Sports and Recreation Facilities (bike trails)
    • Attraction: Museum and Historic Site (for the museum)

In this case, the restaurants would not be listed as separate listings because they are more amenities of the park as opposed to destinations unto themselves. If consumers would visit the park for the sole purpose of going to the restaurant, then this would be appropriate as a listing.

Business 4: The Prairie Rider

The Prairie Rider offer train rides 5x per week. In addition to these weekly rides, they provide special themed events throughout the year, such as a Halloween-themed train ride, a culinary train and a Christmas train. Onsite, visitors will also find a campground, Caboose trains that have been converted into cabins, an award-winning restaurant and one of the largest retail greenhouses in the area where we sell a variety of plants, horticultural goods and local wares.

Eligible ATIS Categories:
  • Listings:
    • Attraction: Amusement, Theme Park and Science Centres (train product)
    • Attraction: Retail Outlet (Greenhouse)
    • Food and Entertainment: Restaurant
    • Accommodation: Campground
    • Accommodation: Lodges and Cabins (for the Caboose Cabins)
  • Offers:
    • Main train ride experiences (if they have a few different ones that are vastly different, I would create an offer for each)
    • Theme Trains (one offer per theme)

Business 5: McLean Ranch

McLean Ranch operates lodges and cabins on a working farm. Guests can choose from four individual cabins or a main lodge with six rooms. Guests of the property are welcome to add on in-room spa services and visit the lodge restaurant for dinner.

In addition to the accommodations they offer horseback riding experiences that can be packaged with a stay, or booked on their own. Tours includes a three-day cattle drive, offered two times a year, one or four-hour long rides offered regularly on the weekends and a two-day ride commencing in a long-tail supper that features dinner from a local chef and brewery.

Eligible ATIS Categories:
  • Listings:
    • Accommodation: Guest Ranch and Farm Stays OR Accommodation: Lodges and Cabins
    • Guided Tours: Guided Operator
  • Offers:
    • One and four-hour long rides
    • Three-Day Cattle Drive
    • Two-day Long Table Supper (tag other operators as well to increase your exposure throughout the site)

Mclean Ranch offers a variety of horseback tours making them eligible for a listing under Guided Tours. If the horseback experiences were only offered to visitors of the lodge, they would not be eligible for a separate Guided Tour listing. In this example, the property would not be eligible to list as their spa or lodge restaurant because they are only offered to guests of the lodge and cannot accommodate the general public.

Business 6: Marshall's Farm

Marshall’s Farm is an attraction that offers a family-friendly atmosphere with a u-pick, corn maze, petting zoo and variety of agricultural themed activities. A large greenhouse and gift shop is also located onsite. Throughout the year, the farm features a number of special events that are included in the price of a regular admission. In addition to these events, they also offer cooking classes a few times a year and a long-table supper on one Friday in August and September that are separate ticketed events and do not include admission to the theme park.

Eligible ATIS Categories:
  • Listings:
    • Attractions: Agricultural
    • Attractions: Retail (greenhouse)
  • Events:
    • Each of the special events that you offer as part of the general admission
  • Offers:
    • Long-table supper
    • Cooking classes
The events included in the regular admission would be events because they do not require visitors to purchase tickets in advance of the events. The other events are more hands-on events (no spectators) and require a separate ticket purchase, therefore they qualify as an offer.