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For years, Dark Sky Guides have shared their passion for the night skies of Waterton with visitors and locals alike. Now, with support from Travel Alberta investment, they’re showcasing the immense beauty of Alberta’s winter nights in their new dark sky snowshoeing tour.

The Robinson brothers grew up surrounded by the beauty of southern Alberta’s night skies. The brothers approached Parks Canada in 2015 with a vision: to share their night sky with visitors from around the world. 

In 2017, the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) recognized the area spanning Waterton Lakes and Glacier National Park as a Provisional International Dark Sky Park – the perfect setting to catch a glimpse of the stars, moons, meteors and planets that make up our vast solar system.

So far, the reception of these tours has been incredible. Dark sky and aurora-viewing is a compelling trip driver for U.S. and international markets. Dark Sky Guides continues to expand to meet this growing demand.

“When it’s a clear night and you can see the stars – you can see the milky way overhead. And for a lot of people, they have perhaps never seen the night sky like this. To inspire people to want to continue to discover the night sky after the tour is something that I hold very dear,” said Keith Robinson, president and co-founder.

Dark Sky Guides received a grant from Travel Alberta to develop a new winter snowshoeing tour which gives visitors a whole new perspective on the sky we all share. This expansion represents a real opportunity for Alberta tourism businesses: winter travel is growing in popularity in key markets.

Their worked with Dark Sky Guides to understand the market demand in the area, and collaboratively craft an experience that helped set the group apart.

“The support I’ve received from Travel Alberta has been absolutely amazing. Yes, there was the financial contribution that enabled us to buy all the snowshoe equipment, to continue the stargazing experiences in the wintertime, to see Waterton become more of a four-season destination. But just as importantly was the collaboration and the conversations I had about developing the content of the tour itself, coming up with a start to finish concept, the experience and outlining that in detail. It helped me to create a standardized offering that was consistent from one night to the next,” Keith explains.

A whole world of support for Alberta tourism businesses

Travel Alberta offers a wide range of grants to support businesses at different points in their entrepreneurial journeys. The Innovation stream helped existing operators develop and diversify their assets, programs and experiences to help them expand.

Beyond the investment programs, Travel Alberta offers business coaching, support, market research, and marketing to help Alberta businesses grow, in alignment with our vision for the region. To learn more, get in touch with the destination development manager for your region.

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