We interviewed Farran about what helped his business stay resilient during the challenges of COVID-19, and how tourism in Alberta can recover and grow even stronger post-pandemic.
What helped you stay resilient over the past year, and how has your business evolved?
Our business was resilient because of the determination of Albertans to support local. We made connections to customers we wouldn’t otherwise have met. We couldn’t always serve cocktails or offer food because of restrictions, but shoppers still came to visit.
With health and travel restrictions in place since the start of the pandemic, many businesses realized the importance of having a strong digital strategy – easy-to-navigate websites, user-friendly e-commerce opportunities, and staying connected with customers on social media. What was the best new digital strategy you implemented (or saw implemented) this year?
When you can’t meet in-person, social media is the next best place to connect. Our digital community grew exponentially, both purchasing our product online for delivery and giving us purpose in upgrading our website and keeping people in touch with what was happening in our Eau Claire world. We pivoted to home delivery and an enhanced Canada-wide digital community. We think this will result in more visitors when people are free to travel.
What are your hopes for the future of Alberta’s tourism industry? How will your business play a role in that?
I think Alberta has undervalued our tourism potential for many years. Now that we have shown our stripes to Albertans, the world is also on our doorstep. If there is one thing we are sure of, people want to get out of their home prisons and experience the world again. If we jump on this building need for travel – near and far – we can rebuild our industry much larger than before. We continue to invest in attracting visitors and are looking three to five years ahead on how to build our visitor numbers.
What do you wish the rest of the world knew about tourism in Alberta?