The industry is not just destinations, but other obvious stops like the restaurants and gas stations that fuel trips. And it is the indirect connections we as locals do not think about like the farmer providing the ingredients to the local baker, the baker who is giving families a fun (and tasty) experience, the laundry services company that’s washing the linens at the bakery, and the landscaper who is outside ensuring that the street the bakery is on is a beautiful experience.
We need our neighbours more than ever before. Tourism is rooted so deeply into our communities and without local tourism many businesses and families will suffer.
How did your business evolve during the pandemic? What changes or new aspects to your business will you take with you moving forward?
I am so proud of Métis Crossing! With the support of our partners, we spent the pandemic preparing for growth. We broke ground on our Boutique Lodge so that by this fall as tourism starts to rebound in new ways, we will have 40 rooms ready to welcome people to Métis Crossing for overnight stays.
The team spent time planning new experiences with health and safety at the forefront, we rethought how families and other explorers would interact at our destination, and we focused on the creation of a unique Indigenous culinary experience for our guests, unique programming, and signature experiences.
All these things will be embedded into our destination moving forward. The pandemic helped us slow down and deeply appreciate all we have to offer at Métis Crossing – and now we can share that with every visitor.
We know that health and safety is top of mind for everyone right now. How is your business offering visitors peace of mind?
We were fortunate enough to be open briefly last summer. This time taught us so much about health and safety. Métis Crossing shifted to a timed reservation approach allowing for small experiences within cohorts, distancing, and peace of mind. Our staff were trained and practiced the necessary protocols – and it was a successful season with no outbreaks or issues.
Métis Crossing has taken these adjustments forward into this summer season. While we can be more accommodating to an unstructured visitor experience, we have kept and encourage those that want to explore Métis Crossing to plan, reserve, and book. Our extensive cleaning measures, staff screening, contact tracking, and distancing all remain in place. While masks are not required in our indoor spaces, they are recommended.
Travellers of all ages will have immense peace of mind in our wide-open spaces.
What are your hopes for the future of Alberta’s tourism industry? How will your business play a role in that?
Métis Crossing is Alberta’s first major Métis cultural destination. Our mandate is to share the distinct Indigenous story of the Métis with all people.