As anyone who has visited or worked in Banff, Jasper, or Canmore over a summer long weekend can attest, summer in the Rockies is a very busy time for tourism.
For most of our industry the peak summer months drive the success of tourism operators across the province, as travellers come from all over the world to experience our rich natural landscapes, vibrant cities, rural communities and world-class festivals. But, once the leaves fall from the trees and the weather gets colder, many operators either shut down for winter or significantly scale back their operations.
With summer visitors long gone and a dusting of fresh snow on the ground, I can’t help but wonder: what would it take to eliminate seasonality in Alberta?
Would those travellers who visit us in the peak months from June to September expand their horizons and explore Alberta in the winter? Or do we need to appeal to an entirely different demographic of traveller – those driven by a desire to get off the beaten path and experience something entirely new – even if it’s twenty below zero or colder?
It can be done – Look at Tofino’s strategy to flatten the demand curve
In addition to Tofino’s overwhelming popularity as a summer beach destination and in particular for those keen to hit the waves and get out on the water, many travellers are visiting this small Vancouver Island peninsula when weather takes a turn for the worst.
In fact, many accommodations in the area are now promoting winter storm watching packages, so visitors can get up close and personal with the west coast’s wild weather and participate in “Tofino’s favourite spectator sport.”