Thursday, 22 December 2011 15:05

Travel Alberta invites visitors to experience goosebump moments

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By Susan Quinlan
Few Albertans would argue this province is the country’s most beautiful, where outdoor adventures can range from casting a rod in a mountain stream to skiing down some of the world’s highest peaks through to living the life of a cowboy, at least for a weekend.

Those are just a few of the goosebump moments Travel Alberta is selling in its new branding campaign, under the slogan, Remember to Breathe.

 “The brand was developed first and foremost with the traveller in mind.

The focus is on the emotion of travel, hence the goosebumps. Alberta is selling goosebump moments, that heightened emotion visitors get when they experience something special in a destination,” explained Royce Chwin, Travel Alberta’s managing director of global marketing.

The target market for those moments — youthfully spirited adventurers.

“There are thousands of great experiences in Alberta, but there’s no way to showcase all of them.”

Travel Alberta’s idea is to link a number of travel experiences together with some of the province’s stand outs, like the Rocky Mountains, said Chwin.

“The Canadian Rockies are known internationally. We have that and that’s outstanding, but if you fly into Edmonton and head out from there you can get in on some of the best fishing out there, and from Calgary if you go east you’ll hit Drumheller and the badlands, or go south to Cardston’s (Remington) Carriage Museum.

These other gems stem out from that Rocky Mountain adventure.”

Chwin explained this new approach to marketing Alberta Tourism took

18 months to develop and included volumes of consumer research testing and forums around the province to reveal what the province’s story is and what experiences it can deliver.

“The target audience is described

as youthfully spirited adventurers. Those are individuals that want to get off the bus; they have a bucket list when it comes to travel. This kind of tourist is an advocate of the destination; they share their experiences on Facebook; they’re great communicators, beyond what our budget could handle.

“A great deal of research indicates that travellers want information from the foremost sources, as it relates to vacationing. Friends, family, colleagues … those are their trusted sources. When you get them doing this, it adds to the brand perspective.”

Further to having individuals promote provincial sites, Alberta Visitor Information Centres get involved with communicating the brand when they introduce a destination to a visitor, said Chwin.

“This is where we collaborate with agencies in the province. They’re integral in answering questions of travellers; they love Alberta and what there is to do.”

Tourism Alberta will conduct training sessions for staff at the information centres and as well for Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation staff, to communicate the new brand and touch points that’ll help sell the destination, said Chwin.

“They’ll point people to the Travel Alberta website or to YouTube to build the vacation movie in the traveller’s mind.

“The brand we released this year is just the start. Brands continue to evolve. We’ll work with our partners and tell stories of what else there is to do at a destination.”

The brand itself is currently being communicated visually through 30- and 60-second television spots and through mini-movies at the Tourism Alberta website, as well as through print media showcasing the province’s well-known icons including mountains, horses, cowboys and skiers, said Chwin.

The images reflect the Alberta landscape and invite viewers inside to share the experience.

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