Monday, 24 July 2017 07:00

Tourism services flourish with new government grants

Written by  Demi Knight
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Alex Meic, information kiosk and co-ordinator with the new to Claresholm mobile kiosk. Alex Meic, information kiosk and co-ordinator with the new to Claresholm mobile kiosk. Photo by Ken Favrholdt

Communities throughout the province are receiving new grants that could help their tourism services flourish.


A total of 18 visitor service providers have been the lucky recipients of a new grant being given by the provincial government to help develop new ways for communities to engage their guests.
These innovation grants have been rewarded to individual organizations for up to $7,000 and up to $16,000 for organizations that partner on improvements.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda says these grants will help create better systems to attract and entertain visitors within communities throughout the province.
“Visitor services provide a vital link between travellers and the incredible range of attraction and destination options the province has to offer.
By enhancing technologies and techniques to reach visitors in new and innovative ways, we are empowering our tourism industry partners and helping ensuring people have a great Alberta experience.”
These grants were made available by the government as part of Tourism Week, which took place May 28 to June 3 this year. Government officials hope by providing this funding, the importance of tourism within the province and its necessity in creating bigger job pools and diversity will shine through to all members of each community.
One region particularly excited for the new tourism development is the Crowsnest Pass. With its funding, the municipality will receive a mobile pop-up tent along with signage that will work to increase awareness throughout the communities in the Pass, of events happening on their doorsteps.
Jackie Woodman, office manager at the Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce, says this new tent will help divert visitors and members of the Pass to better understand where events are happening within the community.
“Our plan is to set the tent up at different local events, hand out our Visitor’s Guides, and offer up local knowledge to tourists visiting the community,” she says. “Since our Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centre is located west of Coleman, we thought this would make visitor information more accessible, especially for people arriving from the east end of town, who might not make it out to the Centre.” 
This 10-foot-by-10-foot tent that has the Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce logo printed on all four sides is also being made available to Chamber members to use at different events throughout the Pass with expectations those using it will offer visitor information as well as their planned event offerings.
“We just announced this at our June Chamber luncheon and already have two groups interested in borrowing the tent. We think this will be a great way to get the tent out and about throughout the summer months,” says Woodman of the communities’ plan for the new grant-assisted tourism facility.
Another community excited for their new facility is Claresholm. A new mobile kiosk was unveiled to the public earlier this summer, which offers travel information to visitors and can be moved to attend all community events in high-activity locations.
Kenneth Favrholdt, executive director for Claresholm and District Museum and visitor information centre, says officials are excited to introduce this kiosk to the public during community-driven events.
Communities such as Nanton and Community Futures Alberta can also look forward to reaping these tourism-funding benefits.
Nanton will receive an outdoor map and brochure holder to better provide visitors information after regular business hours, as well as a mobile pop-up tent similar to that of the Crowsnest Pass that can be present at community events.
The Community Futures Alberta Southwest will be graced with mobile counselling which will bring better awareness of activities throughout the community to visitors and residents alike.
Alongside these, many communities throughout the Calgary and Edmonton area will receive similar grants to better provide their tourists with the information and guidance they need to navigate throughout these towns and cities.
Although some communities have already received and implemented their new facilities, they have until March 31, 2018 to complete these new attractions.

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