Grants Boost Visitor Experiences

Improvements to visitor services will help reach travellers in new and innovative ways – whether it’s a roving tourism information kiosk or a mobile-friendly website.

Mobile counselling to increase accessibility for travellers is among the improvements supported by the Visitor Services Innovation Fund.

Sixteen visitor services providers in communities across the province have received grants to help them modernize their operations and develop new ways to strengthen connections with more travellers. Visitor services providers often represent the initial point of contact for travellers in Alberta. They can help influence visitors to extend their stays by promoting the province’s attractions and destinations.

“The Visitor Services Innovation Fund is making it easier to reach travellers in new, easy and innovative ways that will help grow tourism and promote the province’s range of destinations, attractions and experiences. By supporting the adoption of new interactive technologies, our visitor services providers help more travellers enjoy everything Alberta has to offer.”

~Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

The Visitor Services Innovation Fund provided grants of up to $7,000 to individual organizations and up to $16,000 to those that partner on improvements.

The grant recipient announcement is being made as part of Tourism Week in Canada (May 27 to June 2), a grassroots initiative that highlights the opportunities created through travel and tourism across the country. In Alberta, tourism is a priority sector to help diversify the economy, create jobs and generate investment in communities across the province.

The 2018 Visitor Services Innovation Fund grant recipients are:

  • Bragg Creek and Area Chamber of Commerce: Implementation of mobile tourism information kiosk to be more accessible to visitors and provide convenient services.
  • Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce: Implementation of mobile visitor services centre to enhance the visitor experience at events and other locations.
  • Community Futures Alberta Southwest: Installation of electronic kiosks to increase visitor access to tourism information and services. Enhancing Cardston’s mobile tourism counselling unit, this is a partnership between Community Futures Alberta Southwest and the communities of Cardston, Stirling, Raymond and Magrath.
  • Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce Association: Expansion of the 2017 mobile visitor services kiosk and the delivery of tourism information at community events and tourism hot spots throughout the summer season.
  • Edmonton Tourism: Launch of the Explore Edmonton Street Team as part of a visitor services strategy focused on online and social media presence, leveraging local ambassadors and content, and going to where the visitor is located.
  • Edson and District Historical Society: Installation of weatherproof area map and brochure holders outside the facility to provide 24/7 access to travel materials and direction.
  • Innisfail and District Chamber of Commerce: Construction and installation of an info booth station outside the visitor information centre to include tourism promotional materials. Funding also to assist in the implementation of a mobile tourism information kiosk at events and the delivery of a regional familiarization tour.
  • Museum of Highwood: Construction and installation of custom outdoor kiosk outside the visitor information centre to provide important travel information, advisories and brochures.
  • Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development: Refit of the website for mobile compatibility.
  • Pincher Creek and District Historical Society: Installation of a fixed community information hut outside the current visitor information centre to advertise local events and businesses.
  • Red Deer Tourism and Convention Bureau: Delivery of familiarization experience sessions to train frontline staff about regional tourism offerings, as well as addition of mobile team to engage visitors at traditional and non-traditional venues and events.
  • SAMDA Economic Partnership Ltd.: Implementation of mobile visitor services pop-up tent to reach visitors at local events and delivery of familiarization tours for frontline staff. The project is a partnership between SAMDA Economic Partnership and the communities of Oyen, Consort, Empress and Hanna.
  • Stony Plain and District Chamber of Commerce: Expansion of the 2017 mobile information centre kiosk to engage visitors and residents about tourism and services.
  • Sundre and District Chamber of Commerce: Delivery of familiarization tours for frontline staff and volunteers and the establishment of a mobile visitor information kiosk to be shared among partners in the region. The project is a partnership between Sundre, Mountain View County, Didsbury, Carstairs and Cremona.
  • Tourism Jasper: Installation of interactive touch screen kiosk at Glacier Discovery Centre to provide travel information.
  • Vulcan and District Tourism Society: Implementation of a travelling kiosk to deliver tourism information in off-site locations and delivery of familiarization tours for frontline staff from the communities of Vulcan, Nanton and Fort McLeod.