Cranbrook gearing up tourism efforts

Cranbrook gearing up tourism efforts

Cranbrook is continuing to build up it’s status as a tourism destination and work has been underway that includes building a new website complete with updated branding and funding from a provincial hotel tax.

Chris Andrews, who represents Wildstone Golf Course and also sits on the Cranbrook Tourism board, provided an update to Cranbrook city council during a regular meeting on Monday.

Andrews spoke about the makeup of the board, which includes members of local businesses, Cranbrook city council, College of the Rockies and the Ktunaxa Nation Council.

“The mandate of the organization is to market the destination for tourism,” said Andrews.

The organization is budgeting roughly $350,000 for their first year in full operation, which will be generated by a Municipal and Regional District Tax program that is administered by the provincial government.

Under the program, a three per cent hotel tax will be administered to any visitors to local hotel and motel room stays, with the windfall going towards funding activities and initiatives approved by the Cranbrook Tourism board, which was created as a society in 2015.

Since Cranbrook’s approval as a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), the board has been busy, according to Andrews.

The board has been working with a local media company to conduct a social media campaign highlighting tourism related activities and features in the area.

ScoreGolf, which provides coverage and resources for golfers and golf destinations across Canada, is planning on coming to the area in the near future to do some filming at local courses.

Andrews reported that representatives from Pinkbike.com — the largest online mountain biking community — were recently in the area to ride local trails.

“They’ve got over three million trail reviews, so you can imagine the depth of knowledge and the depth as a reference tool to find where to go biking, so it was great to have them,” Andrews said.

WestJet is also preparing for their inaugural flight into Cranbrook, which will touch down on June 20 at the Canadian Rockies International Airport, which will provide further marketing opportunities.

Andrews also unveiled a branding guide, with universal logos, backgrounds and photographs of local nature scenery.

Andrews said everyone is particularly proud of a new website, while the hiring of an executive director to coordinate all Cranbrook Tourism activities should be announced within the next few days.