By Kalinowski, Tim on November 21, 2019.
In its second year of operation, Tourism Lethbridge is proving its case and value to City taxpayers, said executive director William Slenders.
“What we are telling council today is about the successes Tourism Lethbridge has been able to accomplish in the last two years,” Slenders told reporters just prior to his presentation to city council’s Community Issues Committee meeting on Monday. “A lot of these programs and campaigns really talk about how we’ve started to develop the research to start establishing one-on-one marketing campaigns to effectively drag business into the community.
Slender’s report to the CIC included one rosy statistic: hotel occupancy rates in the city in 2019, driven by major sporting events like the World Curling Championship and University Cup, is at 61.8 per cent year to date – the best it has been since 2013.
“We are happy with the results of what 2019 proved,” said Slenders. “With it being one of the most significant hotel occupancies the city has seen since 2013. The major events we hosted is a big part of that. We also have an excellent economic condition here with some our larger events like conventions, which has been a bump to tourism growth as well.”
Returning Tourism Lethbridge to the location of the former city tourist information centre off of Mayor Magrath Drive likely also recaptured some of the tourist traffic, said Slenders, but admitted he would not have the actual statistics on that until a later date.
“We’re starting to see an interesting turnaround in terms of our long-haul travellers from what we have seen in the downtown,” he said. “Our downtown location was excellent, and we had seen a lot of interesting variations in who we were attracting, but if anything else we have some great learning opportunities to know how best to continue to position information for people inside of Lethbridge.”
Slenders stated to council Tourism Lethbridge was also considering implementing further tourism outreach initiatives through its Enhanced Visitor Centre Information Delivery Programs, which would set up or distribute tourism information elements where tourists typically enter the city at multiple stakeholder points.
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