June 24th, 2024

Lodging Assoc. enhancing virtual reality resources through federal grant

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on December 17, 2022.

Lethbridge Lodging Association will have the opportunity to market the city as a global destination thanks to a federal investment.

LLA launched a new initiative that will showcase diverse local, regional and Indigenous tourism experiences that will use digital, augmented and virtual reality assets.

The initiative was made possible thanks to the PrairieCan Tourism Relief Fund in the amount of $207,350.

“LLA believes in the strength of Lethbridge attractions and experiences and the value of regional attractions to increase overnight stays in Lethbridge, making it the hub for visitation,” said Sacha Johnson, LLA president, in a release.

“This innovative approach will harness all of our collective tourism power by engaging all tourism stakeholders, extending the ability of all to market Lethbridge and region by creating tourism ambassadors, and positioning the region as innovative, as user experience is enhanced in a way that is game changing.”

Minister of PrairieCan, Dan Vandal, thinks that Lethbridge has many unique and exciting experiences.

“Lethbridge and its surrounding area have many unique and exciting experiences for visitors from across Canada and around the globe to enjoy,” said Vandal in a media statement. “The region is well-positioned to take advantage of a rebound in travel and tourism. Our government’s support for the Lethbridge Lodging Association will help create new opportunities for local tourism operators to digitally showcase what they have to offer; attracting new visitors and growing the local economy.”

The funding will allow for the building of an augmented reality map of Lethbridge and region that focuses on the functionality of Google Maps.

Additionally, the funding will assist in the creation of virtual reality tours that will highlight 55 unique attractions and experiences across the city and region.

Galleries, museums, interpretive centres, natural attractions, entertainment and arts venues, recreational attractions, accommodation and meetings and events venues will be on display through the digital products.

Virtual reality asset training will be provided to participating organizations.

“The new digital tools will also be made available to all local and regional tourism stakeholders-including attractions, airports, hotels and others in the hospitality and tourism sectors,” as read in the release.

“As a vital partner in the local and regional tourism industry, I’m excited to see the Lethbridge Lodging Association pursue innovative ways to attract regional, domestic and international visitors to our community,” said Mayor Blaine Hyggen in a media statement.

LLA has already started on project activities after injecting their own fund into the initiative.

Consultations began with local and regional tourism stakeholders, with the purpose of garnering participation and the development of a collaborative asset creation and marketing strategy.

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