Camrose Tourism presentation from Hazel Cail and Jennifer Filip.

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm.
Health of the club is good.
April 12th is the next Gala Meeting at 7:30 am at Eats Restaurant.
Ray Hook will be stepping down as Assistant District Governor and says he will have his replacement's name announced shortly.
Destiny Reay of the Daybreak Club announced May 1-7 would be Mental Health Week and events that are planned:
  • May 3rd 5:30 - 3K Fun Run
  • May 4th  - BBQ at M&M Meats
  • May 5th 12:00pm - Information Session and Yoga at Sacred Arts
Destiny is also selling 50/50 tickets.
Dan shared a tradition of his old Rotary Club in where they would "borrow" an item from another club to foster visitation from those clubs.  This past weekend, at the Westlock District Conference, some Rotarians, both from the Daybreak Club and the Lunch Club, decided to "borrow" their Westlock Rotary Banner.  For the ransom of two tickets to Rotary Gala, two tickets to the Rib Tickler and us attending Westlock's event, their banner will be returned.
Mikkel Update:
  • He went on a five-day ski trip with the German Exchange Student in Banff where he skied both Sunshine and Lake Louise.
  • He went to Calgary Tower and did some touring around and shopping.
  • He also toured Banff
  • Thursday, David and Elaine Taylor drove him to the Westlock Conference, where he spent the evening with the districts other exchange students and Interact kids.
  • He was sad to leave the conference after one day to go with Dawn and Gavin and fly to Vancouver where they toured Granville Island, Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Gastown and then watched the Edmonton Oilers play the Vancouver Canucks.  He was pleased the Oilers won.
Hazel Cail is the Executive Director for Tourism Camrose She started in February 2011 coming from the provincial government – with tourism, economic development, and international relations and trade.  She is retiring at the end of this month, handing the reins over to Jennifer Filip.
Camrose was part of a larger tourism-marketing region called the Battle River Tourism Association until the provincial government made the decision to no longer fund destination marketing organizations.
The City didn’t want responsibility for tourism; so a few concerned business people in Camrose formed the Tourism Camrose Committee in 2001.  It became a non-profit society in 2005 governed by a volunteer Board.
In 2008, provincial government reduced hotel tax form 5% to 4% and municipalities are encouraged to work with their local hotel lodgings to get the remaining 1% that was now available for marketing their own communities.  Initially the entire 5% was delegated to Travel Alberta but that left a gap in how smaller communities that lacked mountains and lakes, could market themselves, so the 1% was a terrific opportunity for funding dollars.  Tourism Camrose worked with local accommodation providers and the city's approval set up a voluntary Destination Marketing Fund that allowed the entire 1% levy to be paid directly to Tourism Camrose for marketing the region.
Their mandate is to be the primary resource for marketing and promoting tourism in the Camrose Region, to be recognized locally, provincially and nationally as a premier destination for leisure, sports and recreation, arts and culture history, education and shopping.  The goal is to attract visitors who bring new dollars into the community, which helps businesses survive and thrive.
Last year, they developed a new Brand that aligned with the City's outlook of a modern society and the County's natural landforms such as river valley and lakes, rolling hills and golden grain fields and natural prairie grasslands.  They redesigned the website to match the new colors ant themes and currently have over 180 events listed.
Tourism Camrose produce 14,000 copies of the annual travel guide that gets distributed throughout Alberta, border communities in neighboring provinces and states.  These guides are also distributed throughout Camrose and County.  They also market Camrose major events in various travel guides and magazines.
This past year they engaged in joint marketing with Travel Alberta to increase social marketing footprint.  Jennifer was part of a 5 month project to update and maintain Tourism Camrose social media with great success.
Tourism Camrose exhibit at travel related trade shows within 3-4 hours drive from Camrose.  The goal is to put heads in beds overnight while they play and shop here.
They have had over 2000 face-to-face conversations with people who either didn’t know about Camrose or wanted to know more information.
Tourism Camrose participates in various committees such as Camrose Canada 150 Celebration Committee, Living Heritage Advisory team to the County Reeve and the Purple Martin Festival committee to name a few. It makes sense to work collaboratively on some marketing projects.
Marketing Projects:
  • Golf Stay and Play is the cheapest stay and play package in Alberta.
  • Prairie Fun Days get People out into the County visiting one-room schoolhouses, museums and grain elevators, historic churches and market gardens among other tourism sites.
  • Prairie Cruise line Bus tours provides deluxe coach bus, a travel guide and lunch take visitors out for the whole day to Prairie Fun Days north route on Saturday and south route on Sunday.
  • Lucky Highway 13, the newest initiative, partners with 8 other communities along highway 13, from Provost to Wetaskiwin who have committed to funding a three year project to create a website and encourage motorcycle tourism down Highway 13
They plan on launching a photo scavenger hunt to promote things to do and see in various communities on Highway 13 for the 2017 season.
In 2018, Tourism Camrose plan to do two Friday the 13 events where each community offers something special to attract tourists to their town on that day.
Tourism Camrose is in great hands from the perspective of and active engaged volunteer Board of Directors, a strong partnership with Destination Marketing Funding Partners, stakeholders such as the County and the City and the leadership of Jennifer Filip, the new Executive Director.
50/50 Draw - $20 won by Carol Breikreitz
Meeting adjourned at 8:00pm.