Tourism committee recognized

A partnership involving nine municipalities and a tourism association from the region has been recognized for a promotional program.

A partnership involving nine municipalities and a tourism association from the region has been recognized for a promotional program.

The Central Alberta Tourism Committee received the 2009 Alto Award for Marketing Partnership during the Travel Alberta Industry Conference in Banff this week. The committee was nominated for its Alberta Sweet 16 program, which highlighted events and activities in Central Alberta during the 16 weeks between the May and September long weekends.

The Central Alberta Tourism Committee consists of the towns of Innisfail, Lacombe, Ponoka, Rimbey, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Sylvan Lake and Wetaskiwin, as well as Red Deer County and Tourism Red Deer. Events promoted ranged from the Stettler Art Walk May 16 to 18, to Rimbey’s Classic Embroidery Demolition Derby on Sept. 27.

Dean Schweder, Rocky’s tourism and economic development co-ordinator, said it’s satisfying to be recognized by peers in the tourism industry. He added that members of the regional committee see the benefits of co-operative marketing.

“With our (Alberta Sweet 16) website, last year we had 9,000 visitors; this year we had almost 18,000 visitors.”

Organizers of the various events have indicated that attendance increased during this period.

The collaborative marketing campaign, which also highlights winter activities and events in the region, was initiated in 2008.

Other winners of 2009 Alto Awards were the Jasper Discovery Trail Interpretive Project in the Friends of Tourism category, Calaway Park for Service Excellence, Pine Bungalows in Jasper for Sustainable Tourism, Lisa Monforton of Calgary for Tourism Media, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village for Marketing Excellence with a budget up to $5,000, Heritage Park for Marketing Excellence with a budget over $5,000, and GPS Tour Guide Inc. for Alberta Pride.

Edgar Farms of Innisfail was a finalist for a Marketing Excellence award for its Get Into the “SPEAR IT” of Spring! asparagus festival campaign.

Other finalists for the Marketing Partnership award were Agenda Sport Marketing for Winsport Canada and the Reel Adventures — Alberta Movie Maps Partnership.

The Central Alberta Tourism Committee was a finalist for the award last year, but won’t be eligible in that category in the future. Schweder said he hopes the committee will be nominated in another award category for 2010.

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