Lacombe Regional Tourism intends to take its pitches on the road.
The organization wants to move out of its home in Lacombe’s historic Flatiron Building to set up in a smaller office space and roll out a mobile tourism van.
It is all about reaching out to more people to spread word of local tourism attractions, events and business opportunities, said board chair Merry Kuchle recently.
Instead of staffing the office full time, the organization wants to use the van to get out to events in communities as far as Edmonton and Calgary to promote Lacombe-area attractions.
It costs about $30,000 a year to lease the organization’s Flatiron Building space.
Under the new plan, the tourism group would rent cheaper office space in Lacombe for around $1,000 a month and invest around $50,000 in a van that would become a fixture at the kind of events that draw big crowds throughout the year.
Kuchle, and organization executive director Angela Hand, pitched the new strategy to Lacombe County council on Thursday as part of a request to have the $44,756 that the county provides the organization each year to be transferred to the mobile van effort.
The county referred the request to administration to bring back a report for a future meeting.
If all goes well, the tourism group hopes to buy the van in January and have it ready to hit the road for summer events in 2021.
Hand said the Flatiron Building has been a beautiful home for the tourism group.
“But where there are festivals and things going on, we should be out in the community promoting,” she said.
There will also be more opportunities to work with other communities in joint tourism-related efforts, including social media campaigns.
“We’d be able to work with other communities to cross promote,” she said.
Kuchle said the initiative could lead to different cross-promotion opportunities with other communities through Facebook, blogs and other social media.
Lacombe Regional Tourism has been successful in the past promoting the area. In 2018, the community’s Culture Day Festival was ranked No. 10 across the country for communities under 50,000 people.
Last year, it was ranked No. 3.