Herald contributor photo. Tourism Night the SCRTA hosted in May at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek. They saw nearly 40 operators from across the region attend.
Nicholas L. M. Allen
Aug 30, 2023
SCRTA has a focus on getting word out that they exist as an organisation
The South Canadian Rockies Tourism Association is looking to grow its membership in the area.
Erin Fairhurst, Coordinator for the South Canadian Rockies Tourism Association (SCRTA), said she has been with the organization for almost a year part-time. After the SCRTA received funding, they were able to hire her for the position last October.
“Since I started, some of the projects that we have been working on are membership and awareness. We’re a fairly new organization,” explained Fairhurst, “We represent the areas of Crowsnest Pass, Castle and Pincher Creek including both the Town of Pincher Creek and the MD of Pincher Creek.”
A focus for awareness is getting word out that they exist as an organization that supports tourism for the region. After that, their goal is working on increasing their membership.
“Much like a Chamber of Commerce, we have members that are tourism-oriented businesses, operators and organizations,” said Fairhurst.
Part of the membership includes training and marketing opportunities. Other work they have been doing is local stakeholder outreach, setting up a meeting with the MLA and visiting the local councils.
“We’ve just been meeting with other groups that might be concerned about tourism in our area or want to be involved,” said Fairhurst.
They are a not-for-profit organization and have a volunteer board of directors, directors who are all tourism operators within the region.
“Keep us updated,” said Councilor Lisa Sygutek on August 22, “I think that there’s significant value to the program you’re offering to the community and region.”
Council also discussed the possibility of having a member of the Municipality appointed as a board advisor. There are four board advisors, one of which is a Travel Alberta Advisor.
“We work closely with Travel Alberta, just to make sure that our vision for the area aligns with Travel Alberta’s marketing plan for the area. We have a lot of different moving parts. A lot of people think that we’re just marketing, but we also do a lot of destination development,” added Fairhurst.
She added how the organization isn’t only focused on bringing tourists to the area, but also how to best manage the tourists that are visiting. One of their goals as an organization is how to best support both the residents and the visitors and how to best support the operators and businesses in the area. After speaking with the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass as part of a delegation on August 22, she said it went well.
“We have a council who is very open to balanced tourism in our area,” said Fairhurst, “I think that they’re really open to it and I look forward to building that relationship with them. I hope to continue to have that opportunity to speak with them and to see them at our events.”
The SCRTA has an annual general meeting coming up in November, but don’t have a date for it yet. They ask people to follow them on social media or check out their website, southcanadianrockies.ca, where they also have two different newsletters that people can subscribe to, an industry newsletter and a general newsletter.