Tourism Golden experienced high tourist numbers in 2017, and opened the new location of the visitor centre in August, with their first visitor stopping in only a minute after they opened.
Last year marked the eighth consecutive year that tourism numbers have increased in Golden, and even outperformed Alberta resorts.
“We’re ahead of the game, and will continue to rise,” executive director Joanne Sweeting said at the AGM on May 3. “We had a really good strong winter end and summer. We’re getting the right people coming who want to spend money. They’re choosing Golden as their destination, not just as a stop.”
Tourism Golden has been busy working with Destination B.C., and has been working on digital campaigns, social media, consumer relations, and more to increase visitor numbers.
“Creating the content is the hardest thing to do,” she explained. “It shows that people are engaging with us. There has been a fantastic increase.”
New to Tourism Golden, Alycia Weir has been the visitor services manager at the new visitor centre location. She says there has been a lot of steady traffic since the new location opened its doors. Over the first four-day period, there were 843 visitors that came through, and that only includes the number of people the counsellors spoke to.
“That’s just one on one conversations,” she said. “The visitor centre is more than just a brick and mortar visitor centre. We also have an array of other amenities available for our visitors.”
The centre features one on one counselling, helping visitors with their trip planning, providing local maps and brochures, and helping people find places to stay and eat. There is also a WiFi hotspot, so people can stop by to catch up, send a quick message home, and Instagram their photos. There are washrooms, a sani dump for visitors travelling with trailers or RVs, and potable water. The new centre also features a coffee stand, serving up Kicking Horse Coffee from Double Black, a cafe with a location on Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. There is a dog run and picnic tables so visitors of all types can stretch their legs or relax.
“More and more travellers are travelling with their pets and with their dogs, and it’s a great place for them to stretch out as well,” Weir said.
Tourism Golden has been working hard to ensure travellers are able to find the new location. They have updated their Google listings, and are connected on Trip Advisor and Hello BC.
“So far, we’re at a 4.5-star rating,” Weir said. “Hopefully this year as we continue to get more visitations, we will also get more reviews as well.”