Starry skies, sense of community: Tourism Saskatchewan puts spotlight on what sets Sask. apart

Starry skies, sense of community: Tourism Saskatchewan puts spotlight on what sets Sask. apart

Tourism Saskatchewan CEO Mary Taylor-Ash says creating an emotional connection between the province and prospective travellers is key to attracting more visitors.

Speaking to CBC Radio One's Saskatoon Morning on Monday, Taylor-Ash said the provincial tourism campaign was moving away from the travelogue format of simply showcasing activities.

"What we're looking at is what do we own or what do we have in Saskatchewan that we do better than other places," said Taylor-Ash.

As the former assistant deputy minister of tourism in Newfoundland, Taylor-Ash helped develop that province's successful tourism campaign.

Setting Sask. apart

In order to sell a destination, she said it was important to differentiate it from the countless others trying to catch the eye of travellers.

"One of the things we were trying to do [in Newfoundland], and certainly we are trying to do in Saskatchewan as well, is break through the clutter that exists in terms of all of the messages," she said.

"All of the options that you have for travel, in Canada and, indeed, in the world."

Taylor-Ash said Saskatchewan's night skies are among the things that set it apart from other provinces.

Starry skies

"We have some of the darkest skies in North America and Grasslands National Park is a dark sky preserve," she said.

"It's a place to go where we can look at the sky, because we have so much light pollution, especially if you live in a big city."

She said the Tourism Saskatchewan campaigns also feature the landscape and Saskatchewan's strong sense of community.  

Taylor-Ash added that it was challenging to have a year-round tourism business anywhere in Canada, but there is work underway to showcase both indoor and outdoor winter activities in Saskatchewan.