Travel Drumheller developing tourism plan for next two decades

Travel Drumheller is in the process of developing a Destination Development Plan to help guide tourism within the Drumheller area over the next two decades.

The project will help Travel Drumheller create a plan to make Drumheller and area a “next level destination,” and community engagements will give local businesses, organizations, and residents the opportunity to provide input and feedback.

“We want this to be for everyone,” says Travel Drumheller Executive Director Julia Fielding. “Everybody is part of the community.”

Travel Drumheller received a total of $295,000 in funding from Prairies Can in May 2022 through the Tourism Relief Fund to help fund the project.

Ms. Fielding notes Travel Alberta is conducting its own Destination Development Plan at the same time, and the two organizations will be sharing data and working collaboratively together. Although Travel Alberta has not provided monetary support towards the project, it has provided resources. The Canadian Badlands, which encompasses Drumheller and surrounding areas, has also been featured on the Travel Alberta website under its Places to Go.

In working with Travel Alberta, Ms. Fielding says there will be timelines and action items which will need to come forward. Ms. Fielding adds they would like to have at least five investment opportunities “ready to go” which will help identify existing gaps, and potential opportunities to help get potential investors interested in the region.

One challenge Travel Drumheller is already aware of is the short tourism season.

Although July and August are often the busiest months for tourism in the area, with a “shoulder season” leading up to and following these months, winter can often be much slower. Capitalizing on the proximity of the Canadian Badlands to the Canadian Rockies, which are already world-renowned as a winter tourism destination, is one way the region could benefit.

The first of three in-person engagement sessions was held at the Badlands Amphitheatre on Tuesday, November 1 and was geared towards businesses and organizations; additional sessions are also being held Wednesday, November 2 and will include a morning session for businesses and organizations, and an afternoon session for residents. Online engagements are also planned for Tuesday, November 8 for businesses and organizations, and Wednesday, November 9 for residents.

Along with the planned engagement sessions, Travel Drumheller is also conducting an online survey, which is open until Monday, November 14.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail