Recognizing the untapped potential Cochrane has regarding the tourism industry, Cochrane Tourism released a 5-year Tourism Strategy on Mar. 1 that they have been working on with Cochrane Economic Development to set out a clear vision for the Cochrane brand.
“Back in 2010 Cochrane Tourism had a strategy that ran until 2012 and this is the first one implemented since then,” said Jo-Anne Oucharek, Cochrane Tourism’s executive director, explaining that the organization had been focused on promoting local events for years and is now transitioning into a body that will help local businesses and groups redefine Cochrane as an experiential destination.
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“Over the last year and a half there have been numerous events where business owners and event organizers could provide feedback on events and what they needed,” said Oucharek, which had the added benefit of identifying who is coming to Cochrane so Cochrane Tourism could further develop the kind of experience the town should be advertising.
Of the eight different types of visitors as defined by the Explorer Quotient, the top three kinds of tourist Cochrane draws are the cultural explorers that love travel and embrace they places they visit, no hassle travellers that tend to travel in groups and stick to itineraries and the adventurous free spirits who tend to be more social and experimental.
Knowing who Cochrane’s clientele are, Cochrane Tourism aims to develop a compelling brand with the help of local businesses and event organizers that will allow them to enhance their own marketing strategies to work off one another in attracting new visitors to Cochrane. From there Cochrane Tourism will provide guidance, resources and partnerships to enhance existing tourism products and help facilitate new ones that will further market Cochrane as a cultural destination.
In addition to improving communication and collaboration between local event groups and businesses, Cochrane Tourism will also be working with the Town to make it easier for events and attractions to get permits and find ways to improve local infrastructure that will improve the Cochrane experience.
“it’s going to be an ongoing process,” said Oucharek, who was pleased with the amount of interest garnered by their launch with about 40 people representing local businesses coming out to provide feedback on the new strategy and some already talking about pooling their resources together for new events in the summer.
If you would like more information about Cochrane’s new tourism strategy and how to get involved in building Cochrane as a tourism destination you can contact Oucharek at [email protected]