It was great to see a graduate from the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism’s Edge of the Wedge excited email today. She proudly let her stakeholders know about the launch of Tourism Dauphin’s new TOURISM website. In the past, tourism has been a sub-category of the City of Dauphin website, and was largely ineffective in the middle of many other aspects of a busy economic development website.
Kudos to Dauphin for seeing the wisdom of developing a tourism-focused website. Carla Wolfenden is an alumnus of the Edge of the Wedge experiential tourism training program.
I noticed several things about the website that I believe reflect Carla and her team’s deeper understanding of tourism as a community economic development driver, the role of good marketing, and the importance of experiential tourism, by having a look at the website:
- The site captured specific icons that make Dauphin unique (The Dauphin Kings Junior A team, which has a very high loyalty base; Dauphin Countryfest; the Fort Dauphin Museum, a fisher with a walleye in his hands, Ukrainian culture, The Riding Mountain UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; the train station, locally made Ukrainian wood-fired breads, and many others)
- The whole website is image-rich, with pictures of real people doing real things, along with good photographs of historic buildings, festivals, and attractions.
- Links to Twitter, Blog posts and things to do are present.
- Under the TO DO button, they have a whole category of EXPERIENCES. And, they are really cool experiences. I know, because I have experienced every one of them.
- I love how the whole tourism approach speaks to “partnering” with local, regional, and national partners (biosphere reserves, provincial parks, national parks, private parks, and local partners)
- They have integrated seasonality, hockey, arts, and their iconic events in really simple ways.
Carla brings a lot of experience from her previous assignments, world travel in other countries, and her more recent involvement with community-based tourism. She is a great example of someone who takes industry training and applies it in ways that have relevance for her community, and for her community’s “ideal guests”. Congrats Carla and company in Dauphin! Great job.