After seven wonderful years of developing, delivering and continually evolving the Edge of the Wedge Experiential travel training program in Rocky Harbour NL, a new, evolved course is under development. Through a partnership with Travel Manitoba, GMIST, Tourism Cafe (Todd Lucier and Nancy Arsenault) and Earth Rhythms (Celes Davar) and support from Parks Canada (Riding Mountain National Park), Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives and the Manitoba Regional Tourism Network, we are currently designing and developing the new program for its first delivery in Manitoba Oct 16 – 19th!
While we will be bringing of the new foundational materials forward into the Cutting Edge course – here’s some of what’s new!
- New locations, provincial partners, experiential partners. The course will be in the rural setting of Riding Mountain National Park, the January course will be our first URBAN Edge course in Winnipeg.
- Building experiential travel capacity within Travel Manitoba at the same time we develop the course. Germain to this is working with Laurenda Madill, an Edge Graduate at Travel Manitoba who is our lead ‘gal in province’ working at the catalyst between the players.
- Incorporating the Travel Manitoba marketing folks in supporting the social media and marketing activities and educational sessions in the course
- New sessions on branding, thinking like a traveller, global success stories, more on pricing
- More hands-on activities in the program to work with the learning and apply immediately each business context,
- Travel Manitoba staff being coached to deliver some of the educational sessions and support the logistics
- Post-course coaching sessions with Travel Manitoba, and supported by Nancy and Celes
- Two significant goals: (1) participants to have new experiential product to market for 2012 and 2013 (supported by Travel Manitoba) and (2) the course content to be able to be taught by the Travel Manitoba team, and Nancy and Celes moving to a coaching roll after the first two deliveries.
And key elements we wanted to keep!
- GMIST led the partnership discussions with Travel Manitoba to create this opportunity
- GMIST agreement to incorporate excellent Edge of the Wedge content into the new evolved community based course
- Nancy and Celes as lead instructors, Jonathan Foster (GMIST) as an advisor.
- Our experiential teaching methodology
- Working with communities. Coaching the capacity of local area experience providers to contribute to the training program but also continue with their experience evolutions into market
- Optimizing Parks Canada – Riding Mountain National Park as our new Stage this Fall, the Forks National Historic Site in January
- Connecting to the Canadian Tourism Commission – their Explorer Quotient and new Signature Experiences Collection
- Length of program – 3.25 days (Yup here we go again – intensive, immersive, engaging, fun!)
As Travel Manitoba moves strategically into embracing experiential travel within their long term development plans for the province, we are pleased that the collaboration between GMIST, the Tourism Cafe and Earth Rhythms can continue and extend the collective learning into new regions.