Thursday, May 26, 2022

Tourism Prince Rupert looks to rebuild marketing of attractions following COVID interruption

There's nothing like a Prince Rupert sunset for a stunning photo
Tourism Officials on the North Coast make the most of them when they happen
(Photo from Tourism Prince Rupert)

2022 will be a very different year for tourism on the North Coast, with the COVID era restrictions now part of our past, the focus for this year will be to rebuild on what was in place prior to the two year period of uncertainty that came with the coronavirus. 

A period that left the tourism sector looking at niche areas for the most part to keep the spotlight on travel and in the mind for future travel, following those challenging times.

This year however, travel planning seems back on track with both an expanding Cruise Ship Schedule to bring tens of thousands into the community before the fall, as well as the summer vacation travellers looking to chart a course to a new adventure.

And towards the prospect of more visitors making their way to and through the community, Tourism Prince Rupert has created a marketing plan to share word of what there is to be found in Prince Rupert and the immediate area.

The 2022 document has identified both the Strengths and Weaknesses when it comes to Tourism in the region. 

With the natural beauty of the North Coast and the charm of the communities the best selling features that they can work with, along with a range of partnerships to help share word of what can be found at the end of Highway 16 or when you arrive at the airport, Ferry Terminal and Rail Station.

Those transportation options however also make for some of the weaknesses, the overview noting how the flight schedule into the city, the inconsistency of both the BC Ferries schedule and the arrivals and departures for VIA Rail all are areas where improvement would aid the cause of bringing more travellers to the region.

The small number of tour operators in the area is also an item of note, with the opportunities available for entrepreneurs to fill those voids something that could be an area for growth as the tourism industry rebounds in 2022 and beyond.

Significant for 2022 has been the departure of First Canada Bus Line, which now makes for a reduced number of tour options that were once available in the past.

Still, the visitors will be coming and those are areas to build on for local initiative as part of the growing tourism sector.

Among some of the areas of note for the summer, the return of the Alaska Marine Highway System which will start to bring passengers through their Fairview Terminal next month, something which offers a bump for the hotel and commercial sector as travellers arrive for their travels north.

For those that come to town for an extended stay, the  return for operations of North Pacific Cannery Historical Site, the exhibits of the Museum of Northern British Columbia, as well as the outdoors experiences found from local trails, community recreation sites and water based adventures.

To bring more awareness of what's available Tourism Prince Rupert has also taken advantage of some marketing opportunities both nationally and provincially, the first coming by way of a national campaign for Tourism in Wester Canada, with Prince Rupert featured in a National Post advertising campaign.

Prince Rupert is part of a national marketing campaign
(click to enlarge)

Making use of partnerships with travel partners such as BC Ferries also is part of the 2022 strategy with the North Coast featured as part of the BC Ferries marketing program as well. With Social media a strong part of the campaign.

Tapping into the BC Ferry marketing is another area for
Tourism Prince Rupert to bring new visitors to the region
(click to enlarge)

Those two programs make for two of the four initiatives identified for 2022, the other two include that of an Instagram Influencer Campaign, which will see Tourism Prince Rupert bring Brie and Reuben of Vancitywild from Victoria to Prince Rupert for four days in mid-late June. 

That will see Prince Rupert gain some strong awareness through their audience of adventure seekers.

The final element of the four Initiatives for 2022, is a development of Coop Marketing, to partner with a number of varied interests to create awareness of Prince Rupert in such areas as RV travel, Golf vacations, Fishing Vacations and the popular BC Ale Trail which often features the local craft brewery the Wheelhouse. 

The Touurism office has also hired a new fulltime Marketing Manager. Jane Collins started with Touirsm Prince Rupert on April 19th and will be taking charge of all marketing, events, & visitor information programming. 

That will allow Executive Director Ceilidh Marlow to put more focus on strategic and long term planning for the future for the region and included on that list the upcoming reimaging for signage and wayfinding through the area.

You can capture some of the focus for 2022 and follow along with their summer plans through the Tourism BC website and social media feeds of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

More notes on Tourism can be reviewed through our archive page.

1 comment:

  1. It would be nice if there was parking anywhere near the Prince Rupert Visitor Center. It is a starting point.