Visitor Friendly Alberta Facilitation

Your community can choose to use a third party facilitator, who works with the community to undertake the assessment and action plan. This is a more extensive approach and can be tailored to meet the unique needs of the community.

This approach:

  • Requires the support of the municipality, the community and local businesses. A letter of commitment is required from the municipality /council prior to initiating an assessment.
  • The cost is shared by the community and Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

An overview of the facilitated assessment process:

  • Set-up a Working Group or Committee made up of representatives from the community and immediate region. Consider who needs to be involved, both tourism stakeholders and those who can lead change. To ensure that the resulting plan is put into action, it is beneficial for that group to report to the Municipal Council.
  • A Third Party Facilitator leads the Working Group to keep on task and assists the Group to view the community through the eyes of a visitor.
  • Complete an Inventory of Tourism Products and Services to ensure everyone is aware of what is available. These may include accommodations, places to eat and drink, festivals and events, attractions, shopping, visitor information, parks and trails.
  • Market Information, Visitor Statistics and Visitor Requirements are used to understand current and target markets for the community, occupancy information, levels of visitation at attractions and events, etc. It is also useful to understand what draws visitors to your community and what else visitors may need.
  • Photograph your community to capture what visitors will see when they arrive in and travel throughout the community.
  • Determine what Visitor Friendly means to your community to help stimulate thinking around being visitor friendly. The appeal of a community is based on more than what there is to see and do.
  • Assess the current level of visitor friendliness and identify gaps and areas that need improvement. This assessment is sorted into five categories:
    • Overall Ambiance and Visual Appeal
    • Wayfinding and Signage
    • Quality of Service and Professionalism
    • Public Services and Visitor Amenities
    • Visitor Information
  • Develop an action plan from the assessment, which identifies what needs to be done, who should lead, who should be involved, timelines and evaluation / measures of success.
  • Present the action plan to your sponsor for endorsement. The sponsor should take a leadership role in plan implementation.

For more information, please contact the Destination Competitiveness Branch at (780) 427-6544 (toll free in Alberta, dial
310-0000, then the number) or visitorfriendly@gov.ab.ca.

Last reviewed/revised: December 9, 2013