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Tourism Jasper has a busy first year

Maggie Davison, CEO Tourism Jasper, explains that the role of Tourism Jasper is to create the buzz and get everybody talking, then buyers are more likely to seek out a Jasper partner to do business.

“To date, all of our partners are happy and we have brought some new business to town,” she says. “And we are taking an aligned approach by supporting our partners and helping them to ‘close the business’.”

The midterm report for Tourism Jasper’s shareholders was intended to bring them up to speed on everything that the organization has done over the year.

“It has been a pretty busy year and we thought this was a great way to see what we’ve achieved,” says Davison. “This report also forms part of the corporate report that we will present at our AGM in March.”

As a DMO, one challenge is keeping everybody focused. To address that issue, Davison and her team have developed a strategy map to keep them focused and to keep their shareholders focused on what Tourism Jasper is supposed to be doing.

“Our customer is our shareholder and they have to deliver on the experience once the guests arrive,” says Davison.

Tourism Jasper’s vision is for Jasper to be one of the world’s most authentic mountain experiences and the “must see” Canadian Rocky Mountain destination where visitors leave with exceptional memories. In their 2011-14 strategy document, they outlined what they must do well to achieve their vision and desired result.

The plan has been created through the Balanced Scorecard method and their planning process included shareholders and employees.

“To facilitate how we communicate our strategy, we have created the strategy map. It is a one page graphic representation of what we must do well to successfully execute our strategy,” says Davison. 

She explains that from the shareholder’s perspective, Tourism Jasper and their shareholders are partners in achieving success and so it is essential that they be aligned in all aspects of their marketing. From a financial perspective, Davison says that Tourism Jasper and its board are committed to the full, accurate and timely disclosure of information to their shareholders. From the perspective of their internal processes, Davison explains that Tourism Jasper knows that the primary business process at which they must excel is destination marketing. 

“To succeed, we must improve how we plan, our timeliness to market and our ability to integrate research and involve our shareholders,” states the document.

From the organizational capacity perspective, Davison says that Tourism Jasper needs to invest in its people, systems and procedures so that the new organization is positioned to improve, be nimble and achieve long-term growth.

Ultimately, the desired result is that Jasper have a sustainable fall, winter and spring seasonal visitation and an at-capacity summer.

“This has been a set-up year for us and for the next three years we want to focus on the four perspectives,” says Davison. “Ultimately, we need to build trust both in the community and with our shareholders.”

Possibly the largest accomplishment by Tourism Jasper in the past year, was the establishment of the DMO. From January to June, the DMO status was completed by working closely with the Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce. The DMO also signed 29 new members.

In the past year, the DMO has worked hard to produce the strategic plan final draft, which was presented to the Jasper Destination Marketing Corporation board last month. 

In brand development, the DMO has created a “solid” marketing strategy; unique selling propositions, aligned existing brands, and has developed corporate visuals.

One way in which the DMO has really moved forward is with the advances in web development. Jasper LIVE encourages potential visitors to meet the locals – to get a real sense of what is happening in town. In its first month, July 2010, the site attracted 4,558 unique viewers and saw a 100 per cent increase in the second month. The Launch of Altitude without Attitude campaign – which reflects Jasper’s location and sense of community – coupled with the recent redirection of jaspercanadianrockies.com, has resulted in traffic climbing back up to summer season numbers.

Davison says that Tourism Jasper has also worked to create good partnerships over the past year.

According to the 2010 Highlights report, the Alpha and Omega promotion has received worldwide attention. Bruce Okabe, CEO of Travel Alberta, a major partner in the campaign, recently stated that the campaign was an excellent example of the marketing power of a fully aligned CTC/DMO/Travel Alberta partnership.

At this year’s World Route Development Forum, Tourism Jasper saw 150 visits to their booth over two-and-a-half days. Tourism Jasper launched seven new marketing campaigns since April 2010, regionally, nationally and internationally.

This year, there was  a lot of work done with the visitor’s centre including improved technology, extended hours and more training. Tourism Jasper also participated in the Ambassador Program, promoting excellence through recognition.

Tourism Jasper has also identified China as a new market opportunity for Jasper, after the signing of the Approved Destination Status. Working closely with partners at Travel Alberta and the Canadian Tourism Commission, China is being approached in an integrated fashion. Activities to date include a combination of sales missions, Jasper partner workshops, receptive joint marketing agreement, and charter flight discussion and trade fairs.

Most recently, Tourism Jasper was invited to participate on the CTC Brazil Market Mission. The agenda included briefings by the consulate and top-level Brazilian experts on trade, visas and the current economic landscape.

Davison says the recent report also outlined Tourism Jasper’s initiatives over the next three years.

“This really pulls it all together into a document that everybody can stay focused on,” she says.

Davison says this has all happened with the work of the shareholders, the board and the staff. 

“It has very much been a collaborative effort,” she says. “We have decided on our vision and mission and have committed to the expectations [of those].”

Davison says her team has worked incredibly hard over the last year.

“And I have to say kudos to Jasper and our shareholders and everybody that has supported the extraction and creation of the DMO.”

Moving forward, Tourism Jasper intends to increase focus on promotion and development of Jasper-specific events and non-traditional partnerships and opportunities.

The organization will also focus on shareholder engagement, including creating a working group, monthly partner program updates, an advisory council 2011 meeting schedule and an in-destination seminar/workshop schedule.

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