Tourism Golden reporting increased visitation

“Our overall increase in revenue has gone up by 44 %, and our increase in tax revenue alone has gone up 48 per cent,” said Joanne Sweeting

After a full year of having Kicking Horse Mountain Resort included in their mandate, Tourism Golden has some impressive growth to report.

“Our overall increase in revenue has gone up by 44 per cent, and our increase in tax revenue alone has gone up 48 per cent,” said Joanne Sweeting, manager of Tourism Golden, during a presentation to Town Council.

Tax revenue for the organization comes from a two per cent tax levied on all accommodation in the area.

“We know that this increase comes from increased visitation, which is a very positive thing.”

The incorporation of KHMR accounts for a portion of that increase, but Sweeting says they projected a 25 per cent increase from the resort, so a significant portion of the increase came from increased visitation.

Tourism Golden, whose mandate is to promote Golden as a tourist destination, among other things, has put out several print publications including their travel planner with an additional four pages on weddings (78,000 copies printed), and a new hiking map (2,000 copies were printed for a two-year period, but they have already gone through more than half and are expecting they will need to print more).

One of the big changes they made this year was the hiring of a media relations firm, which has resulted in 10.5 impressions from unpaid editorials. That is on top of the paid advertising they did, which included 33 print publications and more online advertising resulting in 3 million impressions.

In the next fiscal year Tourism Golden will be expanding on the past year’s successes, as well as working on some new projects.

In 2014 they will be refreshing the Golden brand.

“Our brand has been really successful and it’s even being copied, but it’s getting a bit old and we want to stay ahead of the curve,” said Sweeting.

They are also planning to continue with some consumer research, build on their PR media, and are currently working on creating a Golden Mountain Festival for May long weekend, which they are hoping will become an annual event.