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Advocates say Crowsnest Pass ‘ripe for opportunity’ to grow tourism sector

The Crowsnest Pass is experiencing an influx of visitors and seeing interest from provincial tourism groups.

“That meant a lot more regional tourism, more Albertans choosing to stay and stop here now.”

“This region is really ripe for opportunity in terms of growing the development and driving more traffic down to the southern part of the province,” said Shae Bird, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA).

Travel Alberta has identified the Crowsnest Pass-Pincher Creek-Waterton area as one of 10 development zones within the province showing potential in the tourism industry.

Representatives from Travel Alberta, ITA and the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA) hosted local industry members for a town hall in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday morning.

The discussion honed in on strategies that can attract even more visitors to the region, from both at home and abroad.

“Diversifying Alberta’s overall visitor economy outside of our legacy destinations, getting more Albertans and international visitors out here and exploring, but doing it smartly,” Travel Alberta CCO Jon Mamela said. “Not having a situation of overwhelming local communities and creating more constraint.”

“If we can build that awareness and showcase where people can have these really unique experiences, accommodation and access points to get here, it will create a really unique tourism destination,” Bird said.

Similar town halls are being held in other areas of the province, including Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie.

Crowsnest Pass locals hope tourism can grow, while still preserving the area’s unique charm.

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