Tourism week – May 23 – 30, 2021, is an annual celebration of Canada’s Tourism organizations, businesses, and partners! This year, Cochrane Tourism had the opportunity to partner with the CHS Roams students. They have become our Junior Ambassadors!
ROAMS students are doing schooling differently. It’s a one-semester outdoor education academy where 10th-grade students develop essential skills for life while studying and receiving credit for the following courses: ELA10, Social Studies 10, Environmental and Outdoor Education, PE10, CALM, and Photography. This cohort of students, and their teacher Mr. Talen, will be together every day for semester 2 – much of this time will be spent outside!
Lead by M. Jander Talen, our Junior Ambassadors took on the project of showcasing Cochrane Ranche this year, creating a Ranche Tour with their stories, imagery, and GPS navigation to guide you to points of interest!
We asked the students 5 questions about tourism. This week to celebrate Tourism Week, they wanted to share their insights:
What is tourism?
The word tourism designates the fact of travelling for pleasure outside of its usual places of life, and of residing there temporarily, but also an economic sector which includes in addition to the hotel industry all the activities related to satisfaction and the movement of tourists.
Why is Cochrane unique?
- Cochrane is unique for its charming historic downtown. – Ava Long
- The unique western heritage and buildings as well as the small-town community.- Katie Smith
- Its most valuable trait is the people, we are the hidden gem of this town. – Sarah Beer
- The Cochrane Ranche is a place to visit as it is home to many species of animals and has some amazing trails. Another thing is one of the best ice cream places in Alberta Mackay’s Ice Cream. The Bow River is a good place to go on a walk. – Myles Kirk
- Cochrane has a long history in ranching. As well as the town is built up around a sawmill that was founded in 1974. – Oscar Smith
- Cochrane has a unique location in the Bow Valley corridor, giving it a topography of picturesque hills and amazing views of the Rocky Mountains. It makes for a great training ground for athletes – cycle one of Cochrane’s many hills today! – Ani Zwaagsta
- The Town is known for all its fantastic events. – Noah Visvanathan
- Our slogan is, “How the West is Now”, which represents the preservation of western heritage, unlike other towns that are pushing to be more up-to-date with other parts of the world – Janelle Saltvold
The beautiful creek running through or the Stockmen Foundation where you can learn about the ranching history in Alberta and in the area. Cochrane locals like to stay true to our western roots. Whether it be the big red cowboy boot outside Tony’s shoe repair, or the rustic feeling in the shops along the main street, the small-town feel never gets old.
What is the value of tourism to a community?
The tourism industry is an important engine of economic growth. This industry – which encompasses accommodation and travel services to and from Canada – brings in billions of dollars and employs hundreds of thousands of people in the country. It not only creates jobs but opportunities for people to get involved in their community and showcase the place that they love. Cochrane’s good sense of community involvement creates an amazing place to visit and be able to feel welcome. Tourism provides local businesses with income, tourism can also promote cultural exchange.
What is a tourism product?
A tourism product is a combination of attractions, facilities, services, and activities around a certain location or destination. Their goal is to represent a destination creating an overall visitor experience. Almost all tourism products are therefore services. A tourism product is a good or a service marketed specifically to a visitor’s wants or needs.
What tourism product is missing in Cochrane and why should we have it?
- A tourism product that would be an incredible addition to our town is a bike rental store. It could be used to encourage tourists to go out biking around town and in the parks, and travel with man-made power instead of driving everywhere. – Asenath Koop
- More teen or late teen activities such as a concert venue or a laser tag facility. This would be good for Cochrane because it can host all-ages, birthdays, or a family hangout. – Katie Smith
- A tourism product that is missing in Cochrane is the accommodation while staying in the town. Our current accommodation mainly consists of chain hotels and it would add a special part to the town to have a place to stay that includes the same environment the town holds. – Ava Long
- Something that is missing is more cool stuff like parks, trails and more local shop and less big companies we should have more of they because it will bring more people to the town. – Myles Kirk
- In Cochrane, it would be great if we had a blacksmith gallery to show off more of the town’s heritage and some of the hands-on heritage. – Oscar Smith
- The main thing we are missing or lacking is our experience. Like a wild west town, there is truly little wild west. But with the upcoming launch of our new app, we will be able to fix that and bring the wild west to you, and as an added bonus it’s in the palm of your hand. – Jackson Houvenaeghel
- We need more active things like a guided Ranche tour or a guided walk at Big hills. It would be nice to have a rafting tour from the Ghost Dam to Cochrane. – Jackson Knox
- I feel that a tourism product that Cochrane could adopt is something to represent Cochrane itself (instead of the areas around or near Cochrane). For example, in the way that Banff has merchandise promoting the town and the mountains, maybe Cochrane could have its own name on a sweater too. – Janelle Saltvold
One brave student, Ben Kussmann answered the questions in a video: Watch Ben’s Video
Canada’s tourism sector is an essential contributor to the Canadian economy. In 2019, tourism was Canada’s number one service export, totalling 3% of total exports, generating $105 billion in revenue, and accounting for 1.8 million direct and indirect jobs in Canada.
Unfortunately, the Canadian tourism sector is currently one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. Let’s celebrate Tourism Week by showing some love to your favourite local business or saying thank you to the volunteer organizations that plan and host the numerous events we all love to attend in Town!
Our Junior Ambassadors have one more project that they will be launching on June 21st as part of National Selfie Day!!