Awards celebrate best of visitor service
Albertans who go the extra mile to help travellers at visitor information centres have been recognized with Ammy Awards.
Named for Alberta’s official gemstone, ammolite, the Ammy Awards honour visitor information centres and staff that exemplify the hospitality the province is known for through creative and professional approaches to meeting visitors’ needs.
“Visitor information centres are essential to a vibrant tourism industry. Congratulations to the finalists and award recipients for your dedication and efforts to represent Alberta, sharing our memorable experiences and hidden gems to visitors from around the world.
The fifth annual awards were presented at the Lethbridge Lodge Hotel and Conference Centre on September 29.
Five recipients were selected from 15 finalists to receive a 2015 Ammy Award in the following categories:
Best in Class – Hiring and Training
Canmore Visitor Information Centre
Ongoing hiring challenges, including stiff competition for seasonal workers, saw the need for the centre to develop a recruitment campaign targeted to local university students using focused tactics such as increased use of free online job boards. The visitor information centre also connected its staff with 109 local tourism businesses and operators in a five-day training program to increase their knowledge about what’s available for visitors.
Best in Class – Innovation
Banff Lake Louise Tourism
*The placement of a pop-up information kiosk at high density locations in town resulted in 8,701 additional contacts outside the centre—eight per cent of all visitor engagements this summer provided by the centre. This drove much more tourism business to the community and provided more timely and relevant information to visitors.*
Visitor Service Excellence
Best in Class – Visitor Services
St. Albert Visitor Welcome Centre
As a new visitor information centre, the St. Albert Visitor Welcome Centre employed numerous innovative approaches, such as scavenger hunts and mobile booths at major events, to promoting its products and services offered to the community, front-line industry staff and visitors.
Best in Class – Travel Counselling
Erin Alexander, Stony Plain & District Visitor Information Centre
Erin brings a positive “can-do” attitude in everything she does, including her leadership role in connecting with visitors through social media, which has increased the centre’s online presence and engagements this past summer.
Best in Class – Leaders in Visitor Information Centre Management
Catherine Fournier, Stony Plain & District Visitor Information Centre
Catherine’s leadership skills and strategic thinking resulted in several cross-marketing initiatives between local businesses and the Stony Plain & District Visitor Information Centre. As a manager, she and her team successfully engaged more visitors online and scored 99 percent for customer service from an accredited mystery shopper.
Twenty-six award applications were submitted by organizations that manage more than 130 of Alberta’s community, regional and provincial visitor information centres.
Tourism contributes $8 billion and more than 127,000 jobs to Alberta’s economy from more than 34 million visits annually. For more information, visit tourism.alberta.ca.
*NOTE: The description of Banff Lake Louise Tourism's winning submission has been corrected online