The Themes

The themes bring together all aspects of the experience throughout the season from a visitors’ perspective.

Each season offers a slightly different reason to come play in the region. We focus our efforts on four main themes where we can have the greatest impact.

We chose those themes based on their potential for growth, existing demand and product availability. These are:

Summer Adventures: even though this is the busiest time of the year in terms of visitation, leaving us at capacity for lodging on many nights, there is still a lot of room to grow for activity providers and restaurants.

Fall Colours: this has been a slower time for visitations but with the growing awareness of the beauty of fall colours along Abraham Lake we are seeing increased demand with a strong overlap in visitors from the Frozen Wonderland theme.

Paddling the North Saskatchewan River
Ice Climbing in the Cline River Canyon

Frozen Wonderland: this is one of the best known times to visit the region for out-of-province guests and one we need to capitalize on.

Winter Adventures: like summer, this is a busy time of the year with lodging often at capacity on weekends, leaving opportunities to grow mid-week visitations with out-of-province guests.

The four themes are described in more detail below along with ideas on how we can activate each of them in the short term.

Summer Adventures

This is the time to play outside, have family adventures and spend lazy afternoons relaxing in nature. The days are longer and so are the adventures. It’s less about the hiking, paddling or biking activities at this time of the year and more about the waterfalls, stunning views and wildflowers we come across along the way.

    The Building Blocks

    Goosebump Moments

    It’s about the feeling of wonder as we see waterfalls, mountain views and wildflowers while on an adventure but also the quiet happiness that comes from lazy afternoons and evenings by the campfire.

      Paddling at Fish Lake

      Viable, Desirable & Feasible

      We can help by:

      • Focusing on visitors who spend money locally and promote longer stays.
      • Sharing Leave no Trace and responsible recreation messaging.
      • Promoting dispersion to lesser-known locations.
      • Addressing signage issues and the lack of information about the region.
      • Addressing gaps in products, especially around availability and the booking process.

       

        Activating this Theme

        Timeline

        • Dreaming: March to July
        • Planning: April to July
        • Booking: May to August
        • Experiencing: Late June to Labour Day

        Markets

        • Alberta
        • Potential for Canada, US and Europe. There is an existing European market with RV rentals but they are typically self-guided and only driving through the region.

        Itineraries and Packages

        Lodging availability is limited during the summer. Focus on itineraries and activity bookings for now instead of packages that include accommodation.

        Develop itineraries for:

        • Day trips from Banff, the Icefields Parkway, Rocky Mountain House and Calgary.
        • Overnight trips to attract guests who typically visit for a single day.
        • Out-of-province visitors by connecting the region with Calgary, Sundre and Banff.

        Events

        • Support events organized by the partners.

        Content Creation

        • Host creator trips similar to Fall 2021 and Winter 2022.
        • Fill in the gaps in the guides and information available on explorenordegg.ca.

        Sales

        • Offer visitors a centralized option for activity bookings.
        • Work with the travel trade to add local activities to existing products (e.g. current RV tours driving through the region). This is a longer-term project.

        Fall Colours

        It’s a time of change. For some it’s about trying to finish the list of hikes that was planned in the spring. For others it’s about slowing down to enjoy the fall colours, chasing the moments with a camera and relaxing by the warmth of a campfire. It’s also a time to reconnect with co-workers and plan ahead for the upcoming year.

          The Building Blocks

          Goosebump Moments

          The bright colours of fall against the turquoise waters of the North Saskatchewan River and Abraham Lake.

            Viable, Desirable & Feasible

            We can help by:

            • Focusing on visitors who spend money locally and promote longer stays.
            • Sharing Leave no Trace and responsible recreation messaging.
            • Addressing signage issues and the lack of information about the region.
            • Work with our partners to develop new fall products to create full itineraries.

             

              Activating this Theme

              Timeline

              • Dreaming: Mid-August to late September
              • Planning: Mid-August to early September
              • Booking: Mid-August to early September
              • Experiencing: Mid-August to Thanksgiving

              The timeline is very compressed for this theme. We need to work on generating advance demand.

              Markets

              • Alberta
              • BC and US
              • Potential for Canada, UK, Germany and Asia

              Itineraries and Packages

              Develop itineraries for:

              • Day trips from Banff and the Icefields Parkway.
              • Overnight trips focused around nature-inspired art, photography and sightseeing.
              • Out-of-province visitors by connecting the region with Calgary, Sundre and Banff.

              Events

              • Work on options to host a themed week / festival in the fall of 2023.

              Content Creation

              • Host creator trips similar to Fall 2021. Work on options to expand the locations visited.
              • Create photography guides for the region.
              • Create two more profiles of locals.

              Sales

              • Offer visitors a centralized option for activity bookings and overnight packages.
              • Target photo clubs and corporate groups.

              Frozen Wonderland

              The conditions are harsh but the rewards are well worth it. Amazing sunrises and sunsets, the clearest ice bubbles and majestic frozen waterfalls make us stop to capture the moment.

                The Building Blocks

                Goosebump Moments

                It’s about the feeling of wonder as we experience the natural beauty of winter in the region.

                  Viable, Desirable & Feasible

                  We can help by:

                  • Focusing on visitors who spend money locally and promote longer stays.
                  • Sharing information on ice safety and conditions.
                  • Promoting dispersion to lesser-known locations.
                  • Avoid the promotion of community amenities like the skating rink.
                  • Addressing signage issues and the lack of information about the region.
                  • Increase local awareness of the products available.
                  • Support the development of new products that complement existing itineraries.

                   

                    Activating this Theme

                    Timeline

                    • Dreaming: August to February
                    • Planning: September to January
                    • Booking: November to January
                    • Experiencing: December to mid-February

                    Markets

                    • Alberta
                    • Asia, Canada and US
                    • Potential for UK and Australia

                    Itineraries and Packages

                    Refine the itineraries built last winter and develop new ones for:

                    • Out-of-province visitors by connecting the region with Calgary, Sundre and Banff.

                    Extend the packages offered around each itinerary.

                    Events

                    • Launch the first edition of the Frozen Wonderland Festival in January 2023.

                    Content Creation

                    • Host a creator trip, building on last year’s and exploring lesser-known locations.
                    • Create photography guides, including locations and tips.
                    • Long-form content showcasing locals and adventures in the region.
                    • Host media, creators and influencers that align with the themes, destination and target markets.

                    Sales

                    • Offer visitors a centralized option to book activities and packages.
                    • Work with the travel trade to relaunch products featuring Abraham Lake as international visitors return.

                    Winter Warmth

                    The days are getting longer and the sun warmer. We’re heading back out for longer adventures, pushing a little harder as we play while enjoying late afternoon campfires with friends and family.

                      The Building Blocks

                      Goosebump Moments

                      The feeling of accomplishment from trying new activities and exploring a little further.

                        Viable, Desirable & Feasible

                        We can help by:

                        • Focusing on visitors who spend money locally and promote longer stays.
                        • Sharing Leave no Trace and responsible recreation messaging.
                        • Promoting dispersion to lesser-known locations.
                        • Avoid the promotion of community amenities like the skating rink.
                        • Addressing signage issues and the lack of information about the region.
                        • Addressing gaps in products, especially around availability and the booking process.

                         

                          Activating this Theme

                          Timeline

                          • Dreaming: August to March
                          • Planning: November to February
                          • Booking: December to February
                          • Experiencing: Late-January to mid-March

                          Markets

                          • Alberta
                          • Canada and US
                          • Potential for Asia, UK and Australia

                          Itineraries and Packages

                          Refine the itineraries built last winter and develop new ones for:

                          • Out-of-province visitors by connecting the region with Calgary, Sundre and Banff.

                          Extend the packages offered around each itinerary.

                          Events

                          • Test ideas for a festival, possibly skating related, for winter 2024.

                          Content Creation

                          • Fill in the gaps in the guides and information available on explorenordegg.ca, and add more information on activities like ice climbing, skating, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
                          • Long-form content around adventures and the people enjoying them.

                          Sales

                          • Offer visitors a centralized option to book activities and packages.
                          • Work with our partners to have additional products and itineraries available for the travel trade.