Swift Current enjoys Canada 150 tourism bump

A larger number of curious travellers took advantage of picking up local attraction information at Swift Current’s Museum and Visitor Centre during the tourism season.

Jackie Moore, Visitor and Convention Services at Tourism Swift Current, said there was clearly an influx of visitors as a result of Canada 150. This special year long observance provided an excellent opportunity to remind Canadians about tourism and prompted many to explore their own country during the summer months.

“For us the real story has been it’s all about Canada 150. That is what kicked everything off. Subsequently for us, its been a very strong year,” Moore said in advance of the Labour Day long weekend.

She pointed out that travellers started stopping in Swift Current as early as April, and many of those early visitors were making across Canada trips, plus there were many American visitors making either a Canadian trip or a trip north to Alaska.

“I think increased marketing has made the visitor aware of what not only Canada has to offer, but it trickles down to all the provinces and the regions.”

She noted that for all of 2017, a series of Swift Current events have enjoyed stronger attendance totals along with higher out-of-town visitor numbers. She pointed to February’s Living Sky Casino Pow Wow and Hand Games, and June’s Windscape Kite Festival as events enjoying record attendance. In addition, the upcoming 2017 CCA Finals Rodeo on October 18 to 22 are expecting an attendance bump during the second year of this championship event.

Swift Current hosted a successful Geocaching event this summer, and visitors have also been intrigued by ongoing summer events like the Eliminators Riverside Run, and the Speedy Dawg Agility Trials.

“All of our event attendances are up,” Moore said. “All of our events are very robust, very healthy.”

Visitors to Swift Current also use tourism information to learn more about the community once they get off the TransCanada Highway.

“We get a lot of positive feedback from people who enjoy the unique shopping in our downtown. They enjoy the fact that we don’t have the big box locations, but they like to do unique shopping.”

Parents travelling with children are also offering positive feedback on city parks and walkways, spray parks and accessible play structures which provide a nice break for travelling families. The Chinook Parkway is a great amenity for visitors to stretch their legs with a walk or a bike ride.

The Tourism Swift Current location at 44 Robert St. W. also serves as an information hub for attractions across the Southwest, including the Great Sandhills, Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan Landing.

“One thing I have specifically noted here is I have gone through way more product. So that’s how I sort of generally know my numbers. And I have gone through more product this year than previous years.”

“One particular product I completely ran out of actually was Grasslands (National Park)…I had to get a hold of them and request more,” she said. “A lot of people who were asking for that information were aware of Grasslands and it was their actual destination.”

Moore credits the success of the annual 40˚ x 150˚ Conference in developing and encouraging those tourism partnerships. Tourism Swift Current will be hosting their eighth annual conference on April 26-27, 2018.

“What’s good for one region subsequently can be good for another. We play off of each other’s strengths.”

Tourism Swift Current also continues to see the positives from their many trade show and convention appearances they make during the winter months.