Tourism Red Deer, Central Alberta Country Drive and Strong Coffee Marketing were the proud recipients of two prestigious Alto Awards on Monday October 22nd, at the Travel Alberta Industry Conference in Banff.

We were very excited to be part of the following projects and look forward to future success within the Red Deer and central Alberta region.

Tourism Alberta Alto Awards Recipient 2012

Marketing Excellence $10,000-$25,000

Central Alberta Country Drive – Tourism Red Deer

A diverse group of rural tourism operators in and around Red Deer County’s work to develop a new website, social media profiles and a marketing strategy with a country drive theme resulted in a dramatic increase in website traffic and more visitors to area events and attraction.

Visitors were drawn to the Country Drive experience that brought together local artisans, specialty and antique shops, food and garden and nature and wildlife operators, accommodations, museums and meat and livestock producers. Partners include rural tourism operators from Red Deer, Lacombe and Mountain View Counties and the group also received marketing support from Travel Alberta.

In addition to the new website (, a Facebook page and Twitter profile was developed as well as a brochure. Radio spots were the primary offline promotional tools. Visitation to the Country Drive website rose dramatically and Edmonton and Calgary quickly jumped into the top three visitor locations.

Marketing Excellence Up To $10,000

2012 Scotties Tournament of the Hearts – Tourism Red Deer 

Tourism Red Deer was tasked with promoting local hotels, restaurants, attractions and events during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The event also gave Tourism Red Deer a prime opportunity to further market the city as a convention, meeting and sports hub.

“Instead of focusing on a traditional online marketing campaign based on advertising, content creation and press releases, our team set out to create a campaign focusing on mobile visitation, a quick and adaptive web presence and the sharing of user-generated content,” says Liz Taylor, Executive Director Tourism Red Deer. “The result was a successful, budget-friendly and most importantly user-friendly campaign.”

To assist in driving traffic to our mobile website, our team created information cards that were handed out at the arena during the curling, Taylor says. These cards featured a QR code that, when scanned by a mobile device, lead visitors to the mobile website. The site featured packages, information on events and content related to the curling tournament. Tourism Red Deer used real-time analytics to monitor the website and make changes on the fly, add fresh content to highly trafficked areas and identify and fill content holes.


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