New tourism website for the Boundary region

By Contributor
June 4th, 2014

The Boundary area of southern B.C. has launched a redesigned tourism website that incorporates the latest leading-edge tourism marketing strategies and displays compelling new images and stories about the memorable experiences travellers can enjoy there.

The new ‘Boundary Country’ website – boundarybc.com – was launched May 15 as the result of a groundbreaking project in which the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) co-ordinated its team of top-notch resource people, led by Community Development Specialist Simone Carlysle-Smith, to redesign the site for Community Futures Boundary, which is contracted by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary to carry out tourism marketing services for the area.

With core funding from the Regional District and matching funds from the provincial government’s Community Tourism Opportunities program, the experienced TOTA team aligned Boundary’s website content with two new leading-edge tourism planning and marketing tools – the Thompson Okanagan 10-Year Regional Tourism Strategy (“Embracing Our Potential”) and the Canadian Tourism Commission’s research-based ‘Explorer Quotient’ (EQ) approach to tourism marketing.  EQ identifies nine types of travellers based on their values and travel preferences and then tailors experience-rich imagery and text to inspire those most likely to visit a certain area.

Boundary Country is a scenic area that runs adjacent to the U.S. border from the South Okanagan to the Kootenays.  It includes the communities of Bridesville, Rock Creek, Greenwood, Midway, Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Beaverdell and Westbridge.

The rejuvenated tourism website sparkles with lively photos, engaging text, lists of major attractions and activities, guides to the communities, informative notes about accommodations and restaurants, maps, and a service directory covering accommodations, restaurants, attractions, festivals and events, fruit stands, parks, recreational activities, and tours.

Some of the great experiences offered in Boundary Country include hiking historic trails, floating down the Kettle River, panning for gold, kayaking, cross-country skiing, watching top-notch international baseball tournaments, mountain biking, golfing, enjoying music and arts festivals, and digging for crystals at a mine.

Boundary Community Futures General Manager Wendy McCulloch says the new website gives a shot-in-the-arm to Boundary’s tourism marketing.

“It really showcases our local attractions, activities and businesses and links in our Visitor Centres,” McCulloch says.  “This website project is a real milestone.  It’s another tool we will use to draw more visitors to our area.”

Carlysle-Smith notes the project was carried out by an experienced ‘EQ’ team – writer Kim Cameron, photographer Darren Robinson, and website designer Roger Handling (Terra Firma Digital Arts).

Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director James Wilson says the new website displays beautifully not only on computers, but also on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.  It also allows for tracking of how many people view the website’s various elements.

“The site gives visitors an easier and quicker way to navigate to the information they want, such as places to eat,” Wilson says.  “And its ‘EQ’ content and storylines are a real strength.”  Wilson and staff at Community Futures Boundary will work with local businesses to keep fresh information on the website – including a regularly updated Events Calendar.

Carlysle-Smith says, “This is the first project in which we redeveloped an existing website to align it with the Regional Tourism Strategy and EQ.  It is an important pilot project that we can now apply to other areas in the Thompson Okanagan region.”

TOTA President & CEO Glenn Mandziuk notes, “The Boundary Country website is bursting with excellent information and images.  With its use of the latest techniques in tourism marketing and its alignment with our Regional Strategy, it gives Boundary a powerful new way to attract more visitors to this beautiful part of British Columbia.”  Mandziuk adds that partnerships between TOTA and area tourism organizations – demonstrated in this Boundary Country project – are key to ensuring that all parts of the Thompson Okanagan develop and market themselves as world-class visitor destinations.

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