Art in Nature Trail
July 1 - September 5, 2022
We acknowledge that Banff National Park is within the present-day territories of Treaties 6, 7 and 8, as well as the Métis Homeland. The lands and waters of Banff National Park have been used for millennia by Indigenous Peoples for sustenance, ceremony, trade and travel. We thank them for their continuous stewardship and for sharing the land with us.
Together, we did it. We had a plan, we stuck to it, and we accomplished amazing things.
When we reflect on 2022, we recognize the strides we made as an organization and as a community. And despite uncertainties such as the Omicron variant, border challenges, and the consequent cancellation of several events, by readjusting and testing our plans and processes, we exceeded expectations and ended the year with optimism.
Rebuilding demand was key to our success. By encouraging people to stay longer and experience more, we exceeded average occupancy rates. The overwhelming success of the Labour Attraction Campaign helped members access the staff they needed to offer world class products and services. While the work’s not done, our momentum is strong.
Launched in November, our new, best-in-class website encourages visitors to get excited, plan their trips, and communicate directly with our team — making sure they get the information they need quickly, and whenever they need it.
Our digital transformation allows us to market directly to the guests we want to attract: those that stay longer, spend more, and share their experiences with the world. New analytics allow us to make smart, data-driven decisions on how, where, and who we should be targeting. Along with being an invaluable tool to help rebuild demand for the destination, visitors love it.
Last year with our members, partners, and hundreds of community members, we laid the groundwork for the 10-Year Vision for Tourism in Banff and Lake Louise, the largest engagement exercise ever conducted in Banff National Park. This unprecedented project will help guide the future of tourism in the destination — one based on sustainability, economic stability, and the well-being of the community.
As you review these pages, we are confident you will see we are already realizing the ambitions of the 10-Year Vision and remain, like our members and our communities, committed to ensuring these places remain as special for future generations as they are for us.
Finally, we want to specially thank the team at BLLT
- for their commitment, dedication, and for exceeding our expectations. The last few years have proven we are stronger together and we cannot imagine working with a more engaged and inspiring group of people.
Jonathan Welsh, Board Chair
Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
Leslie Bruce, President & CEO
Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
Letter from the Board Chair and President & CEO
Best Community Builder from Rocky Mountain Outlook Readers' Choice: Best of Banff
Bronze Winner: International Destination Marketing Organization from Northstar's Stella Awards
ICE Award for Destination Excellence from the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence
from grants and other sources of revenue
Winter in the Rockies is breathtaking. Targeting the domestic and American audiences, our Winter marketing campaign positioned Banff and Lake Louise as a top winter destination. The concept invited everyone - regardless of experience or familiarity with snow - by sharing iconic, world renowned experiences that showcase the season in a playful, exhilarating, and inspirational way.
Our social content resonated with guests, and our team told engaging and inspirational stories that visitors wanted to hear. In 2022, our social media community grew significantly, up 6.2 per cent from 586,770 to 623,261 followers across all platforms. We’re talking thousands of likes and reposts from locals, guests, and influencers. These major gains are attributed to our increased use of short-form videos and reels that bring the destination to life, highlight its beauty, and inspire people to visit.
Social engagement rate is calculated by dividing the number of post engagements (likes, shares, link clicks, saves, etc.) by the number of unique views.
Whether we produce them or promote them, events play a key role in driving demand and increasing overnight visitation. In 2022, they brought the destination to life and created enticing reasons to visit Banff and Lake Louise during shoulder and winter seasons.
At the beginning of the year, we were still managing the challenges created by the pandemic. Nevertheless, 2022 was a comeback year for events:
During SnowDays, the newly revamped PlayZone drew attendance of 6,481, receiving extremely positive feedback. The snow sculpture program continues to be a significant attraction.
In Search of Christmas Spirit provided festive magic for guests and locals alike, drawing nearly 11,000 people. Of these, 72% were visitors and 28% were residents.
Our award-winning Visitor Services team continued to shine in 2022, exceeding annual engagement targets by 20 per cent with almost 94,000 in total.
Adding SMS support for in-destination visitors proved valuable - especially at intercept parking locations - and the team achieved a 97 per cent satisfaction rate through LiveChat, exceeding the 90 per cent target.
While regional audience accounted for the majority of their work, key markets supported by the Visitor Services team included Ontario, the US, Australia and the UK.
Our earned media efforts yielded good results for the destination throughout the year, helping to raise awareness of the destination. A highlight was this action-packed episode of Adventure Cities, watched and shared widely across social platforms and broadcast to more than 130 million households. Travel writer Jonathan Thompson explored many of the winter adventures, food experiences, and retail offerings Banff and Lake Louise have to offer.
In December 2022, we launched a new, engaging website designed to improve our ability to target, personalize and market to guests. Offering a truly interactive experience, Live Chat and SMS features allowed us to engage directly with visitors, meaning they immediately got information they needed virtually. Visitors love it, and it allows us to offer the advice and guidance visitors are looking for, whether they’re in destination or planning their trip.
This was a big lift and we worked closely with members on wants and needs, looked at best-in-class examples and trends, analyzed our existing site and how it was used. All this and more informed how it works, how it looks—and now it’s live.
"I got so many amazing recommendations, and all of my questions were answered, so much more excited to visit Banff"
“Tourism is our core industry, and this shared vision will guide our collective and individual efforts in building long-term resilience and a sustainable future with, for and by tourism.”
Leslie Bruce, President and CEO, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
“With deep gratitude to the community and our partners for their insights, we can now use this document to guide us toward an even more amazing Banff for everyone who lives, works, or visits this special place.”
Corrie DiManno, Mayor, Town of Banff
“The Vision is a shared commitment to the long-term sustainability of Banff National Park for residents, visitors, as well as Indigenous communities.”
Salman Rasheed, Superintendent, Banff National Park, Parks Canada
Community well-being, economic health and environmental sustainability are critical to the future of tourism in Banff and Lake Louise. In 2022, we developed Lead Tourism for Good - 10-Year Vision for Tourism in Banff and Lake Louise. Developed with the Town of Banff and Parks Canada, it is a first for our destination. To inform the Vision, we undertook an unprecedented engagement exercise:
The resulting document sets out Guiding Principles to inform our approach as a destination, and five Trails to Tomorrow, areas for action: Visitor Experience, Nature Positive and Climate Action, Community Wellbeing, Indigenous Connections, and Smart Tourism.
Published in early 2023, The Vision has been adopted by the Town of Banff, supported by Parks Canada, and endorsed by Improvement District 9. Read it here.
Developed during 2022, the Community Impact Program (CIP) gives Business Events clients yet another reason to choose Banff and Lake Louise for their meetings and events. It gives guests the freedom to experience the destination, while generating contributions to local charitable organizations and encouraging local spending.
Meeting planners and their clients can offer attendees a pre-paid CIP Visa card to spend in the destination as they wish. The card gives users the freedom to purchase any goods and services in the incredible range of hotels, restaurants, and shops, and experience the exciting activities that Banff and Lake Louise have to offer. In collaboration with the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, a portion of funds from each card will also go directly to the client's choice of local charity in Banff National Park.
The cards are coinvested by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism and our Business Events clients. The CIP Visa cards are provided and administered by TruCash. After the event concludes, a report will show each client the value they brought to the community, including support provided to charitable organizations.
Locals and visitors are embracing the shift to sustainable travel options with record numbers of visitors using mass transit to move in and around Banff National Park. Through the Transportation Shift campaign, our partnership with the Town of Banff and Parks Canada, we encouraged visitors to reduce their environmental impact by taking transit. It worked. Both Roam Transit and On-It Regional Transit exceeded 2019 ridership by nearly 20 per cent.
"We believe this is just the beginning of an exciting shift in transportation in Banff. With visitation to the park exceeding four million people using finite roads and parking, transit is the way of the future to get to Banff and to visit all the destinations in the park.”
Corrie DiManno, Mayor, Town of Banff
We collaborated with the Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association to help address the labour challenges faced by our members, launching a Destination Labour Attraction campaign to attract, recruit, and retain workers. It was an overwhelming success. Wrapping at the end of May, the campaign achieved high impression rates across regional and domestic markets. Well exceeding industry standards, the campaign generated over 4.4 million impressions, with over 32,000 clicks; that’s a conversion rate of more than seven per cent.
Banff & Lake Louise Tourism is committed to walking a journey of truth and reconciliation. We are determined to be a part of this journey towards a more just future alongside Indigenous Peoples.
Today, we continue to foster meaningful and respectful partnerships while operating on the traditional territories of the Nations of Treaties 6, 7, 8, and in Métis homelands. We are headquartered in Banff, the ancestral territories of the Îyârhe Nakoda bands of Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Goodstoney, the Niitsitapi of the Blackfoot Confederacy consisting of the bands Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, the Dené of Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Peoples of Region 3.
We strive to actively involve and collaborate with our partners to ensure that we are working together to protect and promote the cultures and natural heritage of these lands. With that, we also acknowledge and honor the Ktunaxa and Secwépemc First Nations, the Peoples and Nations of Treaty 6, 7, and 8, and all Indigenous Peoples now living here in relationship with this sacred land. We humbly thank them for their work and their roles in their communities and families.
In partnership with Tatâga Inc., an Indigenous consulting firm, we delivered learning opportunities designed to help people working in the industry to broaden their understanding of Indigenous peoples, cultures, perspectives, as well as the Indigenous tourism sector. We are committed to supporting indigenous learning opportunities for the community, our members, and industry partners.
The 10-Year Vision for Tourism was informed by an Indigenous Working Group. We are grateful for the members' insights, which insights helped to shape the Indigenous Connections strategies articulated in the Vision.
These are some of the starting steps on a journey of several lifetimes. We ask for patience and guidance as we learn and grow together, while not letting this delay meaningful change.
The numbers don’t lie, visitors loved the Bike Valet program again in 2022. With our partners, the Town of Banff and Parks Canada, the program saw a massive increase in visitor engagements in 2022.
The program consistently received glowing feedback from visitors, noting that they loved that it was a free service and that, without it, they would not have taken the time to explore the townsite.
At the beginning of the year, the implementation of quarantine restrictions threatened the recovery of international travel. We were proactive, working with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada to explain the adverse impacts and propose practical solutions.
In February, arrival testing quarantine requirements were removed. In March, Federal Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault visited Banff and announced that fully vaccinated travellers would no longer need a pre-entry COVID test result to enter Canada.
Visitor surveys from 2021 showed overwhelming support for the Banff Avenue Pedestrian Zone.
To support member businesses and underscore the value of community engagement, we advocated to Town Council to make sure the initiative continued through 2023.
With more than two hours of written and verbal presentations from residents and businesses, Council voted unanimously to continue the Banff Avenue and Caribou Street summer Pedestrian Zone in 2023.
Throughout 2022, we continued to work with local, provincial and national partners to advocate in the interests of our visitors, members, community and industry.
Leads to Members: We aimed high for this core metric. While we delivered 1.6 million leads to members, similar to 2021, we were 27 per cent off of where we wanted to be. Again, it was an ambitious target.
The shortfall was a result of changing website traffic patterns, changes our blog strategy that impacted our website's search engine optimization, data issues with from BookDirect, and the activation of new leads tracking software for the new website . All of these challenges have been addressed for 2023.
Note: This statement is abbreviated. For the complete audited statement please contact our Manager, Governance and Corporate Operations, Althea Smith-Hay, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accountability: We are committed to transparency. Disclosing how funds collected from our members are spent instills confidence that we have the best practices in place. To ensure accountability, an Audit and Finance Committee, consisting of three Board members reviews and approves financial reporting and retains an external auditor. Our financial statements are audited annually.
Working with an engaged membership is key to our success. 2022 marked a year of unprecedented engagement and overwhelming support as, together, we worked hard, rebuilt, and developed the 10-Year Vision for Tourism to help define a future based on sustainability, economic prosperity, and the wellbeing of our communities.