Growing our destination is all about working together to craft outstanding experiences that connect with our visitors and to share our passion for the region.
Ice bubbles on Abraham Lake
Central Alberta is a place of amazing contrasts, from the majestic rockies to the badlands and the parkland, from rural to urban, all within a short scenic drive.
We believe that Central Alberta is a truly amazing place, with outstanding experiences to be shared with our guests. It’s still a little rough along the edges, making it hard sometimes for our visitors to see what we see.
That’s why we choose to work together to inspire people to visit the region and to help them plan their adventure so that they can discover the food, people and natural beauty of Central Alberta. Along the way we help each other so that our experiences continue to exceed our visitors’ expectations.
Ice bubble sunset on Abraham Lake
Nature playground at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre
We do this collaborating with like minded partners who believe in building experience with purpose. We all the know the benefits of partnerships but we also know that they’re hard work. This is about making it easier to work together as a region.
This is not a directory of all there is to do in Central Alberta, rather it’s a carefully curated collection of outstanding adventures built around our ideal guest, the cultural explorers who love the outdoors. It includes all kind of adventures, from discovering local food on farm or spending an afternoon with a craft brewery to whitewater rafting and everything in between. As far as we’re concerned, adventure is about doing things that are new and different for each of us, doing things that can be a little scary but that also make us curious to explore further.
Do you work directly with visitors to the region? Whether you’re a hotel, a retail store, an event planner or a business looking to share some of the amazing local experiences with your customers, Explore Central Alberta makes it easy for you to find the right adventure for your guests.
Some of the benefits of working together:
- Central Bookings: Find and book the right Central Alberta experiences for your guests in one place.
- Simplified Administration: We take care of all the details, including tracking and paying commissions.
- Earn Commission: You get up to 15% on all bookings you generate.
- Product Knowledge Training: Free sessions to help your staff find the right experience for your guest.
- Industry Discounts: Let your staff gain first hand experience of our adventures with savings, free admissions and industry tours.
It’s easy to get started. Check out the program details and let us know a little about who you are.
Are you passionate about creating outstanding Central Alberta experiences? Let’s work together to share what makes our region so amazing. We’re looking for others who believe in collaboration and who share our passion for crafting adventures for cultural explorers who love the outdoors.
About This Project
How It Started
The Explore Central Alberta site started back in 2012 as a blog on pursuitadventures.ca. We found it hard it hard to find experiences that would appeal to our guests and most of what we could find was the usual listing of everything that exists in the area. We wanted something that went beyond the “there’s something for everybody” approach and started to build guides for activities that would appeal to our guests.
It started as a side project but as time went on it became clear that our guests were looking for this type of information. In the fall of 2018 we relaunched the site as a standalone website at explorecentralalberta.ca. We’re still working on updating some of the guides to the new format but the change is allowing to expand the content and simplify the experience booking process for visitors.
We’ve worked with some amazing partners throughout the region over the past 9+ years. One of the reason for the changes to the website is to make it easier for all of us to work together to promote the region and to offer a central booking platform for experiences, focused on our ideal guests.
Experience Experts and Showcase Red Deer Tours
After attending Tourism Red Deer’s product knowledge session in 2013 we pitched the idea of offering a series of familizarization tours for industry staff so that they could get first hand experience at the local attractions. From 2014 to 2018 we worked with Tourism Red Deer and the Central Alberta Tourism Alliance to offer a series of tours, first as Experience Experts and then Showcase Red Deer tours that highlighted some of the best things to do in the region.
Funding for these tours was through a grant that has expired. We plan on bringing these back as part of this project.
Moving forward, this project will be done through Outdoor Initiatives, a nonprofit corporation we’re in the process of setting up. Outdoor Initiatives shares a common purpose with Pursuit Adventures: to inspire you to play outside and help you experience your adventure so that you can discover the food, people and natural beauty of the region.
While we share a purpose, how we do it is the difference. Outdoor Initiatives focuses its efforts on:
- providing opportunities and removing barriers for people to play outdoors;
- experience management and development services to showcase Central Alberta as a destination.
Working as a nonprofit allows us to more easily re-invest revenues generated through partnerships like this and to access new sources of funding.
We expect the transition of this project from Pursuit Adventures to Outdoor Initiatives to be completed this summer.
Explore Central Alberta
We’re focused on continuing to build on the partnerships we’ve built and on expanding our guides and itineraries for our guests. Everything we’re building is focused on our ideal guests: cultural explorers interested in the outdoors.
Our goals are to:
- Inspire visitors to explore the region through great content.
- Make planning visits easier through guides, recommendations and itineraries.
- Simplify the booking process through central booking for experiences and packages.
We haven’t found quite the right label for what we do (making it easier to see why our region is amazing) but what we do is definitely similar to what you would expect from a destination management company or a receptive tour operator, just more focused on experiences with a much more collaborative approach…
We’re working on:
- building a platform to improve collaboration amongst regional partners;
- growing the number of experiences available through Explore Central Alberta;
- increasing our presence, as a region, through the travel trades, travel media and influencers and directly through engaging content;
- increasing the presence of Explore Central Alberta as a brand separate from Pursuit Adventures.
As the other projects get underway, we’ll be re-investing revenues to offer grants to increase access to adventures and for projects that help maintain our trails and river access.