The recently re-launched TravelAlberta.com has been redesigned to serve as a central point of reference so that a trip to any area in Alberta may be planned with ease from initial research to final bookings.
TravelAlberta.com recognizes that information may be overwhelming and, in response, has organized the site with three main areas: EXPLORE, EXPERIENCE, and PLAN. Between regional information and interactive planning tools, the new website allows visitors to create full and practical travel itineraries for Alberta vacations.
From the wilds of the Badlands to the peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
Adventure seekers are drawn to explore regions such as Alberta’s Badlands, famous for spectacular prehistoric attractions, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, unusual geography and fascinating geology. At the same time, the Badlands cover a vast area of the province—it can be challenging to determine what sites to see with limited time. www.TravelAlberta.com makes this and other top destinations more accessible by providing key regional information, helping travellers narrow their focus and finalize an itinerary.
Here’s how a visitor could plan four days in the Badlands:
EXPLORE the “Region” of Alberta South to find specific information about things to do in the area as well as links to resources such as the Canadian Badlands Tourism website. Browse through “Scenic Road Trips” to find a self-guided four to five day tour, with a suggested itinerary from Calgary and descriptions of attractions and events along the way.
From luxury hotels to country inns, the Alberta Accommodations section links to key resources where visitors can book accommodations along the route. For visitors who enjoy the great outdoors, the “Campgrounds” page provides links to comprehensive, accurate and up to date information on camping in the area and how to book sites.
What to EXPERIENCE? There are many ways to find out what to see and do along the way, over and above what is described in the Scenic Road Trip. Visitors can look at “Major Attractions” and see what’s happening in Alberta South. Discover the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site is so close to Drumheller, you can stop by for a visit after you’ve had a look around the Hoodoos and taken in the vistas at Horseshoe Canyon. Or go to “Culture and Heritage” to find where to experience the lives of the ancestors of First Nations peoples such as Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump or Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. Visit the “Museums & Historic Sites” page and look under Alberta South to discover that the Royal Tyrrell Museum is very near Drumheller—plan a trip back in time to the land of the dinosaur and visit the world famous exhibits. Check out “Provincial Parks” in the “Parks & Natural Wonders” section and figure out if you can work in a side trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Check out “Arts & Entertainment” to find local cultural activities and perhaps plan an overnight stop in the tiny town of Rosebud for a good meal and an excellent evening of theatre. Deciding what else to do on the vacation is as simple as perusing the rest of the EXPERIENCE section to find dining options, shopping, festivals, special events and outdoor activities.
The PLAN menu offers everything a visitor needs to finalize a trip. After users have booked their accommodations, they can use the Google interactive “Maps” to generate directions from one destination to the next. “Transportation” provides information on renting vehicles, rules of the road, air and train links, and a handy distance calculator to figure out how far it is from one stop on the route to the next. As a service to travellers, website visitors can download a free Alberta Vacation Guide or order one on line.
These steps can be applied to any type of vacation available in Alberta. Alberta’s Canadian Rockies are our number one vacation destination. On the new site it’s easy to find articles and trip planners for three of the top spots: Banff and Lake Louise in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park—which offer visitors spectacular scenery and adventurous vacations year round. Here are some more ways to trip plan:
Under the EXPLORE menu, “Cities and Towns” is a good starting point to find out more about the Banff and Lake Louise townsites. Other users may choose to start in the EXPERIENCE menu with” National Parks,” under “Parks and Natural Wonders” to get a good overview on both parks, with links to specific information.
While some adventurers prefer to plan step-by-step to their liking, other visitors may want someone else to do the planning and will find it practical to start in the PLAN menu with a visit to Alberta Packages which are broken out by category, region and season.
Deluxe hotels to charming bed and breakfasts are listed in “Accommodations”. On the “Campgrounds” page, find Parks Canada’s online campground reservation system to book a remote backcountry spot for a night or two under the stars.
For some, incorporating a different means of transportation becomes a primary part of a Canadian Rockies vacation—especially in the winter with Rocky Mountaineer train packages available from Banff to Jasper, as well as bus and car rental options. A visit to the PLAN menu not only helps in decision making but can also mean easy booking.
After you’ve got the basics covered, Alberta Holiday Ideas in the PLAN menu offers up an article on the National Parks with details about the best way to get the most out of vacation time—whether it’s hiking, canoeing, or golfing. Visitors are able to plan out their Canadian vacation based on what each park has to offer. Many links throughout the site offer the opportunity to book activities.
Last but not least, users can access a vast tourism information system using the advanced search feature to look for information, by key word or category, to find descriptions of Alberta’s tourism operators and links where they can book directly.
Utilizing the expertise of interactive marketing firm Critical Mass, TravelAlberta.com has evolved from a heavily information-based site into an organized and effective Alberta trip planning tool. Alberta travellers will find they have a multiplicity of options on how they approach planning on TravelAlberta.com, a usable site that provides easy access to Alberta’s diverse offerings.