The local tourism industry underwent a radical shift last week as a number of local operators took part in Travel Alberta's SHIFT experiential travel training program.
"What it does is combine classroom training with experiences that we have in advance developed in the community that align with the training," explained Marty Eberth of Travel Alberta. "You learn about something and then you go out and actually do an experience so that you can see how the components come together."
The annual program has been featured in a number of tourist destinations and it was Drumheller's turn on March 6-9, 2017.
"(When) people left the program the words they were using were inspired, transformative, it's a game changer; the program and the experiences that they had while they were in and around the Drumheller area," noted Eberth.
The program was limited to 24 individuals who deal with tourists in their business. The $1,000 cost will be refunded by Travel Alberta if they launch a new or enhanced experiential tourism product within two years.
"We had a great group of experience providers and I just can't say enough about how they embraced the idea," beamed Eberth. "They responded to our coaching to help them craft an experience that really touched all of the senses that people bring as a traveller."
One of the travel experiences to come out of last week's progam was a collaboration between the Atlas Coal Mine and East Coulee School Museum. Called 'Mine and Dine,' it will allow visitors to the mine museum to grab lunch at the historic school.