Foothills is a densely experience-packed region with huge cultural heritage and teeming with vibrant arts, sustainable agriculture, distillers, brewers and wineries and magnificent natural scenery. Yet today, unknown to Canada and the world. The Foothills Tourism Association wants to leverage the amazing agricultural, historical and natural assets the Foothills region has to attract visitors and buyers regionally, nationally and globally to drive economic growth and job creation in the Foothills communities.
Research and literature has identified a category of tourism that is interested in culture, history, food, alcohol, agri-tourism and outdoor recreation. This tourist is most of the time more affluent than the general tourist, visits a region by car, and is interested in experience and educational activities as well as in food culture. This is the tourist we will focus on attracting to the region.
Economic development through tourism not only benefits tourism businesses, but the benefits ripple through to the entire economic and social fabric of the region. Towns like Canmore have demonstrated that communities with a healthy tourism industry also boast a large amount of trades people (since they are needed to maintain and develop those tourism facilities). And a study from Germany has established a link between unemployment and crime, especially in low density populations with a low history of crime.
Foothills is in a unique position to chart its own economic development future by focusing to attract the affluent and independent tourist with an interest in agri-tourism, culture, history and outdoor recreation.