Highway 3 from Hope to the Alberta border is soon to be known as the best-loved touring route in BC, thanks to a unique partnership to market the route to visitors. The Highway 3 Tourism Alliance—a collaboration led by three regions (Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, and Vancouver, Coast & Mountains)—has just launched Hwy3BC.ca. The website showcases communities in BC along Highway 3, shares recommended itineraries, and encourages travellers to slow down to enjoy a classic road trip. Digital ads will promote fall travel. The website features itineraries and stories from the road that have been themed to engage traveller passion for adventures, like Arts & Culture, Historic Highway 3, Food, Craft Beer & Wine, Lakes & Rivers, and Outdoor Adventure.
This collaborative regional initiative activates the vision of the Destination BC led Destination Development Strategy and action-planning for Highway 3, co-created with tourism partners from the entire length of the route. This 2016 strategy identified the opportunity to feature the many adventures along Highway 3 and encourage travellers to slow down and enjoy a classic road trip, touring from community to community at all times of year with the intention of driving visitation and spending in more places, across more seasons.
With support from both the Provincial Rural Dividend Fund and PacifiCan Tourism Relief Funding, the three regional destination management organizations (DMOs) together with community DMOs worked with Victoria-based creative agency, The Number, to create a new brand identity for Highway 3. The new brand features a bold, modern take on the crow, inspired by the history of the Crowsnest Highway. Market research informed the website design and a digital campaign subsequently launched on September 5th to encourage autumn travel.
A corridor-long Festivals and Events strategy is also underway and the group hopes to continue their work together to secure funding and implement branded signage and wayfinding at key gateways and stops of interest.
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