Decidedly Old School: Collaborating on the "Local"

Leading hotels promote local experience

It’s true that technology is changing the way people find accommodations, but the latest trend in the hotel sector is decidedly old school. Leading hotels are finding new ways to help travelers – and locals alike – experience destinations like never before. They’re including “local experiences” as part of their room packages. So, if you’re in Dubai, that “local experience” might include a camel ride and dinner for two – in the desert, of course. In Victoria, it might be an open-sea excursion in search of Orca and other wildlife.

By helping to create great “local experiences” for guests, hotels are reclaiming their traditional role as the hub of any great city— providing the gateway for travelers to connect with locals, and finding ways to provide locals with great experiences within our hotel doors.

What could a unique “Calgary experience” look like? Traditionalists might see it as a trip to the Stampede grounds with a stop at Cowboys Casino. Others might organize a tour of Calgary’s astonishing 1000 km network of bicycle and walking trails. What about a partnership with some of Calgary’s best restaurants to provide a fun “progressive dinner” in your part of the city? And, of course, an untold number of local experiences could happen at any of our favourite attractions and tourism partners such as Winsport, Heritage Park, or the Calgary Zoo.

The key to success is collaboration. That’s why we’re on the lookout for ways to create new partnerships with our friends and neighbours outside of the hotel sector so that we can help Calgary become an even more competitive tourism destination. As both competitors and as neighbours, we believe we can find ways to grow together.   

Over the next year, our goal is to help Calgary Hotel Association members become more aware of – and connected to – some of the best services and experiences available in Calgary and region. In addition to well-known attractions we’d like to work with our members to spotlight lesser known opportunities that will help us help our guests connect with some of the great cultural, sport, shopping, dining, and learning opportunities that happen here all year round.

You can help us gather and share this information by letting us know what’s coming up in your part of Calgary – and where you see new opportunities for collaboration with others. Send your events and ideas to info@calgaryhotelassociation.ca. Together, we can help create remarkable “local experiences” that will make our guests say “yahoo!” all year long.