The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass (The Pass) is a small mountain community of five towns in Southern Alberta with a rich history of coal mining, an incredible natural geography, and thriving local businesses. However, the municipality’s small-town aesthetic charm and friendly community were overshadowed by misconceptions about the area and its coal mining past.
The Pass worked with NATIONAL to introduce a new brand platform and a multi-year marketing strategy to increase tourism. With that in place, our next step was to conduct a digital audit of their existing website and provide new designs and content strategy to inform a rebuild of the site.
The Pass’s existing website hosted a significant amount of interesting information about the municipality’s history, and the many shops, restaurants and hotels that populate the area. However, as we learned from studying the site’s analytics and doing an audit of the site’s content, there was nothing on the site that advanced tourists beyond the “awareness” stage. Users could read about activities they might like to try, or hotels they might like to stay at, but with the inability to take additional steps to book their trips, many users simply left the site no further along than they’d been before.
In the site’s previous iteration, the history and stories associated with the Pass took centre stage. In our renewed content strategy, we flipped the content hierarchy by putting a renewed focus on three key areas for tourists: eat, stay, and play. In other words, the restaurants, hotels, and activities that drive tourists to the Pass. Each amenity listing is now accompanied by a strong call to action that invites users to take a deeper dive and start planning their trip.
Alongside a renewed content strategy, the site was redesigned with larger, more vibrant photos, and a cleaner, more intuitive user experience. The site now provides clear paths to the information that users want, and provides strong calls-to-action.
The result of the project is a website that reflects the community’s best characteristics, with a strong brand identity that will carry tourism initiatives into the future. The accompanying communications strategy helped launch the brand to all stakeholders across channels, and encouraged them to be strong, enthusiastic proponents of the Pass’s tourism efforts.