For Immediate Release – June 20, 2016
Kicking off the summer in style, a cross-border tourism partnership has relaunched their website today, giving prospective travellers a new online resource for trip planning, information, and advice in an effort to promote travel to the Interior Cascades region — route97.net
Route 97 is the longest continuous north-south highway in North America, starting at the junction with Interstate 5 in Weed, California, stretching all the way up to Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and the North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD) have undertaken this joint venture in an endeavour to advance tourism in the Interior Cascades, a section of the highway extending from Wenatchee, WA to Cache Creek, BC.
The goal of the site is to provide visitors key information through an enhanced portal, and to create awareness of the touring route of the Interior Cascades section of Route 97. It will help travellers discover breathtaking destinations along the route, direct them to accessible resources, and promote travel on this paramount Canada-United States corridor.
The redevelopment of the website is just the beginning, and marks the launch of Phase 1 of the digital program. Over the coming weeks web expansion will continue to include a weekly blog featuring themed experiences, a robust social media presence, and a targeted Pay-Per-Click campaign intended to drive traffic to the site.
The website pivots around Road Trips that can be taken throughout the area, with suggested loops that provide visitors with recommendations and important information about the terrain, distance, and driving conditions. An interactive map, border information, and pages with focused content including Things to Do, Trip Planning, and Festivals & Events will allow consumers to find an array of valuable advice in one central hub and make the user-experience a friendly one.
TOTA President and CEO Glenn Mandziuk says an alliance between the two organizations strengthens the ability to promote tourism and extend visitor stays in the area.
“This is exactly the kind of initiative we envisioned in 2012 when TOTA and NCWEDD pledged to work together on ways to grow our tourism industries,” Mandziuk says. “By giving visitors to North Central Washington and the Thompson Okanagan a website full of information about the exciting destinations in both regions, we can help to draw visitors up and down Highway 97 for longer trips. This helps travellers and it helps our tourism industry stakeholders on both sides of the border.”
NCWEDD Chair Chris Branch agrees that a transborder coalition is an effective approach.
“By working together, we are providing travellers with collective information that will encourage extended stays and additional stops, and promote both regions as a travel destination.”
Supplementing the launch of the new website is the recent release of the Route 97 map guide which was distributed throughout the region in May. With the subsequent development of digital strategy, social media, blog and curated content, Route 97 looks to create a digital footprint and emerge as a recognizable brand and resource, highlighting the potential value and importance of regional touring in the area.