Situated in a national park, Banff and Lake Louise are surrounded by nature, in a protected place. The town of Banff and the village of Lake Louise thrive on tourism which benefits them in many ways. Environmental Social Governance has been talked about in the tourism industry for a while, and an optimistic outcome from the pandemic is that it has catalyzed the movement.
In the meetings industry, sustainability has become an important part of the RFP process when considering a destination. An increasing number of meeting planners are keen to establish their business’ social and environmental impact on a destination and corporations are setting measurable goals. There is demand from the meetings industry to make a positive impact on the destination where they convene.
These things set the wheels in motion for Kira Lu, Director, Business Events, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT), and inspired her to act.
A Partnership was Created
BLLT has had an incentive program in place for over six years to bridge the budget gap with a set of criteria. Financial incentives are common for DMOs and CVBs and are designed to appeal to meeting planners’ needs and inspire them to select our destination.
This is how the Community Impact Program transpired which is essentially a pre-loaded card that is co-invested by the meeting group and BLLT to be used in destination. A partnership with a payment solution agency, TruCash, was established to design, produce, and facilitate the transactions. The Banff and Canmore Community Foundation, a local non-profit that supports community programming and local charities was also brought onboard as they could provide the impact measures and reporting. All partners quickly identified the value this could bring to the community and deeply supported the initiative.
“It takes three to tango. With the two partnerships and Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, that’s how the Community Impact Program came to fruition,” said Kira Lu, Director, Business Events, BLLT.
How it works
The card encourages business events clients to choose Banff and Lake Louise for their meetings and events. It makes a positive impact on our community by generating contributions to local charitable organizations and encouraging local spending.
Business events clients and meeting planners can offer this pre-paid card to meeting attendees and their guests to purchase any goods and services in Banff hotels, restaurants, shops, as well as activities. BLLT will cover the cost of producing the cards and will invest a portion of the monetary amount that the planners want to invest to load onto the card. Three percent of each card will go directly to Banff Canmore Community Foundation for use by a local charity of the client’s choice. The incentive program will also help us understand the value the business event brought to our destination.
The first pilot group, a Canadian incentive, was welcomed in September 2022. The group had a positive experience in destination and were pleased with the report on how their incentive group benefited the community.
Contact Business Events team for more information on how you can incorporate this innovative program to your event and have an impactful event in the Canadian Rockies!