The word about Ponoka is spreading provincially and nationally thanks to a marketing partnership with many other communities in Alberta.
The Sweet 16 marketing partnership is a collaboration of many communities in Central Alberta who are working together to help improve tourism and attract visitors from other cities and towns.
Alberta Sweet 16 uses a professional website to help broadcast events, attractions and strong points in different communities.
The Town of Ponoka is a part of this regional tourism initiative and is doing its job to promote itself around Alberta and Canada.
The group was recognized with an award for developing an innovative and creative way to promote the Central Alberta region.
Carey Keleman, economic development officer for the Town of Ponoka accepted the 2008 Central Alberta Economic Partnership Annual Achievement award, representing the Town of Ponoka.
Keleman has been a part of this collaboration and has been working to help showcase the events and attractions Ponoka has to offer. With her involvement in this Keleman has realized the importance of Alberta Sweet 16 and says Ponoka has much to offer.
“It’s important that Ponoka is involved in this partnership initiative because like many other smaller communities, Ponoka only has a couple bigger scaled events that attract tourists and visitors,” said Keleman. “By approaching tourism as a region, all communities benefit. Tourists may go to two different events in a weekend in two different communities.”
The Ponoka Stampede, Ultimate Car Show, Vintage Motorcycle Rally, Downhill Soapbox Derby, County Fair and Bull-a-rama are the major events and attractions of Ponoka that are being advertised to other communities.
Keleman believes that the main advantage of being part of Alberta Sweet 16 is that it reaches many people without doing financial damage.
“The biggest benefit of being a part of this regional tourism initiative is being able to promote our events bigger scale with a fraction of the cost to do it solo,” she said.
Long term benefits could also result from promoting Ponoka in this way including financial and residential benefits.
“Tourism brings in new dollars to our community. Promoting these events promotes economic development,” said Keleman. “Also, if people visit our community they might realize that they’d like to live here.”
The Alberta Sweet 16 tourism initiative that highlights sixteen weekends of events, family activities, festivals, rodeos and more in the Central Alberta region.
Local events are posted on the website and the public can view them at www.centralalbertaevents.com.