- Voice in the Wind Magazine Inc.
This is an idea I had in response to an article in the Rocky Mountain Outlook, which stated that the Town of Banff was looking at a tourism fee to cover the costs of services. One service that was floated was free transit for locals. The thought process was that it would help reduce carbon emissions because locals would have an option other than their car. It occurred to me that any money raised through this fee would be allocated to services by the town council, through the budget. This means services could be adjusted or cut altogether at any time. This got me thinking that we should consider rejigging the all inclusive packages we offer to tourists.
I propose gift cards as part of the solution. I’ll talk about the other part in my next article “The Automated Gift Card Machine”, which will address a possible issue that would arise from this solution. For now, let’s talk about gift cards. The gist of the idea is this: if the customers were receiving a $50 gift for transit fare, there is a high likelihood that the customer would choose not to use them. This means that there will be a number of them leftover after the tourists leave. They could be passed on by the customer as tips to the front line staff. The staff could pool them, too and help the back of house employees. The idea hinges on the fact that the customers are not likely going to use these cards – or use the full amount of the card either (which I’ll talk about in the next article too). This means we choose services that the customers are less likely to use but are essential to the locals: like transit. Below is a short list of services that may be suitable for gift cards.
- Roam Buses (our local transit)
- Rocky Mountain Outlook/Crag and Canyon (other free press/newspapers)
- The Banff Centre (our local theatre and art centre)
- Grocery Stores (although there is a fairly high likelihood that the locals will tend to stockpile these ones)
- Local Wi-fi Access (basically treats the town Wi-fi like an internet cafe)
- Bike Stalls (free for locals, of course)
- Electric Charging Stations (free for locals, as always)
Using gift cards instead of a flat rate would provide the townspeople the opportunity to try different services and see how they work. It’s like trial and error. Hopefully there will be enough services the locals like and use to make the program worthwhile. Thanks for reading. Please like, share, subscribe and follow me on twitter! Link is on my homepage.
Phone: 403-497-WIND (9463)