The Town of Hay River has launched a staycation initiative to encourage visits from people in other NWT communities.
The name of the promotion is Hay-Cation.
“I think we really liked it because it’s a play on staycation,” said Glenn Smith, assistant senior administrative officer with the town. “The staycation word is really getting out there throughout the country and territory.”
Smith said a few options were thrown around in creating a name.
“The Hay Riviera was one,” he said, referring to a nickname for the community.
The main goal of the promotion is to minimize the impact of lost tourist traffic because of restrictions at the Alberta/NWT border, and lessen the negative effects on the local economy, Smith said.
“As many places are doing, we looked at promoting staycation and promoting our assets and attractions so tourists within the Northwest Territories would come in,” he said. “So the hope is that they come to the community, they spend some money and they help the local economy, as it’s certainly being impacted by the Covid situation.”
Hay-Cation will be mainly targeted at rubber-tire traffic – potential visitors who can drive to Hay River.
“So obviously Yellowknife is a big market based on their size,” said Smith. “So we will be identifying them as our primary market, but we’re also considering Fort Smith, Fort Simpson and outlying communities. And throughout the Northwest Territories, our message will spread. But primarily our interest is, as the hub of the road system, to be able to attract those areas in.”
It is hoped that potential visitors will be attracted to the Hay River and area’s camping, golf course, beaches, waterfalls and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Plus, Hay River will be promoted as a base from where people can make day trips to Kakisa, Fort Smith, Enterprise, Fort Resolution and other surrounding locations.
The town worked with Outcrop Communications of Yellowknife in creating the marketing effort.
“It will run from essentially now into the end of August,” said Smith, noting the promotion will include digital, radio and print marketing.
It is expected that between $6,000-$7,000 will be spent on the campaign.