There is more to tourism than just accommodations, food and cultural activities.
That was a gist of a Tourism Yorkton bus tour of the city June 19 for employees of tourism-related local businesses.
“You learn very quickly when you’re in an information centre what visitors are looking for and they’re not always the obvious,” said Randy Goulden, executive director of Tourism Yorkton.
“Of course they’re looking for accommodation and food and beverage, but many times because we’re on the junction of some fairly busy highways, we get people coming in either in RVs or other vehicles who are looking for services around their vehicles. So, it might be a chip in their windshield or they need a tire repaired or something’s happened to one of their vehicles so that’s why here in Yorkton we can service just about any vehicle and we have great hospitality when people are waiting for that, they’re usually accommodated very quickly and get the services done.”
Goulden encouraged participants of the tour to think about what their own needs are when they are traveling, such as access to your financial institution. She pointed out Yorkton has all the major banks covered.
Of course, the tour featured all the major attractions of Yorkton, but it also touched on a couple of hidden gems that are probably not the first thing to pop to mind.
The bus stopped at Sonja Pawliw’s Healing & Meditation Garden. Pawliw’s entire yard is a
There is also a little-known walking trail behind the Ducks Unlimited property near the Western Development museum.
Ultimately, it’s all about making people feel welcome, Goulden said.
“Tourism is all about hospitality and we witness that all the time here in Yorkton,” she said. “Whether it’s a business giving really good service or it’s a resident or citizen helping out with directions. So, we encourage everyone to come out to the information centre, pick up the information to provide to visitors or family and friends that come in, because we would like people to stay in the Yorkton area rather than to go out and do their spending elsewhere.”
Coincidentally, but as if by design, just as the tour bus was leaving a German woman riding her bicycle across Canada rolled up, sopping wet, to the visitor centre. By the time the bus returned to the centre an hour later, two local residents had taken the woman in for a hot meal and a dry bed for the night.
“That’s typical of Yorkton hospitality,” Goulden said.