With the City of Wetaskiwin’s Visitor Information Centre not being handled by a Chamber of Commerce entity, VIC staff are once again seeking accreditation from the Alberta Culture and Tourism Visitor Information Centre Accreditation Program.
According to the Government of Alberta’s program requirements and application document, said program was designed to create a network of provincial visitor information centres recognizable for their high standard of visitor servicing.
Jennifer Fossen, manager of community development with the City of Wetaskiwin, says the Visitor Information Centre had also received accreditation for 2016 after the chamber’s contract to operate the facility wasn’t renewed.
“A not-for-profit has to run the visitor information centre to receive accreditation,” said Fossen.
Visitor information centres applying for accreditation must do so annually.
“There’s quite a checklist for accreditation,” said Fossen.
In order to acquire accreditation the primary purpose of the visitor information centre must be to provide tourism and travel counseling in a visible, consistent and high-quality manner.
Other standards a visitor information centre must meet include but are not limited to: the visitor information centre being endorsed by the municipality as an official community visitor information centre, agreeing to collect visitor statistics and providing the total number of walk-in visitors for July and August to Alberta Culture and Tourism by Dec. 1 of each year, all staff and volunteer staff completing annual training, the centre participating in Alberta Culture and Tourism site inspections to ensure compliance with noted criteria, and operating organizations understanding a consultant may undertake an evaluation of operations through exit surveys of visitors and/or mystery-shopper style evaluations.