In an effort to show visitors – and even those already living in the Harrison area – that Harrison Hot Springs is more than just another sunny day destination, Tourism Harrison is launching a new marketing campaign called Harrison 3.0.
Tourism Harrison executive director Robert Reyerse said the town has undergone a lot of changes during the last few years and should be celebrated.
“There are tons of new things that have happened over the last five years and Harrison 3.0 is to say that Harrison isn’t what you remember,” Reyerse said. “It’s this new revitalized, reborn, refreshed place with lots going on.”
The village has seen a large amount of improvements, including a new pump station, renovations to Esplanade Avenue, a new washroom and recreation facility, and the upcoming opening of a regional park.
“One of the visitors mentioned that they couldn’t believe how much Harrison has changed over the last 5-10 years, so we thought probably a lot of people don’t know that,” Reyerse said.
While the new campaign will mainly be a social media marketing campaign, it will also include the grand opening of the new water pump and regional park on June 17, as well as a social media workshop for local business owners on June 2.
“We’re going to work with all the different businesses from the Harrison Resort with their 40,000 followers, to Muddy Waters with their 500,” Reyerse said. “What we want to do is on specific days at specific times, we’re all going to send out this picture [and] this message, and see if we can get some profile for the message we’re trying to get out.”
For Reyerse, social media was the best medium to share this message.
“You’re engaging the people that are already visiting and then all their friends, and then all their friends,” he explained. “You’re getting a much more targeted audience than you would otherwise, and that’s the power of social media.”
The campaign will be funded by the 2 per cent Additional Hotel Tax and the revenue Tourism Harrison receives as a non-profit society, which operates independently from the Village Office. The tax, which can only be spent on marketing and marketing-related products, is paid for by visitors to Harrison Hot Springs that stay at any fixed roof accommodations with four or more rooms, and is separate from the Resort Municipality Initiative that the Village receives.
While Harrison 3.0 is geared to anyone interested in visiting the Harrison area, Reyerse noted that the campaign has a specific target audience.
“Harrison has two kinds of visitors: we’ve got the day trippers and we’ve got the overnighters,” he said. “We really want to hit Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Hope – that’s really where our day trip market comes from.”
Harrison 3.0 will try to attract more “day trippers,” but Reyerse also noted that the ultimate goal for the campaign is to “see a renewed interest in Harrison as a destination.”
“Harrison has been doing really well over the last few years anyways, but you’ve got to keep moving that, reminding people that there’s a lot that’s happening here,” he said.