Rural Ramble online this season 0
OVTA communications co-ordinator Lauren McIllfaterick
The Rural Ramble is going online.
For the first time ever, Renfrew County’s traditional fall touring event has been transformed by the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association into an online one, accessible through a new website:
The idea, said Lauren McIllfaterick, the OVTA’s communications co-ordinator, is that between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 2012, people will be able to plan their own Rural Ramble adventures by visiting the site to see what is out there, then plan accordingly. A downloadable, printable guide will be available for those with computer access. Those who do not can visit the OVTA office and ask staff for help.
“This year, we have gone digital (while also trying to extend the fall touring season),” she said. “We’re encouraging people to visit our website, see which sites are there and set up their own tour.”
The change was done in order to bring Rural Ramble more in line with the OVTA strategy, which sees online expansion as the key to their promotions. With that in mind, they have done away with printing any sort of Rural Ramble guide, as was done in the past.
“Our marketing research shows more people are getting their information online now than any other way,” Ms. McIllfaterick said, noting the mandate of the OVTA is not to plan and create events, but to promote them.
The real winners of the new set up are OVTA members, who can participate in the online Rural Ramble free of charge. This includes an unlimited number of listings on the interactive Calendar of Events, which is a big part of the new website.
“This really encourages people to be creative in promoting themselves during this fall tour,” she said.
The OVTA is also encouraging non-members to add their listings to the Rural Ramble guide, but they will have to pay - $40 for the first listing, then $15 for every additional one.
Ms. McIllfaterick said the website is a work in progress, but is up and functioning now. She said over time it will be expanded as the OVTA continues to grow its online presence.
For further information, check out their websites at www.theruralramble.ca, www.ottawavalley.travel, or look them up on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook.
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist