It has only been a little over a week since Cochrane Tourism (CTA) launched its campaign to find out what makes Cochrane a great place and already feedback is flowing back. 

CTA executive director Jo-Anne Oucharek says the online survey is getting great traction and in the first week over 100 people have responded.

Cochrane Tourism representatives were at last weekend's trade show promoting the online survey and to gain feedback on what people like about Cochrane as well as field any inquiries about the association.

Among the "likes" that came shining through was Cochrane's expansive trail system and our proximity to the Bow River.

"Cochrane has done a great job with its open spaces. We can walk along the Bow River here, you can bike along the Bow River. It's beautiful, and they really enjoy that."

They also appreciated the mountain views and that small-town feeling.

The survey continues until July 2 and CTA will also have booths at both the opening day of the Cochrane Farmers' Market, June 2, and Cochrane's Canada Day celebration.

This is just part of the rebranding of tourism underway in Cochrane since they launched their new five-year strategy earlier this year. The input received will be used is part of a collaborative approach to creating packages involving multiple partners and for marketing.

"Branding isn't a logo," points out Oucharek. "It's actually a narrative about what is here and what we want to showcase."

There are a series of three workshops offered through Travel Alberta on marketing, collaboration and marketing for visitors from abroad. The first workshop is on May 28 and is free to attend for any interested people.

A working group is being formed to follow through on the data collected from the online survey and the aim is to involve a cross-section of residents.

"We want to have a really good cross-demographic of different businesses, public-at-large, different event organizers, small and large, so we have a cross-section of ideas from Cochranites from which to gather feedback and develop collaborative marketing."

The feedback could also potentially lead to additional services of interest to Cochranites, she says.

"If Cochranites want it, then that means there's the potential for a market assessment for that business. So it could build on the business community as well." 

The Cochrane summer guide is now out and delivered to Cochrane households if you happen to receive the Cochrane Eagle.

For more information on Cochrane Tourism and the online survey, you can go here.

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