Banff Receives 2014 Google eTown Award

September 08, 2014
by Google Canada

Google Canada announced that Banff, Alberta has received a Google eTown Award for 2014. The Google eTown Awards celebrate the towns and cities across Canada whose businesses are embracing the power of the web to grow and fuel their local economies. Residents of Banff were invited to a community celebration on Wednesday, September 3, featuring local small businesses and elected officials.
 
“The web helps people everywhere discover the best of what’s around the world or around the corner,” said Sam Sebastian, Managing Director of Google Canada. “As Canadians live more of their lives online, the small and medium businesses that boldly embrace digital are finding new customers, growing their businesses and succeeding in an increasingly connected world.”
 
Google worked with independent research firm IPSOS to analyze the online strength of local small businesses across Canada, and Banff is one of five cities being recognized with a 2014 Google eTown Award.
 
"I am proud to see Banff named as one of the leading digitally engaged towns in Canada. Banff's tourism and small business industry is booming, and I'm pleased our great community is receiving this award,” said Blake Richards, Member of Parliament for Wild Rose (Alberta).
 
“I applaud our Banff businesses who recognize the importance of superb online service in achieving our goal of sustainable economic prosperity and I thank Google Canada for recognizing and encouraging our efforts. To achieve eTown status from no less than the world’s foremost expert in Internet marketing and services is truly a thrill. It’s safe to say Google knows a thing or two about how to success online, so we are delighted with this award,” said Mayor Karen Sorensen.
 
Banff-based Discover Banff Tours is one business that is leveraging the web to grow their business. The tour company wanted to build awareness among visitors who were planning a visit to Banff and those who were already in town. Using online advertising, Discover Banff Tours targeted potential customers that were searching for Banff attractions. The company also found that they were missing an opportunity to connect with visitors who were searching on their mobile devices.  The company used a specific Google AdWords campaign for mobile users and streamlined its mobile website, which resulted in increased mobile and online website traffic.
 
“Online marketing and AdWords are giving us the opportunity to connect with potential customers at different times, in different locations and on different devices. It’s a reach we haven’t had before,,” says Melissa Callaghan, Marketing Manager for Discover Banff Tours. “We’ve seen a 260 percent increase in our mobile traffic. On top of that we’ve seen a 40 per cent increase in clicks so our online marketing has definitely made an impact.”
 
A study by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority shows that Canadian Internet users are among the most highly engaged in the world, with 87 of our households connected to the Internet. In contrast, only 41 per cent of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses have a website. Research also shows that small and medium-sized businesses that leverage online tools grow faster than those that do not.
 
Google Canada hopes that the 2014 eTown winners will inspire Canadian businesses of all sizes to explore the potential for economic growth that can be achieved through the web.
 
2014 Google eTown Award Winners
Whistler, British Columbia
Oakville, Ontario
Banff, Alberta
Rosemere, Quebec
Chester, Nova Scotia
 
To schedule an interview with Discover Banff Tours, Google Canada and for additional statistics, please contact:
Jennifer Kaiser / Erika Casupanan
kaiserj@google.com / erika.casupanan@mediaprofile.com
(647) 992-6914 / (416) 342-1824
 
To schedule an interview with Mr. Richards, Member of Parliament, Wild Rose, please contact:
Russ Lyster
blake.richards.a1@parl.gc.ca
(613) 513-4999

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