On Monday (April 15th) evening, a new website aimed at bringing more people to the beautiful Nicola Valley and Merritt officially launched. Experience Nicola Valley (https://experiencenicolavalley.com/) held its launch party at the Country Music Hall of Fame, their so called ‘mile zero’ but more on that later.
In a nutshell the site is a travel blog but, in reality it’s a partnership between local businesses, events, and organizations coming together to promote their own ventures and the Nicola Valley.
The site was spearheaded by Greg Girard, the co-founder of ehCanadaTravel.com. Greg himself holds the title of the being in the top 40 travel bloggers world wide and top ten here in Canada.
“Tourism Nicola Valley (TNV) is proud to be working with ehCanadaTravel in presenting this new and exciting venture for smaller communities. TNV is impressed with the quality and speed eh Canada implemented the program and with the support they have provided. The volunteer bloggers are a huge asset to the community and we look forward to seeing them flourish further under the guidance of ehCandaTravel,” said Anoop Sehon, President of Tourism Nicola Valley.
The program has gained major support from a trio of current Merritt City Councillors, Melvina White, Tony Luck and Travis Fehr. White is the sites country music blogger, while Fehr writes about biking.
“The blogging program hosted by “Tourism Nicola Valley” and led by the brother team of Greg and Colin Girard from “eh Canada Travel” is one of the most satisfying programs I have ever been involved with. The program commands your thoughts, inspires your hopes, as well as, creates faith in yourself and your abilities. The stories and experiences are positive, inspirational and motivating. Furthermore, the feeling of watching your blog position on the first page of searches is exhilarating. I would recommend everyone give this program a try and see for themselves,” said Councillor White.
“I am really excited about the future of tourism in the Merritt and the Nicola Valley area. A strong team of bloggers are writing almost daily about the many opportunities and adventures we have to offer in this area. In short, the opportunity to tell the world about our hidden gem by local residents is, to me, priceless,” said Councillor Luck.
The support for the new venture doesn’t start and end with council, with the Chamber of Commerce also squarely behind the project.
“We are very excited about this project and specifically how it showcases and supports local businesses here in Merritt. Tourism dollars are such a huge source of income for so many of Merritt’s business owners, but the work that Tourism Nicola Valley and Eh Canada Travel have done on building this “Experience Nicola Valley” brand is also keeping people here to shop local and renewing interest in exploring their own back yards, which is amazing,” stated Meagan Preston of the Merritt Chamber of Commerce.
Mile zero, a central hub, as Girard put it, “a big X on the ground”.
Announced during the website launch was a pair of new initiatives, focused around making the Hall of Fame ‘mile zero’. The idea is to create an interactive map of all the murals and hand prints around the city with the use of a digital map and QR codes.
“That QR code is going to pull up a whole documentary about that artist, it’s going to link to the artist, link to the website, it’s going to educate them,” said Girard. “Everything is linking to the Hall of Fame on this. We are trying to make a digital walking tour which will start here.”
“Basically, what we want to do is bring everyone down, mile zero, our signature attraction here in Merritt and from there they’ll be able to see all of Merritt,” concluded Girard.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt