Is Swift Current taking full advantage of the tourist traffic flow?

Last year, the city informed the Chamber of Commerce that it was cutting its yearly funding of $25 thousand that went to facility and staff fees. Now Tourism Swift Current is preparing to install computer kiosks to be available next year.

Marianne Hawkins, Executive Director for the Swift Current Chamber of Commerce says in July they removed highway signs directing travellers to the chamber. She says her office will greet visitors if they come, but their focus is as an office for their membership.

Hawkins says without the signage, they've seen a downward trend in the number of visiting tourists to the center. Numbers now range around 25 tourists per day, when in the past peak times, they would see several hundred per day.

Tourism Swift Current's plan for electronic kiosks has been unpopular with several tourism members.

Esther Green operates Green Hectares, a local Bed and Breakfast and says a computer can't replace the effectiveness of speaking with a real person.

She says that the option of kiosks has been studied in the past by Sask Tourism and in different cities such as Moose Jaw, Regina, and Yorkton. The general consensus was that they are best served as an add on for tourism, but shouldn't replace that personal touch provided by talking with a person.

However, Swift Current Mall manager, Annie Narine is fond of the kiosk idea, and says that Swift Current Mall would look at purchasing such technology.

Narine feels that as we step into the future, today's savy tourist is looking more often at using the internet and computers than taking the time to stop in at a tourist center.