Meet Jill Morse: Hay River’s Community Tourism Coordinator

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Blog Entries

February 8, 2023

ITI’s Community Tourism Coordinator Program provides funding to local governments and organizations to help hire and maintain tourism coordinators in their communities.

People like Jill Morse who is already busy in the Hay River Visitor Information Centre preparing for the summer season. 

Community Tourism Coordinators (CTCs) like Jill work with local operators in their community to coordinate upcoming activities, promotional materials and take bookings from future visitors.

Applications close February 14th for the Community Tourism Coordinator Program!

While Jill may be new to her position, she’s not new to Hay River. “I first arrived in Hay River as a baby lying between my parents in the front seat of our cube van,” she laughs. “I spent my first night in Hay River at the Ptarmigan Inn.”

That was 1971. Jill fell in love with the community and has lived there ever since.

Jill says the best part about being a community tourism coordinator is the people she meets. During the summer months 500-600 tourists visited Hay River each month from all around the world. “Over 40 of them were from Germany. They were committed to traveling all around the world, even going all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk.”

Jill says she knows that last couple of years have been tough for NWT tourism operators.   

She’s hoping to help change that this year with a new Hay River Tourism web page and 2023 Hay River Visitor’s Guide launching this spring, along with updated activity pamphlets, and by coordinating and promoting activities like the South Slave Adventure Waterfall Tour and Aurora viewing opportunities.

She’s working with other regions to pursue joint tour opportunities and, as CTCs and tour operators collaborate on packages, hopes visitors will soon be able to book themed activities like waterfall tours in multiple communities across the North.

Development opportunities for new and long-time operators are also in the works. Jill is working with South Slave partners, preparing courses for guides interested in starting or growing their business in the South Slave region.

The Visitor Information Centre has also received a sprucing up and now features works from over 30 local artists, with the opportunity for visitors to find even more artists and galleries around town.

Check out what’s happening at the Hay River Visitor Information Centre

Jill is looking forward seeing what’s in store for Hay River tourism; and to attending conferences like the Calgary Outdoor Show for new ideas and opportunities to bring back north. “I’m excited to see Hay River get to the next level. This is just the tip of the iceberg for South Slave tourism.”