Initiated in 2018, Fernie’s Tourism Master Plan will be officially launched in the new year and act as a guiding document and action plan to support the growth and sustainability of tourism. The development of the plan has been a collaborative effort led by Tourism Fernie that includes essential partners such as the City of Fernie, Fernie Chamber of Commerce, Fernie Alpine Resort, the Regional District of East Kootenay, Fernie Trails Alliance, Fernie Heritage Society, Wildsight, Island Lake Resort Group, local tourism operators and the Elk River Alliance.
Consultant Dan Wilson, from the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, and the local Tourism Master Plan Task Force worked diligently throughout 2019 to develop and refine a plan that was informed by the results of a comprehensive community consultation and engagement process conducted in late 2018.
The process included over 10 per cent of the local resident population and 20 per cent of local businesses participating in a detailed survey. Also, sector groups such as arts, environment and activity/recreation participated via focus group sessions and NGO surveys, one-on-one interviews with Ktunaxa, Teck, College of the Rockies and others. Along with integrating current local and industry data and trends, the plan includes a clear vision and mission, guiding principles and strategic directions for tourism over the next 10 years. More specifically the task force identified a variety of action items that would lead the community towards its new tourism vision.
“We are very pleased with the support and involvement of the community and stakeholders in developing this Tourism Master Plan for Fernie,” exclaimed Jikke Gyorki, Tourism Fernie’s executive officer. “This is the first time Fernie has undertaken this type of initiative. We envision this plan will be an evolving one as stakeholders continually tackle action items, update strategies and follow a clear path to ensure tourism in our community grows sustainably for the long-term.”