City of Fernie welcome sign. (File photo)

City of Fernie welcome sign. (File photo)

Tourism Master Plan: Snapshots and insights

The TMP helps guide ideas and directions for tourism in Fernie

Second homeowners

Within the Tourism Master Plan one of the focus areas is on the diversity of visitors, with a strategic direction as part of that being embracing second homeowners in order to create ambassadors for Fernie.

Gyorki explained that as second homeowners were a major part of Fernie, it was important to think about how they contributed to tourism, as many were introduced to Fernie as tourists in the first place.

“They’re here for a reason, just like we are. They bought a house here because they love being here,” she said. Knowing they were passionate about Fernie, and also lived full-time elsewhere meant that they were ideal ambassadors for Fernie in other communities, and in an ideal position to recommend the best times to visit Fernie and potentially help increase tourism in quieter times of year.

Embracing second homeowners could take the form of the development and distribution of a welcome package for new and existing second homeowners to help them feel like locals, and identify an incentive program so that second homeowners would be active advocates for the town.

Gyorki explained that second homeowners could help with sustainable tourism by spreading the good word on options available in Fernie in fall and spring, and by encouraging visitors to visit Fernie when it wasn’t peak season and businesses were already maxed out.


A tourism master plan isn’t a document that can solve housing issues, but Gyorki said it was important for the TMP to recognize the part tourism played in housing in Fernie.

“There’s multiple reasons why prices are high,” she said, highlighting how attractive Fernie was as a place to live, the many high-paying jobs as a result of the mining industry, and the fact that many residents came here as tourists with disposal income.

“Tourism recognizes its role in that piece and the need to work and support housing projects that will help address some of that concern.”

Gyorki said that while tourism as an industry was not able to fix housing or affordability, certain operators and other players in the valley could be part of further collaboration in addressing the issue.

Visitor experiences

Visitor experiences are a major focus of the TMP, with some stand-out strategic directions being a need to expand indoor activities, protect and enhance the historic downtown and to create focal visitor points for staging and gathering.

Gyorki said focal visitor points were places like the tourism information centre, popular parks and trail-heads.

The TMP recommends that in the short term, there was need to identify locations that needed more amenities and improvements to enhance visitor experiences. Additionally, collaboration was needed between recreational tourism groups to identify issues and solutions related to their focus areas.

On expanding indoor activities, the TMP primarily lays out the need for more research and strategies on ‘weatherizing’ Fernie’s tourism options so that visitors have more to do when it’s raining. A long-term goal was a feasibility study on a new Arts and Cultural Centre.


The sustainability of Fernie as an authentic destination and the environment around it is another major focus of the TMP, which Gyorki said was meant to help level out peaks in tourism that might put undue strain on the town, and mitigate negative effects of rampant tourism.

Inclusive in the sustainability portion, the TMP highlights a need for adequate and qualified staff in Fernie, a more resilient sector that can bounce back from disaster (like the pandemic), and manage tourism-related capacity issues.

On capacity, the TMP identified a need for more resources for improved trail maintenance, improved connectivity and signage for popular attractions and trails in order to ‘spread out’ users.

Community engagement was key in the sustainability sector, with the vast majority of locals indicating they supported and encouraged tourism with the proviso that it must be developed in a respectful way.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

The Site C Dam location is seen along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The cost of British Columbia’s Site C hydroelectric dam has grown to $16 billion and the completion has been moved up a year to 2025. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BC Liberal energy critic blasts ‘lack of transparency’ on Site C

MLA Tom Shypitka says Site C going ahead is a ‘good thing’, blames NDP for mismanagement

Volunteers from the Elk River Alliance cleared 14 car batteries from the Elk River near Elkford this week. (Photo contributed)
Elk River Alliance to move to more holistic environmental monitoring

The details of the ERA’s 2021 program will be discussed at the AGM next month

The Kitimat RCMP responded to false alarms, an apartment fire and more between Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Sparwood backs campaign to study Surrey RCMP impact

The City of Surrey is home to the largest RCMP detachment in the province

Brent Bidston is the president of Angel Flight East Kootenay. Black Press file photo.
RDEK ponders funding for Angel Flight East Kootenay

The district is considering funding for operations or to eventually help acquire a larger plane

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read