What tourism destinations exist in the Peace Region and how do we attract more tourists to the area? That’s what a consulting firm and the Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association will spend the next year figuring out.

NorthWest Consultants President Richard Warring says his team with work with communities to find out what scenery, hidden gems and special people, places like Grande Prairie have to offer.

“This is the first exercise of its kind in history. We are going to use this as an initiative to bring all the different players in the region altogether to work in promoting the region as a place to enjoy.”

The idea for the destination management plan has been in the works for about a year and is funded in part by the County of Grande Prairie and a provincial Community and Regional Economic Support grant.

The process will take place in steps starting with taking a look at what attractions the area already has. They will then be speaking to residents and people like hotel and restaurants owners to see where there may be room to add other attractions or festivals. Warring says they want to do this now because it’s not something that’s been looked at in the past.

“Tourism is a great economic driver that may be not quite as built out as it could be at this current stage. But after this, we will be setting the stage to do exactly that and make it more of an economic driver than it has been in the past… The big thing with tourism is that residents are happy and employers like the one that is building the methanol plant have a community that is strong and vibrant like Grande Prairie is and can be.”

The development of this plan is expected to take a year to complete.