The city is looking at developing a strategy for tourism that would be separate from the work that is already done by the Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association. Last summer members of council and administration ranked culture, family, and sports as their top priorities for tourism opportunities. Mayor Bill Given says these priorities make sense based on supports the city already has in place.
“Sports was one of those the city already has a tourism strategy for so it’s not a surprise that that would be one of our priorities, and leveraging the city’s cultural, arts and entertainment facilities and opportunities is something that’s obviously very important to council anyhow, so I don’t think there’s any particular surprises there.”
Administration has been directed to create a tourism strategy that will also complement the already existing long term economic development plan.
“The idea is that tourism and economic development go hand in hand and that it’s worthy of being in a bigger picture long term strategy. The use of those funds that are in the 2015-2016 budget will be directed as council sees fit according to the priorities that were expressed.”
During budget deliberations, the city allotted $25,000 into the 2015-2016 budget to help leverage some of tourism events coming up in Grande Prairie.