Sylvan Lake embarks on tourism strategy

The Town of Sylvan Lake plans to spend $60,000 developing a tourism strategy.

The Town of Sylvan Lake plans to spend $60,000 developing a tourism strategy.

Originally, $20,000 was put aside in this year’s budget, but a request for proposals showed it would cost more for a comprehensive strategy.

A selection committee comprised of town staff considered retendering the project with a narrower scope, but opted to recommend council put in some extra cash for the more detailed tourism strategy.

Council approved spending an additional $40,000 at Monday’s meeting.

Joanne Gaudet, the town’s communications co-ordinator, said the town is looking for direction on what it can do to attract tourism while working with the community.

A visitor booth is opened each summer, where staff provide information to tourists.

“But there’s no real structure or guidance or any sort of action plan or any sort of strategy that will drive tourism in the community,” she said.

The town, local residents and businesses will all be consulted in developing the best approach to attract tourists.

Consultants will also assess what has been done before.

Once complete, the strategy will provide a multi-year plan with specific action steps to be taken.

Consultants plan to undertake research, interview stakeholders and hold meetings with focus groups before the summer.

A draft strategy is expected to go to council in July for review.

A final presentation would take place in September.