Sylvan studies tourism

Tourism has a big impact on Sylvan Lake.

Tourism has a big impact on Sylvan Lake.

But just how big?

That’s what the town plans to find out.

Working in partnership with Alberta Tourism Parks and Recreation — which will split the $60,000 cost — a Tourism Economic Impact Assessment will be undertaken this summer.

Starting in June, visitors will be surveyed on their spending habits, where they plunked down their cash, and other useful information to create a picture of what the million or so visitors each year mean to the local economy.

Even the number of visitors the town receives is uncertain.

The latest figures were based on a 2006 estimate and much has happened since then in the lakeside community, not the least of which is a major upgrade of the lakeshore area.

“We’re really trying to figure out where we’re at now,” said Vicki Kurz, the town’s economic development officer.

Once the data has been collected, it will be run through an economic impact model used by the province to churn out solid numbers.

Sylvan Lake was chosen for provincial funding because it was identified by the province as one of the top four rural desired destinations outside the two major cities and mountain destinations Banff and Jasper.

The other three are Drumheller, Camrose and Canmore.

Results of Sylvan Lake’s assessment are expected to go to council in October.

The project follows another initiative that saw a five-minute video produced and posted on the town’s website about tourism impacts.

Various community and business members share their thoughts on what tourism means to the town.

Data gleaned from the assessment will be added to the video later in the year.

The video is not meant as a promotional advertisement for outsiders, said Kurz.

What is intended is to make local residents aware of the role of tourism in the community’s well-being.

If the town is to embark on the tourism strategy it adopted last year, there must be buy-in from residents, she said.

Among the tourism strategies goals:

l Create a dedicated tourism organization;

l Gear planning policies to fostering tourism development;

l Improve parking and boat access;

l Attract new niche businesses to downtown,

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Salt Lake City bids for 2nd Olympics in changed climate

SALT LAKE CITY — When Salt Lake City pursued the Winter Olympics… Continue reading

‘Here is my home:’ Refugee whose fingers froze off finds hope in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — Razak Iyal still wakes up in the middle of the… Continue reading

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says he’s confident he’ll win re-election next fall… Continue reading

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read