The Left Coast Insights team had the opportunity to collaborate with Stantec, the Tartan Group, and Twenty31 in the development of this destination management plan for the City of Lethbridge.
By Sam Borsato – @BorsatoSam on Twitter
September 18, 2016
LETHBRIDGE – City Council learned about a document that could guide and develop tourism in Lethbridge for the next ten years. The Tourism Strategy Committee and Stantec Consulting presented the final Destination Management Plan at the September 12 Community Issues Committee meeting.
It came together after a 13-month long planning process, and takes a comprehensive look at the city’s target markets, competitive advantages, key tourism experiences and how it will compel target markets to visit. The plan lists strategies in its “The Way Forward” section on how to reach better outcomes in the future.
It was stated that the vision for Lethbridge in ten years time is to be a “premier destination for sport tourism and business event hosting”, with a unified brand consistently being marketed and supported by residents and stakeholders that “recognize the positive economic, social and environmental benefits”.
Councillor Bridget Mearns, who chairs the Tourism Strategy Committee, explained that several stakeholders, including Lethbridge Sport Council, Economic Development Lethbridge, Chinook Country Tourist Association and Lethbridge Lodging Association, also spurred on a movement to manage tourism as a single organization with one mandate.
“The clear message was that we need a single entity supporting and developing tourism in Lethbridge… With a single brand, as well. Having said that, there is great collaboration already between the organizations that were on the committee. It’s that group that came forward to say, ‘Help us develop into a single entity’.”
Mearns added that there are two options for management that council will decided on later. One is to create a stand alone organization within the next three years or sooner, or integrate all stakeholders under the existing Economic Development Lethbridge. While she couldn’t offer a timeline, Mearns says it will be on a Council agenda in the near future.