On June 26th, 2017, Big Lakes County Economic Development Authority (EDA) coordinated a Tourism Assets and Adventure Tour. The mobile workshop brought together a small group of County decision-makers with local tourism operators and Government of Alberta representatives who specialize in tourism. The tour started at the High Prairie Airport with a series of presentation about the Lesser Slave Lake Watershed, the airport, and provincial supports and resources for municipalities and companies involved in tourism. The group learned and shared at stops throughout the day including the Grourard Museum, Shaw’s Point, Spruce Point Park, and the Kinuso Museum. Guests enjoyed a boat ride on the lake to further understand tourism in the area.
The purpose of the full-day tour was to highlight the assets, and the opportunities and challenges in tourism in Big Lakes County. As a result, the EDA has immediate action items based on the conversations that took place throughout the day. The EDA is planning a fall follow-up session to bring together local tourism companies and government representatives to devise a plan of action for tourism in the area. All attendees said they feel better prepared to help make a realistic plan having experienced tourism in the county first-hand and hearing from the operators themselves. The tour is a part of the “Big Lakes Diversification and SME Support Initiative.” The EDA received $59,190 for this two-year project from the Alberta Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program in February 2017.