Calling All Tourism Entrepreneurs

Big Lakes County is partnering with Alberta Tourism Business Development to host a Tourism Entrepreneurship Start-up Seminar (TESS).  This one-day free seminar is taking place on February 12, 2018 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Provincial Building Board Room B 5226 53rd Ave High Prairie, AB.

TESS is designed to assist start-up tourism entrepreneurs and businesses (from concept to about two years in business) access information and resources to help increase the likelihood of a successful start-up tourism business. TESS teaches key industry concepts for new tourism companies and also includes a take-home workbook for self-work and an “expert café” of short meetings with tourism specialists in finance, marketing, and labour.

To register click here.


Upcoming seminar locations and dates include:

TESS Cold Lake, AB – February 7, 2018 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at Rural Alberta Business Centre 5412 55th St, Unit A (Next to Boom Radio) Cold Lake, AB

TESS High Prairie, AB – February 12, 2018 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Provincial Building Board Room B 5226 53rd Ave High Prairie, AB

TESS Drumheller, AB – March 19, 2018 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at Badlands Community Facility 80 Veterans Way Drumheller, AB

TESS Airdrie, AB – April 12, 2018 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at Hampton Inn & Suites 52 East Lake Ave NE, Airdrie, AB


Tourism Assets and Adventure Tour

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.