Touting tourism

People tout tourism as ‘the future’ of the Lesser Slave Lake area. These are generally folks who look at the horizon and see the oil and gas industry in continued decline and are worried about what happens then.

Tourism has been a nice little money-maker in the area for a long time, but relatively speaking has been small potatoes. The season is short, lake access is limited, we can’t compete with mountains, cities, dinosaurs, etc. etc.

Efforts at creating – or reviving – an active and vital tourism marketing organization for the region seem always to be just on the verge of getting off the ground or collapsing, depending on your point of view. What keeps them on life support is municipal involvement. I.e. the town and M.D. want tourism growth so they assign council members to work on the file.

However, there’s only so much municipal governments can do. They are on a short lease when it comes to available cash and it’s getting shorter as oil and gas revenue shrinks.

So what it comes down to is those involved in the industry need to get organized and put some money into promotion if they want it to happen.

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