The overall objective of this Tourism Strategy is to identify and prioritize initiatives for further developing the tourism sector of the OBAC region so as to enable the region to attract investment, enhance existing business opportunities, and position the tourism sector for growth. This strategy is one of ten sector strategies being prepared by OBAC in response to the impacts that the mountain pine beetle epidemic has had on the region’s economy.
This strategy is largely directed towards the federal and provincial governments. Additionally, local and regional governments will have an interest in the strategy as they are best positioned to advise and collaborate with senior governments regarding initiatives related to attracting investment, enhancing existing business opportunities, and positioning the region’s tourism sector for growth. This strategy is also relevant to the BC Council of Tourism Associations (COTA) and the Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA) because it identifies and prioritizes opportunities that can be further developed and promoted.
The recommendations and actions presented in this strategy arise from the input provided by a range of tourism and economic development specialists. They also reflect the extensive background information on current and historical regionally relevant tourism initiatives, plus tourism profile and trend statistics. This input and information was used to identify the key opportunities and challenges associated with increasing tourism activity in the region and achieving the tourism vision of OBAC communities.
The tourism vision for OBAC communities is of a future where a thriving tourism industry is recognized and valued as a key contributor to a diversified and resilient economy. A progressive and supportive business environment provides certainty for tourism operators and fosters tourism-related investment and entrepreneurism. Communities are pursuing and benefitting from a regionally integrated and collaborative approach to developing the region’s tourism sector. The region’s natural, cultural, and community assets support diverse and accessible tourism opportunities that are well-known and valued by residents and visitors. In support of this vision, the overall objectives of the strategy are to:
Establish a regionally collaborative approach to growing the tourism sector that is responsive to community interests and market opportunities and that will help the region to better position itself to attract visitors who come to BC as a result of the profile generated by the 2010 Olympic Games;
Make the best use of the region’s considerable assets to attract tourism and to grow and diversify the sector;
Increase government, investor, and resident recognition of and confidence in the economic potential of tourism in the region;
Provide greater certainty for operators across a range of tourism opportunities and encourage increased investment through the development of a positive business environment; and
Mitigate the impacts to tourism resulting from the mountain pine beetle infestation and its management.
The recommendations and actions identified to achieve the above objectives include:
Details are included in Section 6.