Fernie, BC Launches Their Official Tourism Master Plan

Tourism in Fernie will now be guided by a plan developed through a massive collaborative process that took place starting in 2018. The 58-page document details the stakeholders and process that worked together to create a new vision and path for a key sector of Fernie’s economy and future where visitor spending totalled $130 million in 2019. The plan was launched online on September 30th and is now available at www.TourismPlanFernie.com.

“This plan could not have happened without the dedication and commitment of the stakeholders on the Task Force,” said Jikke Gyorki, Executive Officer at Tourism Fernie. “Tourism is a community-driven economy where a diversity of local small businesses and non-profit organizations work hand-in-hand with the municipality and various levels of government and community members to invest in and deliver exceptional visitor experiences while enhancing local amenities, infrastructure, festivals and attractions. To be effective in tourism requires teamwork, partnerships and a plan.”

Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, Tourism Fernie, City of Fernie, Fernie Chamber of Commerce and the Regional District of East Kootenay, this Tourism Master Plan focuses on the next 10+ years and details areas of focus with further strategic directions and specific action items to work on over the next 3-5 years. Developed to evolve as market dynamics and local needs change, the plan, which was originally to be launched in spring, was amended by the Task Force to take into account the impacts of COVID-19 and the community’s recovery.

“Fernie is very fortunate to have a hard-working tourism community. Working together to grow tourism has been an ongoing process. The Tourism Master Plan is a great opportunity to really move our community further forward. By working together and presenting a united, thought out plan, there is no doubt Fernie will continue to develop as one of Canada's outstanding destinations,” exclaimed Andy Cohen, General Manager at Fernie Alpine Resort.

The gathering and incorporation of input from the tourism sector and community was critical for the development of an informed plan. During the community engagement process over 580 residents and 110 businesses participated in a detailed survey, while various sectors such as activity operators, cultural organizations, environmental organizations, land and trail user groups and more were part of specific focus group sessions. Further efforts and details can found within the plan. This input provided clarity on Fernie ‘now’ as a tourism community and on where tourism should go in the future. The Task Force, along with consulting company Whistler Centre of Sustainability, combined further data, research and expertise that was integrated into the plan.

“Tourism in Fernie is growing. The Master Plan process was an opportunity for our business community and residents to comment on and guide that growth. The Plan is designed to maximize tourism benefits while mitigating challenges. The Chamber looks forward to the community continuing to come together and get to work,” said Brad Parsell, Executive Director at the Fernie Chamber of Commerce.

For more details visit www.tourismplanfernie.com