Alaska Highway Corridor workshop attracts record turnout

A workshop was held in Tumbler Ridge in what is the second round of community consultations for the ScenicByway program. the workshop was facilitated by Ad van Haaften, president of Tourism Trends and former Deputy Minister of Tourism. The workshop attracted 13 people, one of the largest showings in the Peace Region. Attendees included representatives from nrahta, the Northern Dino Tour, Tourism Dawson Creek and the Northeast Native Advancement Society.

Scenic Byways Consultation Results

(i) Vision for Alaska Highway in 25 years, including the opportunities for Tumbler Ridge: A common theme that emerged was that people felt Tumbler Ridge could act as a destination drawing card that actually increased the amount of traffic that came to the Alaska Highway. The segment of population that has personal and historical ties to the highway are dwindling in number (due to age) and the products that TR can offer (outdoor recreation, unique educational experiences) will appeal to a whole new audience for years to come.

(ii) Challenges for the Alaska Highway and the region as it relates to tourism: It was felt by many people that the current industrial boom, although beneficial to the regional economy, could have a detrimental effect on visitation over time due to the destruction of natural areas, heavy traffic beating up infrastructure and creating safety issues for travelers, competition for labour and the danger of service industries undervaluing tourists as long term customers.

Review of community tourism action steps that came out of the Community Tourism Essentials Workshop that took place last spring:

(i) It is hoped that a strategic planning process as it relates to overcoming obstacles to local tourism development will take place within the next 2-3 months. The purpose of the planning process is to actively engage those people that are interested in seeing tourism thrive in Tumbler Ridge, and develop a game plan that defines how a variety of people and organizations will share the yoke, so to speak, and pull in a coordinated fashion to achieve practical solutions.

People who are interested in stepping forward to participate in such a process and commit themselves to becoming a part of the resulting action plan are asked to contact Ray Proulx, the District?s Economic Development Officer, at Town Hall by February 24th.