Dean Main, Community Development Supervisor for the Township of Terrace Bay, has long been an advocate for a tourism strategy for Lake Superior’s North shore communities. With the process now finally underway, Main can see the tourism potential of the region growing by leaps and bounds.
“I’m more optimistic about our tourism industry here on the North shore than I have been in years. I can see nothing but good coming out of this strategy”, he said.
Main added that the project will align nicely with the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area’s current Visitor Experiences Strategy process and the work that is underway to build on the Lake Superior Circle Tour, among other initiatives.
The Lake Superior North Shore Tourism Strategy and Implementation Plan is in its very early stages with late 2017 projected as the completion date. Guided by a steering committee of Lake Superior North Shore tourism representatives and led by Tourism Northern Ontario and Parks Canada, the process will see consultation with regional stakeholders and an extensive literature review to conduct an inventory, gap analysis and clear implementation plan to enhance tourism in the region.
The process has two key objectives:
To identify and prioritize actions, along with their costs and potential funding sources, to enhance the tourism potential of the Superior North region.
To determine the best model for coordinating regional tourism development considering limitations and capacity of the relevant communities and organizations in the region.
David MacLachlan, Executive Director of Tourism Northern Ontario, said that the partnerships that have been formed to manage and provide input into the process bode well for successful outcomes.
“That we have a steering committee of enthusiastic and experienced industry experts who live and work along Lake Superior’s North Shore and who represent communities, First Nations and private operators is a big plus”, he said.