Tourism plan on the go for Fernie
By Erin Knutson
Tourism continues to be a priority for the City of Fernie following council’s recent endorsement of the 2022-2024 Resort Development Strategy (RDS).
“The RDS is a spending plan to complement the provincially funded Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) program for small tourism-based municipalities, which Fernie qualified for in 2009,” said chief administrative officer Michael Boronowski.
According to Boronowski, the three-year plan aims to build and diversify the infrastructure of Fernie with a focus on tourism.
“Funding must be targeted to visitors and not the locals,” he said.
The goals outlined in the initiative stipulate that funding must enhance visitor experiences and mesh with the province’s plans for its usage.
Boronowski noted successes and setbacks the community has faced over the past couple of years with the pandemic and climate issues requiring attention and resulting in lost resources such as staff shortages.
“We had a full atmospheric river and freshet, and COVID waves reduced staffing as well as the inability to hold events and to deliver services, those who have survived are resilient, and they deserve a lot of credit,” he said.
The strategy’s go-ahead will help Fernie continue to grow its tourism base and help repair lost momentum as the city moves ahead.
Councillors Harsh Ramadass and Ted Shoesmith opposed it, with the majority of council favouring the strategy, including Mayor Nic Milligan.
e-KNOW file photo