November 2, 2010 - Minister Bob McLeod explained how the department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is consulting with tourism stakeholders and the public on what a new tourism strategy would look like.
Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories’ tourism industry has great potential to help us realize the 16th Legislative Assembly’s goal of creating a diversified economy that provides all communities and regions with opportunities and choices.
With the right idea, proper support and an ample amount of elbow grease, tourism businesses can be successful in every one of our 33 communities.
To support the growth of this important industry, Tourism 2010 was approved five years ago. The plan has served us well and we must now look at how we will build on tourism opportunities in the next five years and beyond.
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is consulting with tourism stakeholders and the public on what a new strategy would look like. We have held open houses across the territory, from the Beaufort Delta to the South Slave, to hear what people have to say about where the Government of the Northwest Territories should be investing its tourism dollars in the future.
Mr. Speaker, based on the lessons we have learned in the last five years and the needs of stakeholders this new plan must reflect the current realities of the tourism industry.
The first reality is that there is a growing demand for authentic cultural experiences. This suggests we should provide support to develop our Aboriginal tourism sector. Later today, I will be tabling Industry, Tourism and Investment’s response to the consultation work done last year that examined expanding Aboriginal tourism in the Northwest Territories. Secondly, our strategy must take into account that tourism is highly sensitive to global events. The recent recession is just one example of an event that has affected tourism in the Northwest Territories. In order to quickly adapt to these external forces, our tourism industry must be diversified. Any new tourism strategy we develop must be geared towards assisting our tourism industry to offer a variety of products and visitor experiences.
Finally, a new strategy must recognize that in order for our tourism industry to grow, it must maintain its reputation for excellence in the marketplace. We are committed to working with the Northwest Territories Tourism to identify options to enhance consumer confidence and provide our operators with increased opportunities to deliver an excellent tourism product.
This reputation depends on offering quality products that match the demands of travelers, and a skilled labour force that offers excellence in service. The new strategy will have an increased emphasis on providing training to our operators so they can enhance their business performance and skills.
Mr. Speaker, we have a wonderful territory, full of unique, authentic experiences for visitors to discover. We have dedicated operators that provide world-class products and services for the people who come to north to discover them.
Through the Government of the Northwest Territories efforts to promote the tourism industry, including the development of a strategy that will succeed Tourism 2010, we continue to work towards diversifying our economy and supporting the development of sustainable local economies through community-based industries like tourism.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
For more information, contact:
Office of the Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 669-2302