Talking tourism

Yesterday Tourism Rossland hosted the first of two public input sessions where it invited suggestions on how to move our city towards some of its goals as an official “resort municipality” in the eyes of the provincial government.

Yesterday Tourism Rossland hosted the first of two public input sessions where it invited suggestions on how to move our city towards some of its goals as an official “resort municipality” in the eyes of the provincial government.

This title may seem like a trivial distinction, but it goes beyond mere nomenclature. With this designation, Rossland is eligible for tens of thousands of dollars in funding from the province, but the city needs to submit an outline of how it plans to use this money.

Yesterday’s session was meant to brainstorm ideas and during another session on May 31 the goal is to narrow down the list and decide on a single idea to pursue. Deanne Steven of Tourism Rossland said the agency then plans to submit its 2011 strategy to the province prior to the June 15 deadline. One of the main ideas being bandied about, Steven noted, is improving transportation in Rossland — including to and from area airports and between the city and Red Mountain Resort. This is certainly a worthwhile project to pursue but we should carefully consider the other ideas that come forward as well.

We should also take this opportunity to think about promoting tourism more broadly in Rossland. Nelson-based columnist Mike Stolte, by sheer coincidence, has written an excellent piece on this particular topic in this week’s issue of the West Kootenay Advertiser (which runs as an insert within the Rossland News.) Stolte’s column outlines the “seven deadly sins” that smaller communities commit when it comes to the tourism industry. Fortunately, in our view at least, Rossland doesn’t tend to commit many of these “sins” but Stolte does provide some excellent food for thought on how to improve visitors’ experiences and keep them coming back.

His general point is that tourism is not an isolated endeavour and it works best when its well integrated with other aspects of community. If this is the path to success in the tourism field then Rossland is well on its way, but there is always room for more people to get involved.

— Rossland News