Public consultations conducted for Sioux Lookout’s Sports Tourism Strategy
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Edward Hoshizaki Development Consulting conducted two public consultations on Jan. 14 to discuss sports tourism development initiatives for Sioux Lookout’s Sports Tourism Strategy.
The business sector, user groups, hotel owners and a variety of community organizations were invited to attend an afternoon consultation. An additional consultation was held in the evening for the general public.
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout said Edward Hoshizaki, principal of Edward Hoshizaki Development Consulting, explained the purposes of the Sports Tourism Strategy as well as discuss the possibility of a new recreation centre in Sioux Lookout.
“Mr. Hoshizaki explained the objectives of the Sports Tourism Strategy are to identify gaps in recreational assets and programs; to lay out a promotional framework; and, based on community engagement, to make recommendations to Council on sports tourism development initiatives. The Baseline Report previously presented to Council contained information on our recreational assets, trends in tourism, market analysis and community process,” said Michelle Larose, Chief Administrative Officer.
“The attendees focused on the possibility of a new recreation centre for the community and how that would promote sports tourism in Sioux Lookout and benefit citizens. Additional discussion ensued regarding the capacity of the community to be able to accommodate visitors, given the lack of hotel space. Overall, the attendees at each session were in support of a new facility as part of the study,” she continued.
A federal investment of $67,500, through FedNor funding, was announced on Jan. 18, 2019, which enabled the Municipality to hire a consultant to prepare a detailed inventory of existing infrastructure, products and services, and provide a plan for the development of new sports tourism programming.
A Baseline Report for the Sioux Lookout Sports Tourism Strategy was presented to Sioux Lookout’s Municipal Council during a special Council meeting on Nov. 13.
“This study will develop a comprehensive strategy that will identify gaps in recreational assets and programs and recommend a promotional strategy in relation to tourism, and more specifically recreation-based tourism. A proactive program, with community partners will maximize the potential benefits from Far North communities. This report is a baseline assessment of the Sioux Lookout recreation and tourism capacity. Sioux Lookout’s community profile, trends in tourism, market analysis, and previous and discussed future options will be identified for discussion in the next phase,” the baseline report states.
Following the public consultations, Edward Hoshizaki Development Consulting will be compiling a draft Sports Tourism Development and Implementation Plan to present to Council.
“The consultant will be creating the draft Sports Tourism Development and Implementation Plan for presentation to Council for discussion followed by the final plan and its adoption,” said Larose.