Having not been to Mt. Agassiz before this past July, it’s hard to believe that something so amazing is not being utilized. For an outsider looking in, you hear of the who, what, when, where and why’s of the past, with ideas and vision for the future. The reopening Mt. Agassiz seems to get the nod from all the folks around town as a need for the region.
To build upon a past blog post called ‘A Mountain of Opportunity,’ I asked the question, ‘what type of investment needs to happen?’
This is my answer…
Apart from the obvious monetary investments, there needs to be an investment in time, strategic planning and community/regional involvement. These investments may be considered building blocks for a sustainable future for the region. Future planning should be based around the communities so, in the event of a primary source of employment or an economic driver not producing, these communities are able to support themselves. As we all know, employment is part of the answer in retaining residents and attracting new attention.
‘Two major employment challenges for communities in rural Canada are labour shedding by primary industries and the exodus of youth in search of work. Given the concentration of the Canadian population in urban regions, a potential rich, alternative source of rural employment lies in attracting this population to rural regions to enjoy tourism activities. Thus, tourism would appear to provide an alternative source of rural employment (Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, 2005).’
Mt. Agassiz has the potential of providing employment opportunities to a region in search of alternatives. With an increase of visitation to the region, most other tourism businesses in the region, especially accommodation providers will need extra or seasonal staff during peak months. The trickle down effect from primary tourism businesses, to secondary tourism businesses and into the community is great, with an inclusion of an all season beacon such as Mt. Agassiz.
As the population of the region keeps aging, something must be done to retain and attract youth into visiting, working and living in the region. By breaking down those barriers and increasing the awareness of the region to a younger generation, attracting a new identity may be in the grasp for a sustainable plan.
An investment in training of all sectors related to a development such as that of Mt.Agassiz will more than pay off for the future of the region. As spontaneous and substantial that a services industry can be, it promotes understanding through interaction with people of differing backgrounds and cultures.
Employing locals will increase the chances of retaining residents year round as well as having positive economic benefits for the surrounding communities where those people live and play.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Roadmap for Recovery - 2009,
‘Tourism is an economic activity that provides jobs for millions in the sector and in many interlocking industries. Well-trained staff has the skills to move across the workforce. Globally, Tourism grows faster than GDP, doubling the jobs created every 10 to 15 years. During the recession it is important for governments and industry to undertake actions to retain the core workforce and maintain training standards. Relevant strategies should recognize the special needs of SME´s, particularly in less developed countries.’
So, I ask again – “What type of investment needs to happen?”
Let me know by clicking the ‘no comments’ at the bottom of the blog to leave your comment.
For more information follow the links below:
United Nations World Tourism Organization – UNWTO
Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin 2005 – Prairiemango Education redirect
Agassiz Mountain Development Group - Ski Agassiz
Blog photogallery here: Prairiemango Photos