What is a Tourism Master Plan & Fernie's Value of Tourism?

May 2020 Update - Due to COVID-19 the planned launch of the Tourism Master Plan has been postponed and a review of the Plan in light of the changes to tourism and travel is in process.


Tourism has been called the gateway to rural economic development and is a significant economic sector in many towns and regions. More than just any other industry, tourism requires collaboration and partnering locally with residents, businesses, user groups and organizations, as well as with regional and provincial organizations. Done right, tourism can bring many benefits to communities; doing it right requires proactive planning and ongoing governance for community success.

VIEW: What is Fernie's Tourism Master Plan & Fernie's Value of Tourism?

A community based tourism master plan is a document informed by the community and developed by a group with a broad cross-section of interests related to tourism. The planning process often provides an opportunity for business, local government, cultural organizations, other community based groups and community members to:
Identify a tourism vision that supports broad community outcomes
Understand tourism resources and potential
Capitalize on existing and emerging tourism opportunities
Address tourism obstacles to overcome
Allocate resources to pursue actions in the short/medium/long term
Set the future stage for long-term success


TMP Task ForceGovernance Team

TMP Task Force

Governance Team

The purpose of the task force is to collaborate on the structure, content and engagement process relating to Fernie’s Tourism Master Plan (TMP). For a detailed list of task force members see ‘About the Tourism Master Plan’ feature under Project Updates.

Whistler Centre for Sustainability

Lead Consultant

We are a non-profit organization that seeks to create change in our communities to make them more livable, resilient, equitable and sustainable. Dan Wilson is a sustainability planner specialising in tourism economic development, monitoring and evaluation, and energy/greenhouse gas emissions planning and implementation.

Whistler Centre for SustainabilityLead Consultant
Vardo CreativeSupporting Consultant

Vardo Creative

Supporting Consultant

Susan Rybar is a Tourism Strategist and Creative Marketer who brings more than 25 years of marketing, strategy development and business management experience, including over 13 years of direct experience working with the tourism industry in British Columbia. She has been involved in all aspects of destination management, including strategic planning, marketing, product development, research, heritage, parks, human resources, customer service training and visitor services.

Jikke Gyorki

Project Coordinator

Jikke has been the Executive Officer for Tourism Fernie since 2010.  Jikke has over 25 years of tourism industry experience with a personal and professional interest in seeing tourism in Fernie be recognized as successful, innovative and sustainable.

Jikke GyorkiProject Coordinator
  • Testimonial
    “Fernie is such a unique destination enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike. Our natural beauty, entrepreneurial spirit, and small-town hospitality are things to be treasured and celebrated. It is imperative that we as a community come together to effectively manage tourism in our area with a focus on prosperity, but also sustainability and issues of capacity.”
    Brad ParsellGeneral Manager, Fernie Lodging Company
  • Testimonial
    Fernie is very fortunate to have a hard working Tourism Community. Working together to grow Tourism has been an ongoing process. The Tourism Master Plan is a great opportunity to really move our community further forward. By working together and presenting a united, thought out plan, there is no doubt Fernie will continue to develop as one of Canada's outstanding destinations.
    Andy CohenGeneral Manager, Fernie Alpine Resort
  • Testimonial
    We are pleased to support the local tourism industry as they work towards completing the Tourism Master Plan. The plan will guide the tourism industry in Fernie to ensure we continue to be a top destination for all people to visit and vacation in. Working together in partnership with stakeholders and various groups allows the City of Fernie to govern strategically. The Tourism Master Plan will help us achieve the goal of attracting tourism, while continuing to be economical and sustainable.
    Mary GiulianoPast Mayor of Fernie
  • Testimonial
    "The first tourism guide was published in 1913 with Fernie playing a key role. Tourism as an industry has formally existed since 1921 with the formation of the Southeastern BC and Southern Alberta Tourism Association. With the growing popularity of the automobile, the Association sought to attract those seeking adventure in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountains. The Tourism Master Plan will build from 100 years of tourism development while recognizing the importance that heritage plays. The Plan will chart a sustainable course for tourism in Fernie and the region for the future."
    Ron UlrichExecutive Director, Fernie Museum & Heritage Fernie
  • Testimonial
    Destination BC states that a tourism plan identifies areas the community will focus on to build its tourism business and the steps it needs to take to achieve desired results. I look forward to working with the talented people on the Tourism Master Plan Task Force to find answers to these questions and to help develop a tourism strategy that is balanced and sustainable.
    Norm McInnisCAO, City of Fernie
  • Testimonial
    "Tourism in Fernie is growing. The Master Plan process will be an opportunity for our business community and residents to comment on and guide that growth. The Plan will be designed to maximize tourism benefits while mitigating challenges. The Chamber looks forward to the community coming together to build goals and get to work."
    Patty VadnaisExecutive Director, Fernie Chamber of Commerce