Open House Well Attended

Over 85 people attended the Tourism Master Plan Open House on September 18th to learn more about this new intiative just launched. Response to the initiative was very well received as everyone understands the need for a tourism master plan that will help address growth, opportunities, issues, impacts, marketing and management.

TMP Open House HandOut

Attendees included:
– Local residents
– Accommodators
– LGBTQ Community & Fernie Pride Society
– Teck
– Fernie Chamber of Commerce
– City of Fernie
– Regional District of East Kootenay
– Tourism Fernie
– Fernie Mountain Bike Club
– Fernie Trails Alliance
– Local Adventure Operators
– Resorts (Island Lake, Fernie Alpine)
– Local Cultural Organizations (Arts Council, Museum, Library, artisans)
– Food/Dining/Beverage Sector
– Retail sector
– Construction, Reno, Prop Mgnt & developer sector
– Kootenay Rockies Tourism
– Fernie Golf Club
– Fernie Pets Society
– Fernie Nordic Society
– Wildsight
– Columbia Basin Trust
– Candidates running for mayor/council
– Local Events/Festivals (Wapiti, Griz Days, Pride Fest, Chautauqua)
– Additional local businesses, consultants, transportation providers, media, financial

More details and updates will be posted on this website and sent via email. To be added to the email database please email us at

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Value of Tourism in Fernie

Tourism Fernie, in partnership with Destination BC conducted a Value of Tourism Study in 2016-2017. Developed through Destination BC’s Research, Planning and Evaluation Department.


Having an understanding of tourism’s economic contribution to a community is central to developing an informed tourism planning approach, strengthening the support of community stakeholders and local government, and encouraging an appreciation of tourism’s economic development potential.


Developed through DBC’s Research, Planning & Evaluation Department, The Value of Tourism Model is a program that provides a structured, consistent approach to estimate the volume and value of tourism in a community. Data gathered focused on the years 2014-2016, with the inclusion of 2017 data as available.


A detailed study of this nature had never been completed for Fernie and has been determined to be an essential tool needed to support the local tourism industry in understanding its contributions to the overall economy. Business, especially the accommodation sector, participation was essential for this study.

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About the Tourism Master Plan

What is a Tourism Master Plan? View Here

As defined by the Vancouver Tourism Master Plan collective, a tourism master plan should guide and provide specific recommendations for the policy and planning framework that will ensure that the tourism industry grows in a manner that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and thus able to meet the future needs of residents, visitors, investors and other stakeholders.

A Tourism Master Plan Task Force as been established that will work together to oversee the process and hire a professional tourism consultant to conduct research, stakeholder engagement and develop the plan.  View list of Task Force Members below.

A TMP should set the long-term course for all stakeholders, provide strategic direction and advise all major decisions.

Samples from other BC destinations:

Fernie’s Value of Tourism

Videos on the importance of tourism – Vancouver Island –

In decades’ past, when the tourism landscape was less cluttered, it was possible for destinations to solely market their product or attraction and attain some level of success.  In today’s highly competitive tourism marketplace, it is highly advantageous for all the stakeholders within a destination to work to towards common goals.  This means, not only promoting the destination, but planning, funding, and governing it as well.  All stakeholders need to be rowing in the same direction to be successful in todays world.

A Tourism Master Plan for Fernie should be a minimum of 10 years in length and include all stakeholders and especially those that are governing, funding, building and marketing the destination. The Tourism Master Plan should consult, advise on and be integrated into other community plans – City of Fernie’s Official Community Plan, Fernie’s Resort Municipality Initiatives Resort Development Strategy, Tourism Fernie Strategic Plan, Chamber of Commerce plans, Visitor Centre strategies, and tourism related plans by additional groups such as the Fernie Trails Alliance, Arts Station, Museum, Nordic Society, Snowmobile Association and others.

Timeline: Up to 10 months to complete. Process to begin May 2018, stakeholder engagement to take place in the fall.

TMP Funding Partners:

  • Tourism Fernie – $10,000
  • City of Fernie – $10,000
  • Fernie Chamber of Commerce – $2,000
  • Reginal District of East Kootenay – $2,000
  • Columbia Basin Trust – $20,000


Shelley L’Estrange
Chair, Tourism Master Plan Task Force
General Manager, Best Western Plus Fernie Mountain Lodge
Jikke Gyorki
Project Coordinator. Tourism Master Plan
Executive Officer, Tourism Fernie
Member, RMI RDS Advisory Working Group
Norm McInnis
CAO, City of Fernie
Chair, RMI RDS Advisory Working Group
Patty Vadnais
Executive Director, Fernie Chamber of Commerce
Manager, Visitor Centre
Member, RMI RDS Advisory Working Group
Mike Sosnowski
Area A Representative, Regional District of East Kootenay
Lee-Anne Walker & Alternate
Environmental Representatives for Wildsight & Elk River Alliance
Scott Gilmet
Director of Marketing & Sales, IGS Group (Park Place Lodge, Griz Inn & Cornerstone Lodge)
Chair, Tourism Fernie
Brad Parsell
General Manager, Fernie Lodging Company
Board Member, Tourism Fernie
Andy Cohen
General Manager, Fernie Alpine Resort
Member, RMI RDS Advisory Working Group
Ron Ulrich
Executive Director, Fernie Museum & Heritage Fernie
Project Lead, Heritage Strategic Plan Fernie (in process)
Mike McPhee
Director of Sales & Marketing, Island Lake Resort Group
Member, Marketing Committee, Tourism Fernie
Krista Turcasso
Co-Owner of Claris Media & Fernie Fix
Board Member, Fernie Trails Alliance
Sheila Byers
Past President/Board Member, Fernie Chamber of Commerce
Pending – City Councillor

TMP Lead Consultant
Dan Wilson, Planning & Engagement Specialist
Whistler Centre for Sustainability

TMP Supporting Consultant
Susan Rybar
Vardo Creative, Inc.

For more information please contact Jikke Gyorki, Executive Officer at Tourism Fernie by emailing

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Planning ‘The Plan’

Prior to the bustle of summer season a group of tourism industry stakeholders met for a Tourism Master Plan (TMP) Planning Session with consultant Dan Wilson from the Whistler Centre for Sustainability. The meeting objectives were:

  • Explore planning needs and a range of approaches and roles for tourism plans
  • Understand key elements of Fernie’s success at tourism, what could be, and what might hold Fernie back
  • Identify the key outcomes for a Tourism Master Plan and the Process for Fernie BC
  • Identify the scope for a Tourism Master Plan process based on the key outcomes

Attendees included:

Shelley L’Estrange – General Manager of Best Western Plus Fernie Mountain Lodge
Norm McInnis – CAO of the City of Fernie
Mary Giuliano – Mayor of the City of Fernie
Scott Gilmet – Director of Marketing & Sales of IGS Group (Park Place Lodge, Griz Inn & Cornerstone Lodge)
Brad Parsell – General Manager of Fernie Lodging Company
Andy Cohen – General Manager of Fernie Alpine Resort
Mike McPhee – Director of Sales & Marketing of Island Lake Resort Group
Reto Barrington – Developer & Owner of Fernie RV Resort
Kurt Saari – Owner of Nevados Restaurant
Vanessa Croome – Co-owner of Fernie Fix & Chair of the Fernie Arts Council
Jikke Gyorki – Executive Officer & TMP Coordinator, Tourism Fernie
Christine Grimble – Session Note Taker, TMP Assistant, Tourism Fernie

Regrets from: Patty Vadnais, Fernie Chamber & Derick Berry, Fernie Property Care

The results of this session helped to develop the project workplan, timeline and Task Force Terms of Reference.

More details to come.

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