Destination Canada has launched a new pilot project called the Tourism Corridor Strategy Program, which aims to accelerate the intentional development of tourism corridors or clusters of tourism assets across Canada. In partnership with a variety of stakeholders across provincial and territorial boundaries, this collaborative project will benefit not only the communities and destinations involved but will also bolster Canada’s competitiveness by giving visitors more reasons to travel to new regions across Canada.

A corridor is a geographic region or a route that connects different destinations with significant tourist attractions, such as:

• historical sites,
• natural landscapes,
• or cultural events.

Corridors have the potential to offer a range of attractions and experiences that are connected by a scenic and convenient route, making them popular amongst visitors who want to explore multiple destinations in a single journey, ultimately benefitting local communities.

“As a country, we aim to offer legendary experiences for our guests, end-to-end but for our tourism sector to grow and truly thrive, we must equally consider the aspirations of communities as hosts, said Marsha Walden,” President and CEO, Destination Canada. “Our new pilot program will help to fill the existing gap in cross-boundary, intentional, destination development and ultimately help build a more resilient tourism industry that contributes to the wealth and wellbeing of Canadians, while also making Canada a more competitive destination, aligning our offering with the expectations of today’s high value guests.”

As part of the Tourism Corridor Strategy Program, Destination Canada, along with a consultant, and selected corridor partners will co-create and deliver a strategy, implementation plan, and financial plan to support a regenerative approach to the development of these tourism corridors in the future.

“Canada makes all senses come alive with an abundance of natural beauty, captivating international business events, riveting cultural performances, and eye-opening Indigenous experiences. Domestic and international visitors alike have a growing interest in more sustainable forms of tourism, and Canada is well-positioned to deliver. The Tourism Corridor Strategy Program will promote the visitors’ economy across Canada, strengthen our tourism ecosystem, and supports vibrant, thriving communities from coast to coast to coast for long-term prosperity,” said The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance.

Applications to be part of the pilot program opened to industry in February 2023. Following a comprehensive review process, Destination Canada has selected three high-potential tourism corridors to support for 2023. The selected projects include:

Sustainable Journey from Prairies to Pacific: Leverages Highway 3 which is a key interprovincial corridor linking the large urban hubs of Southern Alberta and British Columbia’s lower mainland. This corridor will integrate the existing key strategies and experience themes in Alberta and British Columbia to produce a collection of potential investment opportunities, as well as infrastructure enhancements to grow demand and manage visitation in the long-term.

“British Columbia offers residents and visitors immensurate opportunities to enjoy world-class outdoor recreation, to sample local fare from the lands, and to learn more about the people and places that make this province so special. The Prairies to Pacific Corridor initiative will support investments in authentic and transformational experiences – along with the necessary infrastructure and amenities – across the route, thereby increasing interactions between residents, visitors, and place; increasing the dollars spent in our communities; and, motivating overnight stays in all seasons, to ensure regenerative benefits that tourism can bring are enjoyed year-round. This support from Destination Canada and the important partnership with Travel Alberta will allow tourism to continue to support vibrant, thriving communities across our provinces.” Alison McKay, Vice President, Destination Management, Destination BC

Atlantic Canada UNESCO Tourism Corridor: Brings together the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Fundy Biosphere Region, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Parks Canada to convene diverse stakeholders, foster innovation, and identify a common vision for the future where humans and the environment connect and thrive. Atlantic Canada hosts 13 UNESCO-designated sites that form a network of unique landscapes, rich cultural history and diverse offerings.

Northern Indigenous Tourism Lodge Network: Engages First Nations communities on the concept of an Indigenous Tourism Lodge Network throughout the Yukon, western Northwest Territories and Northern BC. This project will determine interest and readiness to develop small-scale, Indigenous-owned tourism lodges as one way to respond to the strong demand for authentic Indigenous tourism experiences and products. Development would create employment and business opportunities based on Indigenous cultural expression in remote northern communities. Phase one will assess community readiness and the business case for such a network and produce a report for consideration by First Nation Governments, development corporations, businesses and investors.

This is good news for Highway 3, the Elk Valley and our community.

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