**REPOST FROM FERNIE TOURISM**
In the coming week community stakeholders and residents will be asked to complete an online survey for the RDEK Area A Tourism Sustainability Project.
Fernie and the surrounding Regional District of the East Kootenay Area A region (view PDF map of RDEK) has continued to see growth in both tourism and recreation over the past decade and longer. This growth in use of area trails, lands, lakes and rivers is creating a variety of needs and challenges that need a collaborative effort to address for long-term sustainability. The increased use of the front and backcountry during the pandemic as everyone spends more time outdoors has added to the need for this initiative.
The RDEK Tourism Sustainable Management Strategy project aims to create immediate priority actions to help protect, enhance and maintain the safety and quality of life of residents, the visitor experience and the area’s natural heritage primarily within primarily Area A of the RDEK.
Action items might include creation/improvements of adequate facilities/access including parking, washrooms, river access, and signage, communication strategies, dispersement strategies, enforcement tools, mitigation strategies, ongoing metrics on usage volumes and impacts, and more.
The project will utilize existing sustainability directives from the recently launched Tourism Master Plan, completed for the community of Fernie by Tourism Fernie and multiple community stakeholders. It will also incorporate further data and engagement from experts, key stakeholders and RDEK Area A and B residents to inform and develop an action-based strategy, including funding options and opportunities with the goal to see implementation and results starting in the spring/summer/fall of 2021.
The surveys will be distributed to community stakeholders and by the RDEK in early March and be available online until March 22nd. There is a unique survey for residents (one for Area A and another for Area B), businesses and non-profits/interest user groups. It should take 10 minutes and on completion of the survey you will be entered to win a draw prize package for a Fernie restaurant/shop.
This project has been made possible with funding from the Regional District of the East Kootenay’s Area A and in partnership with Tourism Fernie, a non-profit tourism marketing and destination management organization.
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