Let’s talk tourism!


Since January, a team of consultants have been working with the Town of Sylvan Lake and the community, to develop a Destination Leadership & Management Plan (DLMP).

The dlmp process

Setting out a direction for tourism development, management, leadership and marketing in Sylvan Lake over the next five years, guided by a 10-year vision, this plan was developed with the community, for the community. It prioritizes community collaboration in pursuit of a shared vision; one whereby tourism enhances local pride of place and quality of life. 

The Plan is being developed in three overlapping phases, including:
1. Research and engagement
2. Analysis and visioning
3. Plan development

Here's what we've been up to:

Phase 1: Research and engagement

In this initial phase, the project team reviewed key documents from municipal, provincial, federal and international bodies, to shape the understanding of tourism trends and best practice on multiple levels. Engagement provided key insights to community sentiment around tourism, and the Town’s strengths and challenges. The process included a range of stakeholder interviews, workshops, event engagement and a survey for the sake of establishing the local view of tourism and its opportunities, as well as perspective from past and prospective visitors. 

Phase 2: Analysis and visioning

With ongoing analysis of findings, key themes from Phase 1 were collected and synthesized, then reported back to the community for testing through two Visioning Sessions. A vision for the DLMP emerged, from which point, opportunities for enhanced and new local practice and assets were considered. 


Phase 3: Plan development

Informed by research, engagement and the analysis and visioning that followed, a Destination Leadership & Management Plan is being developed.

Key findings

Some of the recurring themes identified by the community throughout the project process included:
- Many locals are hesitant to embrace tourism; heavy summer visitation disrupts resident's access to the beach, lakeshore and downtown.
- The community understands the potential value of tourism and its importance to the Town, though wants to see it managed properly.
- There is an opportunity for more collaboration between tourism businesses, to connect experiences for the sake of strengthening the appeal of Sylvan and encourage more local spending.
- Extending visitor experiences beyond the beach will enhance tourism’s economic impact for the better.
- The Town’s focus on regular events is valued by residents and visitors.
- There is a lack of transportation options to connect one end of town to the other; creative solutions might entice visitors to go beyond the beach. 
- There is a need to make people feel more connected to the downtown area, outside of events - for example, with refined dining, more boutique shops, art galleries, etc.
- More investments in arts and culture would enhance the Town's positioning as a place to live, work and play.
- There is a need for beautification efforts in the downtown area, specifically with regard to building facades.
- Unoccupied commercial spaces are an eyesore, and leave room for new experience-oriented businesses.

Stay tuned to this webpage for updates!