The Leduc-Nisku EDAtorial
Leduc Blog
The Summer Student Series - Zac Rodrigo on Tourism...
June 16, 2016
business, collaboration, development, economic, tourism
When I mention the Tourism Industry, what do you envision? I think it’s fair to say that most people characterize tourism assets as grandiose destinations or high-cultural experiences. But what if we removed our pre-conceived expectations? In reality, tourism assets can more simply be defined as something that attracts visitors. By changing the vocabulary that we use to describe tourism attractions, we can paint a more accurate picture of what our communities have to offer. My role at the Leduc-Nisku EDA is Tourism Asset Inventory Coordinator – admittedly, a mouthful to say. The purpose of my position is to create an inventory comprised of all tourism assets in Leduc County. By the first definition of tourism that I presented, this project may not appear to have a long lifespan. But what happens if we work off the second, more simplistic definition of tourism? Suddenly, this project becomes less about fitting what Alberta’s International Region has to offer into the narrow-view of what we have been taught to expect, and more about uncovering what this region has to share.

The Government of Canada has an official policy of multiculturalism, affirming the idea that our differences are the greatest asset that we could hope to offer; I believe that we should look at our communities in the same manner. Tourism is about presenting our differences and our unique qualities to all who wish to view them. The challenge in attracting tourists to Leduc County is not its proximity to Edmonton; it is the perception that a tourism asset must be defined so narrowly. I would like to challenge every community in the region to begin defining attractions by what’s unique in their community, rather than what can be easily identified by a cookie-cutter definition of tourism asset. Over the last few months, I have been introduced to a world-class water skiing facility, an old-time sweet Shoppe and a preserved 1920’s-style town; there are hidden gems all over this county, you just need to step out of your lane to go and find them.

If you know of a business, service or event that is unique to your community or an initiative your community has undertaken, I would love to hear all about it! Please feel free to contact me and let me know, student@leducniskueda.com, 780-986-9538.