June 14th, 2024

SPC hears update on economic development and tourism initiative

By Lethbridge Herald on April 19, 2022.

Opportunity Lethbridge provided a project update on Regional Economic Development and Tourism Vision at the City of Lethbridge Economic Standing Policy Committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Abby Slovack, general ganager of Opportunity Lethbridge said they’ll be delivering this work over two phases, the first portion being the creation of the vision and the second portion the implementation.
“The purpose of this work is to ensure that all the partners working in this space are striving toward a shared vision to ensure we’re all working towards and aligning with Council’s vision around clarifying roles and responsibilities and ensuring we are efficient and effective with the use of resources and ensuring we’re working together and sharing ideas to move Lethbridge forward, said Slovack.
To date, Opportunity Lethbridge has kicked off its advisory committee, helping support the vision which is made up of Economic Development Lethbridge, Tourism Lethbridge, Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, Lethbridge Exhibition and Opportunity Lethbridge.
“We have completed three half-day workshops March 1 and 2 with a group of stakeholders. We had participants from the City of Lethbridge and EDL Tourism Chamber. We also had folks from the Arts Council, Sports Council, Alberta Southwest Regional Alliance and more.”
Last Monday, Opportunity Lethbridge hosted another workshop with Team Lethbridge with 27 participants. 
“That included folks from the County, school districts, post-secondary, Lethbridge Family Services, the Construction Association of Realtors, the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone and more. So now we have engaged about 70 people total,” said Slovack.
Assisting with the project, Susan Veres from Calgary with Honeycomb Solutions from Calgary said the common theme from the sessions was Lethbridge is in a fiercely competitive environment to attract investors, talent, tourists and others. 
“Our group talked a lot about the relationship between talent, place and business and I know we’ve talked about that here,” she said. “Of course, talent is attracted to place, place fosters because of talent and business and business needs talent to grow.”
Veres said the key trends discussed were agriculture and innovation, crop management, vertical farming and food security, agricultural tourism as well as autonomous transportation moving toward autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles.
Rounding out the key trends was Indigenous tourism and the Indigenous economy.
Slovack said the next steps will be a series of one-on-one sessions over the next two weeks to refine the draft before returning to the SPC to provide the draft and feedback.

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