Wekweètì Gets a Taste of Tourism

Tourism was top of mind in Wekweètì March 14-15 as residents gathered for a tourism open house and half-day planning session, hosted by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment’s (ITI) North Slave Office.
 
The discussions are part of a larger project to develop a Tłı̨chǫ Regional Tourism Strategy for the communities of Behchokǫ̀, Gamètì, Wekweètì, and Whatì. 
 
ITI is working in collaboration with the Tłı̨chǫ Regional Economic Development Working Group and Dillon Consulting to develop the strategy, which will also feed into individual community tourism plans once completed. 
 
Amy Lizotte, ITI’s Tourism Development Officer for the North Slave Region, took part in the community discussion.
 
“Wekweètì was a great place for us to get started on this work. They have invested in some infrastructure already that can be used for tourism, including four log cabins with skylights, a conference cabin area and gazebo. These assets will be a focal point for the tourism plans and we can look at ways to develop a business arm in the community to grow guided tours and products in the future,” Amy says. 
 
“Each of the Tłı̨chǫ communities has something special to offer travellers. This strategy is about identifying these unique qualities and finding ways to build them into tourism and economic opportunities for our communities.” 
 
The workshop was funded jointly by the Department of ITI and Canada’s Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).
 
Developing tourism in Tłı̨chǫ communities will support the GNWT’s mandate to grow and diversify the economy NWT economy outside of the resource sector. Increased tourism opportunities will mean more tourists, more income for tourism operators and more jobs for residents. This equates to more income for NWT communities and more economic opportunities for the business and service sectors that support them.
 
Since 2010/2011, visitor spending has increased from $94.1 million to $167.1 million last fiscal year. The GNWT’s Tourism 2020 plan outlines many of the programs and initiatives with which the GNWT Is strengthening the products and capacity of NWT operators. The plan aims to increase tourism spending in the NWT to $207 million by 2020/2021.
 
For more information 
Amy Lizotte
Tourism Development Officer
North Slave Region
Industry, Tourism and Investment
(867) 767 9212 ext. 63249

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