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Municipal & Public Involvement

Before seeking input from businesses, organizations, the general public and other government agencies, you should give municipal council the opportunity to review and discuss the draft plan. If council identifies major concerns, the committee must take them into consideration. You may have to revise the draft and bring it back to council for another look.

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  1. Council Approval in Principle
  2. All of the committee's work, thus far, has been in preparation for submission of an initial draft of the tourism plan, first to municipal council and then to the public.

    Before seeking input from businesses, organizations, the general public and other government agencies, you should give municipal council the opportunity to review and discuss the draft plan. If council identifies major concerns, the committee must take them into consideration. You may have to revise the draft and bring it back to council for another look.

    When council approves the draft plan in principle, permission should be sought to obtain input from the aforementioned groups. Council and/or municipal administrators may, at this point, provide guidance on when, where and how public feedback should be obtained.

    This process must be followed if the tourism committee is established under the authority of council. The procedures are essential because council will likely play an important role in the implementation and funding of projects featured in the plan.

  3. Community Input
  4. There are many ways to obtain community input or public involvement:

    • Organize open house meetings and workshops
    • Present and discuss at an open municipal council meeting
    • Present to local interest groups and follow-up with a discussion and questionnaire
    • Arrange for media advertising and publicity
    • Print the plan in the local paper. Include an address for comments or the date for a public meeting
    • Engage in one-on-one discussions with community members
    • Send copies of the plan to people on your distribution list and ask for comments

    All communities in Saskatchewan have their own special qualities and their own way of doing things. Ask your council which of the above approaches best apply to your area.

    Those most likely to be affected by the plan should provide input. Consult with:

    • Hotel/motel operators
    • Campground operators
    • Restaurateurs
    • Service station operators
    • Retail merchants
    • Hunting/fishing guides
    • Local media
    • Indigenous interests
    • Local historic society
    • Provincial government departments
    • Service clubs and associations
    • Arts/cultural groups
    • Tourist attraction operators

    If key people fail to provide input, for whatever reason, a special effort should be made by committee members to visit these people on an individual basis, explain the plan and obtain feedback.

    Be prepared to sell your ideas. The more enthusiasm you create for the plan and for tourism, in general, the more support you can expect from the community to carry out the plan's objectives. Everyone in your community can become a tourism ambassador.

    Show flexibility. If others make suggestions that vary somewhat but contribute to your tourism goals and are consistent with your tourism policy, be prepared to make some changes. People who are eager to assist with development may be eager to help you implement the plan. Do not hesitate to encourage their support.

    Keep your local media informed. Someone from the committee should be assigned to sit down with the local newspaper and radio or television programmers (if present in your community) to clearly explain the plan and the process. What you are doing is newsworthy. Make sure that it gets reported.

    Once input is received from the public and the agencies identified, the committee should review all comments and suggestions and make appropriate changes to the draft plan.

  5. Detailing Your Steps
  6. The committee should now assign responsibility and deadlines for the completion of action steps.

    At this point, it should be stressed that the committee will play a lead role in implementing the tourism plan. Individual committee members should be given responsibility for coordinating each step. That does not mean that members alone are responsible for all activities associated with implementation. Others in the community will participate in implementation. However, the assigned committee member is the coordinator who will manage activities and report on their progress. The coordinator's role should always be made clear, either during discussions or when names and responsibilities are added to the “action steps section” of the Action Steps Worksheet.

    For example, it is not sufficient to say that the local chamber of commerce will be responsible for a given action. Instead, a selected committee member will be responsible for following and reporting on the chamber’s participation.

    All members of the committee are encouraged to promote community participation in specific action steps.

    A timeframe must be assigned for each action step. Be realistic when planning the time it should take for a committee member to accomplish the action.

  7. Obtaining Endorsement
    1. Council Endorsement
    2. Once revisions have been made and your action steps have been detailed, the plan should be taken once more to council for endorsement. Official recognition of the tourism plan should appear in the council's minutes.

      Municipal council participation and public input in the planning process are as important as implementation. Council, local businesses and others in the community must not only agree with the plan, but should enthusiastically endorse it in order for it to be successfully implemented.

    3. Broader Tourism Industry Endorsement
    4. Once you have received endorsement from your local council, you may wish to provide a copy of your community's tourism plan to any tourism sector organizations active in your area.

      Should your plan be in accordance with regional and provincial product development and marketing strategies, you will be in a better position to participate in any programming designed to accomplish the goals and objectives of your tourism plan. By remaining in close contact with Tourism Saskatchewan’s Industry Development Department throughout the planning process, staff can put you in touch with necessary contacts and provide information on current development and marketing initiatives.

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