O2 Planning + Design (O2) has received a 2014 Merit Award for Planning Excellence by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) in the Aboriginal Community Planning and Development category for The Qu’Appelle Valley Integrated Tourism Strategy. Projects were judged on excellence, innovation, impact on the profession, implementation potential, and overall presentation.
The Qu’Appelle Valley is one of the most scenic and attractive landscapes in Saskatchewan. The natural beauty and rich cultural history steadily draws visitors. Although the overall tourism industry in the area was established decades ago, Aboriginal tourism is at an early stage. While welcomed, increased tourism use could place pressure on existing infrastructure, communities, and natural and scenic resource. These pressures, if not managed in an integrated manner, could threaten the very reasons the visitors are attracted to the Qu’Appelle Valley. The Qu’Appelle Valley Integrated Tourism Strategy provides concrete direction for sustainable tourism development in the Qu’Appelle Valley. The strategy aims to close the gap between the demand side of the equation – the tourism industry and visitors – and the supply side – the policy makers.
The Qu’Appelle Valley Integrated Tourism Strategy was applauded by Tourism Saskatchewan: “Tourism Saskatchewan recognizes the value of this framework for working collaboratively to share the area’s fascinating history and stories, and grow the local economy.’’ - Pat Fiacco, Tourism Saskatchewan CEO