The city wants to encourage more people to learn about and experience the town centre. (files)

The city wants to encourage more people to learn about and experience the town centre. (files)

OUTLOOK: Maple Ridge tourism strategy making progress

One new initiative is an ‘Ale Trail.’

In December 2017, the City of Maple Ridge released its five-year tourism strategy.

The document is founded on an engagement process with local and regional tourism operators, arts and culture organizations and local government in order to both secure the benefit of their knowledge and experience and to build support and ownership for plan implementation.

Lino Siracusa, director of Economic Development and Civic Properties for the City of Maple Ridge, is pleased with the progress in addressing many of the strategies identified in the document.

“We wanted to ensure that these ideas would be directed not only at the tourists but would also spur an interest from the residents of our own community as well. We have created a promotional video that gets rave reviews every time it’s aired and we have been working with events promoters to advertise any local events taking place in the community on social media or other campaigns to get the word out to our residents. We have been advertising the events on the Kwantlen billboard on Lougheed Hwy. and every two weeks we promote a different event in town,” Siracusa said.

“We need to build our tourism on the strengths of our community. We have this tremendous outdoor environment and we are all about nature. We have plenty of access to many amenities but we need to encourage the people coming out to experience them to learn about and experience our Town Centre.

“Not many areas have what we have and we are looking at strategies to make the town centre more appealing, more walkable and consequently more enticing for both visitors and residents alike,” he added.

The recommended strategies that enhance experiences and amenities increase the livability of the community for residents, making the destination more enjoyable for visitors.

In the strategy:

• a vision for tourism in Maple Ridge;

• tourism objectives;

• guiding principles for tourism services delivery;

• recommended governance model and structure;

• mission of the proposed tourism advisory committee;

• recommended funding model;

• Maple Ridge’s unique selling proposition and target markets;

During the Tourism Task Force meeting, participants reviewed and agreed on many elements of a vision for tourism in Maple Ridge.

These key vision elements:

• year-round visitor economy contributing to the community’s economic health and quality of life for residents;

• tourism that is vibrant and sustainable – a vital element of the local economy that is respectful of environmental and social values;

• tourism is community-driven resulting in strong resident support for the industry and recognition of the value of tourism;

• tourism opportunities that provide value to both residents and visitors recognizing that a great place to visit, is also often a great place to live.

“We have some very unique agri-tourism opportunities here that don’t exist elsewhere. We are putting together more amenities around the farming community and bringing in more tours for that sector,” Siracusa said.

“We have been successful in accessing some of the funding from Destination B.C. by providing them with the collateral material we are able to be included in their promotions and this partnership helps bolster our limited budget.

“We have been listening to people to get new ideas and offer what they want. One new initiative is an ‘Ale Trail.’ This is a great opportunity to encourage people to come out and sample the fine beer that is brewed locally and at the same time, enjoy the itinerary we have set up that will showcase some of our nature and recreation spots.

“This will complement our Circle Farm Tour and the Scenic 7 tour, which highlights the features of Highway 7. All of these initiatives encourage the local business community to get involved as well and show the visitors we have things that other communities don’t,” he said.

“We are also listening to the people who are passionate about cycling and we know we recognize that we have safe and divided cycle paths, easy trails to ride and we also have some scenic off-road mountain bike areas so we plan to look at meeting all the needs and making this a destination for recreational and racing bikes.

“As we have followed the Tourism Strategy, this year has been all about creating a ‘Maple Ridge identity.’ We continue to build on the strategies and we are excited about the opportunities ahead.”

Just Posted

Ethan Page, left, and Nicky Walton received Excellence in Arts Scholarship Awards in music. (Special to The News)
Port Haney Artist-in-Residence Aaron Moran. (Special to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News)
Personal reflections of Maple Ridge are needed for new public art project

Residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities welcome to share stories and poems

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maple Ridge elementary school exposed to COVID-19

Exposure event at Glenwood elementary the seventh in past two weeks

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Upset by being called an ‘idiot’

Maple Ridge writer disagrees with majority on COVID safety protocols and their impacts

Ron Paley took a kayak trip around Siwash Island, off the Pitt River near Grants Narrows. “With life’s turmoil, I find peace on the waters,” he shared. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Tranquility found on the water

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read