Lakehead University Faculty Promote Sustainable Development through Experiential Tourism Workshop
The workshop was headed by Mr. Celes Davar, owner and operator of Earthrhythms, a Manitoba- based company which specializes in learning adventures. More than 30 participants from the north shore of Lake Superior met at Lake Helen to discuss and examine various ways to promote an experiential approach to tourism within northwestern Ontario. Davar is an experiential broker who crafts new and memorable tourism encounters in partnership with local artists, musicians, chefs, guides, woodworkers, teachers, and others in non-traditional tourism locations. His discussion generated emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual connections with the Lake Helen and Nipigon regions. The activity-based workshop generates discussion about new tourism experiences, increases understanding of the principles of experiential tourism, and engages participants in key success factors involved in packaging tourism experiences for travelers.
"This workshop engaged local citizens and tourism partners from Superior's north shore in a capacity building exercise," Koster explains. "It introduced participants to experiential tourism and a partnership approach that will assist local organizations with tourism management and future business development." Lemelin adds, "Participants had numerous opportunities to share, celebrate, develop action plans, and capitalize on the rich inventory of tourism activities, locations, places, history, culture, and nature-based experiences."
Stakeholder representatives, including those from Red Rock First Nation at Lake Helen, regional partners, and Drs. Koster and Lemelin are now progressing to the implementation phase of this project; they will devise tourism strategies that showcase this unique region, as well as its people, cultures, food, and landscape. Organizers invite tourism operators, government officials, interested individuals, and decision-makers to join future discussions, and to visit http://web.mac.com/celesdavar/Experience_Superior/Welcome.html for additional information.
Both Lemelin and Koster are committed to community-based research for tourism development, and view their involvement with this initiative as an opportunity to learn more about how communities work toward the successful development of experience-based tourism.
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