Changes are in the works for Prince Albert Tourism, as the city looks to move the organization under a revamped regional economic development authority (REDA) model.
The issue was on the agenda at city council’s executive committee earlier this week. Mayor Greg Dionne said tourism is months away from becoming a sub-committee under the REDA, which is being reactivated.
Dionne said city administration will be meeting soon with Prince Albert Tourism to confirm the changes.
“The P.A. REDA is soon going to be up and running,” Mayor Greg Dionne said this week. “Really what the tourism model will be doing now is more running the Tourism Information Centre and dealing with visitors, where the Destination Marketing Fund and REDA will deal with big events, and new events, and attracting events to our community.”
The P.A. REDA disbanded in 2012. In 2016, the City implemented a new Destination Marketing Fund levy on local hotels in an effort to establish a fund to attract and promote events and entertainment to Prince Albert.
The Destination Marketing Fund has been a topic of some debate in recent years, with businesses saying it amounts to an unfair tax on local hotels. With local tourism soon falling under the umbrella of the DMF and the REDA, Dionne said he anticipates positive results for both the organizations and the region.
Dionne said the area REDA was successful in the past. He said he wants to focus on attracting and keeping smaller businesses in the local area, rather than larger ones that might not be sustainable in the long term.
Dionne also pointed to the new luxury hotel being built in Prince Albert, saying the project is providing work to many local businesses.
“More companies are downsizing,” Dionne added. “I’d sooner have 10 new small businesses with 15 employees each than one big business, because when that big business shuts down, look at the struggle we have.”
Dionne said discussions for the P.A. REDA model are ongoing and a new board should be announced by the end of the year. The acting CEO of Prince Albert Tourism, Linda Carter, declined to comment on the transition when contacted by paNOW, except to say that the organization looks forward to meeting with city administration and learning more.
On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt
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