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District of 100 Mile House presented with new tourism plan

The plan advises the district to more actively support the growth of tourism in the region
Justin Rousseau giving a presentation on the Tourism Plan to the District of 100 Mile House council. (Misha Mustaqeem photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

A new tourism plan aims to make 100 Mile House and the South Cariboo the best place in the Cariboo Chilcotin to explore the outdoors by 2034.

The plan was presented to the District of 100 Mile House council during its Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, April 23 by Expedition Management Consulting. From September 2023 to April 2024 Expedition, a leading tourism and recreation consulting firm that has done assessments for communities like West Kelowna and Fort St. John, conducted online surveys, group input digital workshops and one-on-one interviews to create 100 Mile House’s Community Tourism Plan.

“It will be your playbook on all things tourism and will help you communicate with your stakeholders and internally,” Justin Rousseau, Expedition’s founder and managing director, told council during the presentation.

Rousseau outlined the plan for council, which includes four main tourism goals: increased stakeholder collaboration and capacity, development of more market-ready experience and diverse accommodation options, expanding tourism marketing activities and enhancing the capacity of operators and communities to develop tourism. They recommend that 100 Mile House collaborate with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, rebrand the South Cariboo Visitor Centre, allocate resources to implement the plan and develop a tourism product development plan.

In their plan Expedition highlighted 100 Mile House’s strengths, which include a wealth of natural attractions, the large number of accessible local lakes and 100 Mile House’s status as a regional services hub. They also pointed out the town’s weaknesses including the fact tourism marketing is fragmented between several different sources, the seasonal nature of tourism in the area and limited funding being devoted to support tourism development.

Opportunities the district could seize, according to the plan, would be organizing key stakeholders to promote tourism development, supporting established tourism operators and encouraging the creation of tourism opportunities. They warn, however, that increasing costs to operate tourism businesses threaten their sustainability, as do the risks of natural disasters such as the wildfires, which the region experienced in 2017 and 2021.

Funding to create the plan was offered by Destination BC, a provincially funded crown corporation dedicated to supporting and promoting B.C.’s tourism industry, and the Pacific Economic Development Canada (Pacifican), the “dedicated federal economic agency for British Columbians.” Seppe Mommaerts, manager of destination development with Destination BC, said the plan is essential for growing tourism in the South Cariboo area.

“We applaud the District of 100 Mile House on their new plan, developed with valuable input from residents and local businesses, ensuring it is grounded in and supported by the local community,” Mommaerts stated in a press release issued by the District of 100 Mile House.

Mayor Maureen Pinkney said that 100 Mile House is deeply linked to tourism and that the South Cariboo region had a “strong foundation of tourism assets to build from.”

“The District sincerely appreciates those who took the time to offer input about tourism challenges and opportunities during this process,” Pinkney said.

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Both council and staff were receptive to the plan. Joanne Doddridge, the district’s director of economic planning and development, had glowing words for the plan.

“I do think this is a realistic plan that speaks to what the operators have told us, and speaks to really kind of how it looks in the tourism landscape today,” Doddridge said.

Coun. Donna Barnett, meanwhile, stated that she had “whole lots of thoughts and ideas” about tourism while giving her comments about the presentation.

“I would like to see us promote what land we do have available a little more on social media looking for an investor for a great opportunity - a community that is growing and expanding to put a facility here such as a hotel with a convention centre.”

A more cautious opinion was voiced by Coun. Dave Mingo, who noted that in light of other issues facing the district, monetary considerations must be considered as part of the plan.

“There is stuff in here that comes with dollars attached, we are going to need to identify sources of funding,” Mingo said.

In the Council meeting that followed the Committee of the Whole, council unanimously voted to receive the plan and facilitate a forum in the fall. A full copy of the plan can be found on the district’s website at

About the Author: Misha Mustaqeem

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