Canadian group visits Vevay to discuss tourism development

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In cooperation with the Government of Alberta Canada for the Department of Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture, community and business leaders of the Canadian Badlands brought their “Best Practices Mission” to Vevay last Wednesday, November 19th.

Vevay was one of only three locations in the state selected to visit.

The Canadian Mission is made up of interested individuals, organizations and businesses who see potential for what can be accomplished when regions work together to increase tourism and economic development.

The trip was created to inspire members to do more within their communities and ultimately the “Canadian Badlands”, which is made up of many small cities, towns and counties.

The 12 participants of the touring group consisted of Canadian councilors, mayors, tourism professionals, business owners, a museum curator, professional photographer and former Mountie.

After researching communities throughout the United States, the “Canadian Best Practices Mission” selected to study the state of Indiana because of available tourism products and comparable features to the Badlands such as rural/urban population and a strong agricultural base.

Guests traveled to the Amish country of Elkhart County, Vevay and Madison.

Canadian officials said that Switzerland County/Vevay was a “standout and recommended time and again” by tourism industry professionals as not only a location in which members could associate, but a place that has understanding of the elements that contribute to the success of tourism and are engaged in dynamic product development programs.

A presentation by Switzerland County Tourism Director David Attaway, and Project Coordinator for “A Vision for Switzerland County” Angie Satterfield at the Ogle Haus pinpointed highlights of the progress made to downtown Vevay over the past couple of years as well as retail and countywide signage projects in progress and new developments slated for the future.

Fundamentals that have contributed to making Switzerland County a tourism destination and attractive to visitors were also discussed.

While in Switzerland County, the Canadian troupe stayed at the Ogle Haus and toured downtown Vevay, including the Grisard Building currently undergoing renovation. They also dined at the Rosemont Inn Bed and Breakfast and G.G’s Grill, and patronized downtown shops.

During their stay the group interacted with local elected officials, tourism officials, business leaders and organization directors including: Pam Acton, Howard and Linda Awand; K.C. Banta; Sue Christman; Steve Crabtree; Barb Dowdy; Lisa Fisher; Darrell Hansel; John Keeton; Kendal Miller; and Kirk Works.

Several members of the Canadian Best Practices Mission are planning to return to Switzerland County/Vevay in the near future.

– Story and photo by Kendal Miller