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Destination Management Plan


PRESS RELEASE - January 8, 2018


Lethbridge Destination Management Organization (LDMO), a newly formed organization focused on the growth of tourism in Lethbridge, announced that they have hired their first Executive Director William Slenders.

"We are pleased to have William here in Lethbridge," said Chris Spearman, LDMO Board Chair. "His knowledge, skills and vision fit very well with our expectations. Guided by the Lethbridge Destination Management Plan, William will engage and collaborate with the city's tourism community to identify opportunities, to lead a shared vision of its tourism future and create a strategy to reach it."

"I am looking forward to, in partnership with the board, launching this exciting opportunity within Lethbridge. The city is diverse, sensational and exciting. I cannot wait to work with the many groups and organizations to attract visitors to experience everything that makes this community amazing," said Slenders.

The LDMO, approved by City Council in May 2017, is mandated to provide direction and proactive leadership that promotes and fosters growth related to the visitor experience in Lethbridge. The LDMO encourages residents, champions of business and community groups to become involved and to contact Slenders to see what opportunities exist for partnership, coordination and development.

For more information, 
Will Slenders
Executive Director, Lethbridge Destination Management Organization

Project Update

City Council approved the Implementation Strategy and the Terms of Reference for a new tourism entity, Lethbridge Destination Management Organization (LDMO) at their meeting on Monday, May 8, 2017. 

The Implementation Strategy outlines the process to move forward, including the Terms of Reference for a new 13-member Board to provide direction and proactive leadership that encourages the private and public sectors to undertake programs and projects that will promote and foster growth related to the visitor experience in Lethbridge.

The purpose of the Board is to:

  • Transition the Lethbridge visitor functions and services (as outlined in the Implementation Strategy) currently provided by Chinook Country Tourist Association, Economic Development Lethbridge and Lethbridge Sport Council to the new entity.
  • Champion the implementation of the Lethbridge Destination Management Plan.

City Council has approved the Lethbridge Destination Management Plan to guide the development, management and marketing of Lethbridge's tourism industry over the next 10 years.

The DMP is the outcome of a 13‑month long planning process led by the Tourism Strategy Committee. The plan produced a shared vision, outcomes and action plan as well as a framework for collaboration.

The Destination Management Plan provides direction to tourism development, management and marketing in Lethbridge for the next 10 years. It is a framework in which tourism industry partners can work collaboratively towards achieving a shared future for tourism.

The Destination Management Plan focuses on:

  • The Benefits of Tourism
  • Policy and Planning Framework
  • Discover Lethbridge
  • Tourism Today – Alberta, Alberta South and Lethbridge
  • Destination Analysis
  • The Way Forward

To move the DMP forward, City Council also approved the creation of a new, standalone organization, focused on the growth of tourism in Lethbridge. City administration is tasked with designing an implementation strategy for this new entity including a funding model, transition and implementation plan by April 2017.

View the Council agenda and discussions of November 14, 2016.

News Release


The Lethbridge Destination Management Plan is now complete and was presented at the:  Community Issues Committee Meeting:  September 12, 2016.


Tourism Conversation - You're Invited.pdf

Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Location: Casa Community room (230 – 8 Street South)
Time:  1 to 4 pm

Agenda:  Lethbridge Destination Management Plan (draft) Presentation/Discussion


Over the past year the Tourism Strategy Committee has been working to develop a comprehensive plan to guide the future of tourism in Lethbridge. Incorporating input from the original Tourism Conversation held on April 29, 2014, the final draft version of the plan is now ready to be presented to tourism stakeholders and interested parties.   

The Tourism Strategy Committee members include representation from City Council, Economic Development Lethbridge, Chinook Country Tourism Association, Lethbridge Lodging Association, Lethbridge Sports Council and two citizens at large. The committee has applied a comprehensive destination management approach to guide the development, management and marketing of Lethbridge, the destination, and recognize the importance of collaboratively developing a shared vision for the future.

Alberta Culture and Tourism funded the development of the Lethbridge Destination Management Plan which has been supported by Stantec Consulting Ltd.   


The Tourism Strategy Committee recognizes that this approach requires collaboration and partnerships of key catalyst organizations, including all levels of government, the tourism industry, as well as business and community leaders.  At the core of destination management is a collective vision for the future of the destination and the need to bring resources and partners together to action priorities that will contribute to realizing the destination's potential.

A shared vision for our destination's future, clear goals, tangible priority actions that will seize the destination's tourism potential and meaningful performance metrics will be presented with an opportunity to gather your comments.

Your involvement is important and appreciated!

Bridget Mearns, City Councillor
Chair, Tourism Strategy Committee

About the Project

Work has begun on a comprehensive tourism management plan for Lethbridge. We know that tourism plays an important role in showcasing our city to the world. While providing visitors memorable experiences, tourism educates visitors about the history of our city, builds community pride and helps diversify our economy. Though our tourism industry is strong, we recognize that we have yet to realize our true potential. To further strengthen our tourism industry and to unify as a destination around a common plan - Lethbridge is moving forward with the preparation of a Destination Management Plan (DMP). 

The development of the plan is being guided by a local Tourism Strategy Committee with input from tourism stakeholders and the community at large. The Committee, chaired by Councillor Bridget Mearns, includes representation from City Council, Economic Development Lethbridge, Chinook Country Tourism Association, Lethbridge Lodging Association, Lethbridge Sports Council and two citizens at large. The Committee is being supported by City staff, Alberta Culture and Tourism and Travel Alberta. Stantec Consulting Ltd. has been retained as the consultant to facilitate the planning process. 

What is a Destination Management Plan?

Destination Management Planning is a comprehensive, collaborative process in which the local tourism industry, government and community leaders plan ahead for and manage a tourism destination. It is a process that identifies a destination's target markets and competitive advantages, considers how its unique tourism resources will be managed, how the capacity of the destination will be enhanced, how effects on the destination will be understood and dealt with, and how the destination will attract those in its target markets. 

What will the Plan Contain?

With the common understanding that Destination Management Planning is a comprehensive, collaborative process in which tourism, industry, government and community leaders plan for the future of and manage a destination, the Tourism Strategy Committee is working collaboratively with key catalyst organizations and community leaders to develop a destination management plan that establishes: 

  • A shared vision of Lethbridge's tourism future, 
  • Clear goals, 
  • Priority target markets,
  • Gaps in the experience / product offering,
  • Tangible priority actions that will seize the city's tourism potential, 
  • Leadership & governance recommendations, 
  • Integrated marketing and branding recommendations, and 
  • Performance metrics

In developing the plan, the Stantec project team’s recommendations will be focused and organized around the fundamental elements of a destination management plan:  

Destination Leadership & Governance

Destination Planning & Experience / Product Development

Destination Research

Destination Marketing

Destination Management

Input Opportunities

Through the process, we will be focused on hearing from key catalyst organizations, community leaders and tourism stakeholders. 

Stakeholders had an opportunity to share their ideas about tourism in Lethbridge by visiting and participating in an interactive online discussion.


Destination Management Planning - An Overview
Tourism Strategy Committee Terms of Reference

Contact Information

Lorna Kurio, Real Estate & Economic Development Customer Liaison
City of Lethbridge
403 320 3005