Castle Region Tourism Strategy

Prairie farm in Castle Region of Alberta nestled on rolling hills and in the background large mountains.

This mountain destination has the natural beauty, cultural significance and outdoor opportunities to potentially attract more domestic and international visitors.

The Government of Alberta wants to hear from local residents, Indigenous peoples and interested Albertans to help create a vision for tourism in the areas outside the recently created Castle Provincial Park and the expanded Castle Wildland Provincial Park. This area includes the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and M.D. of Pincher Creek and south to the borders of the Waterton National Park.

Your comments will help inform the creation of a tourism strategy that balances development, access and conservation of this culturally and ecologically significant part of Alberta.

Open House Update

Thanks to all who attended the Castle Region Tourism Strategy open houses in Pincher Creek (November 8) and in Blairmore (November 9). The ideas and input shared at the open houses and through the online survey are currently being reviewed and will play a vital role in the development of the strategy.

Online Survey – Update

The online survey is now closed. Thanks to all who have taken part.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where is the Castle Region on a map?
    • The Castle region borders British Columbia to the west and Waterton Lakes National Park to the south. The new Castle parks reside within the Castle region.
    • Communities adjacent to the new Castle parks include the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and the Municipal District (MD) of Pincher Creek.

  2. Why is the Government of Alberta engaging the public for a Castle region tourism strategy?
    • Growing Alberta’s tourism sector in the region will help create local jobs as well as contribute to strengthening and diversifying our economy.
    • The Castle region has the natural beauty, cultural significance and outdoor opportunities to potentially attract more visitors from across the nation and around the world.
    • The input received will help inform the development of a Castle region tourism strategy that strikes the right balance between economic development, access and conservation.

  3. What is the Castle region tourism strategy?
    • The tourism strategy for Castle region will be a Government of Alberta policy document. With input from stakeholders, Indigenous peoples and interested Albertans, it will identify actions the government can take to help support the development of the Castle region as a successful and sustainable tourism destination, becoming a significant contributor to a more diversified economy.
    • The tourism strategy will explore support for tourism outside the recently created Castle Provincial Park and the expanded Castle Wildland Provincial Park. This area includes the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and M.D. of Pincher Creek and south to the borders of the Waterton National Park.
    • It is not a business development plan or a land-use plan, nor will it address the use of the park lands. The new Castle Parks will be governed by the parks’ management plan.

  4. How is the Castle region tourism strategy related to the new Castle parks?
    • The new parks offer an opportunity to grow tourism in the Castle area. The tourism strategy is a separate initiative that focuses on how the Government of Alberta can help develop tourism in the communities adjacent to the new provincial parks.
    • Alberta Environment and Parks has completed consultation on the new Castle Parks’ Management Plan and will be leading consultation on the land footprint and recreation management plans for the Porcupine Hills and Livingstone Public Land Use Zones (PLUZs) just north of the parks.

  5. What is the current state of tourism in the Castle region?
    • The region has an abundance of outdoor recreation activities, such as hiking, fishing, camping, mountain biking, snowmobiling and skiing at Castle Mountain Resort.
    • The communities host several events throughout the year, including rodeos, music festivals and extreme sports.
    • The region is also home to many significant historical and cultural sites and museums, as well as an emerging arts scene.

  6. How can I participate in the public engagement?
    • The Government of Alberta is committed to engaging Albertans on the development of this strategy. Public open houses were held November 8 and 9 in the Castle region.
    • All Albertans were also invited to provide additional input by completing an online survey. The survey closed November 19.

  7. When will the tourism strategy for the Castle region be completed?
    • This is a complex, multifaceted policy initiative that demands coordination and commitment of several other ministries in the Government of Alberta. As such, getting it right is more important than a hard-and-fast deadline. This said, we are aiming to complete the strategy in 2018.

  8. Where can I get help to start or grow a tourism business in the Castle region?
    • Support is available through the Tourism Entrepreneurship Program. It provides tools and services that can help you start a new tourism business or help existing tourism entrepreneurs grow their operations. Visit Tourism Entrepreneurship.
Last reviewed/revised: December 8, 2017
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