Snohomish County to hold tourism ‘think tank’ workshops this month

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The Snohomish County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) and the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau (SCTB) announced a series of regional Future of Tourism Think Tank Workshops led by Future iQ, Inc., an international sustainable tourism development and strategic planning firm.

The regional day-long workshops will bring tourism industry stakeholders and community partners together to consider their shared tourism futures collectively.  The free Think Tanks will be held in four locations throughout the county from June 18-21. The Basecamp Think Tank will be held on June 20 in the Northwest Stream Center at McCollum Park from 9 a.m.-4 p.m..

“The Think Tank process developed by Future iQ has been used successfully by communities around the world experiencing rapid growth,” said Annique Bennett, SCPRT sustainable tourism development specialist. “Our goal is to maximize economic opportunities for local communities in tourism while ensuring we are able to protect our beautiful natural resources.”

The participatory sessions will be held in four identified visitor regions consisting of neighboring communities with shared geographies: saltwater coastlines, river valleys, and dense amenity clusters. Participants can come to one or all sessions based on their visitor region affiliation. The identified regions are as follows:

  • Skykomish-Snohomish River Valleys – June 18 at the 4H Building, Evergreen State Fairgrounds
    • Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Sultan, Startup, Gold Bar, Index and Skykomish
  • Stillaguamish-Sauk River Valleys – June 19 at Hadley Hall, Arlington Boys and Girls Club
    • Arlington, Oso, Darrington, Mountain Loop Highway, Granite Falls, Stillaguamish and Sauk-Suiattle
  • Basecamp Communities – June 20 at the Northwest Stream Center, McCollum Park
    • Bothell, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Mill Creek and Everett
  • Coastal Communities – June 21 at Future of Flight Aviation Center
    • Woodway, Edmonds, Mukilteo, Everett, Marysville, Tulalip and Stanwood/Camano

Key themes of the Future of Tourism Think-Tank Workshops include:

  • Determination of regional “future tourism readiness” of infrastructure, visitor transportation, and growth impacts
  • Review of important global, national and local trends influencing tourism
  • Identification of the key factors shaping the future of tourism in each region
  • Formation of four plausible scenarios for the future of regional tourism outcomes
  • Identification of the preferred and expected futures, and their possible implications
  • Exploring needed action steps for each region

Each workshop will contribute to new regional experience and story-telling efforts by the SCTB.  “Our marketing approach will tell stories about people and their experiences,” said Amy Spain, SCTB Executive Director.  “Stories create a deeper connection.  We want visitors to understand what makes our communities so special, and we want them to care as much about the place as we do.”

A short, pre-session survey will inform each regional workshop and can be completed here. Participants can register for one or multiple Think Tank sessions; registration is required. Registrants are asked to attend the entire day-long session. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.  More information about session agendas, dates, locations, and registration information can be found at snocothink.eventbrite.com.  Contact [email protected] for further information.

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