The Opportunity Analysis evaluates the supply and demand situation using surveys of commercial tourism owners and industry statistics on commercial recreation trends. Here are the highlights.
There is high excess demand for RV sites in the Lesser Slave Region.
- The new Shadow Creek Resort on Lesser Slave Lake, with a planned 400-slip marina and 500 RV sites, has leased all completed slips and sites
- A large RV Park/Resort that opened in 2010 on Snipe Lake did so well that it expanded in 2013
- 75% of RV Parks surveyed report five consecutive years of increased revenue
- 90% report they are fully booked from May through September
- More than half have either expanded recently or plan to expand in the next few years
Highest demand is for year-round RV site leases. These leases provide a secure source of revenue that is received before the busy season begins. The short stay trade is also brisk. A marina or boat launch is essential and adds revenue streams. A shortage of marinas on Lesser Slave Lake and the smaller lakes in the Region means that excess demand is high.
The market for RV parks and resorts is mainly from Alberta.
- Approximately 75% of recreational tourists to the Lesser Slave Region live in Alberta.
- The biggest market for Lesser Slave Lake recreational enterprises is northern Alberta, followed by Edmonton, Calgary and the BC Peace River Region.
- Leisure recreation, nature-based activities and fishing are the most common activities of visitors to RV parks and resorts.
- Business travel (including work crews) represents about 15% of business for RV parks and resorts.
- Alberta Tourism predicts RV use will grow by 3% annually over the next decade.
- There is excess demand for support services such as boat rentals and guiding.
- Lesser Slave Region is well known in Alberta for the quality of fishing. The region has little diversity of tourism products. There are product gaps, particularly at the high comfort end, which may represent opportunities.
- There are opportunities to increase the size of niche market recreational tourism: offroading, snowmobiling and nature-based tourism.