Tourism Case Study:

Town of Saugeen Shores Economic Development Strategy, Tourism Strategy

The Town of Saugeen Shores first retained Mellor Murray Consulting in 2018 to develop its first Economic Development Plan. Mellor Murray Consulting was subsequently retained to develop the Town’s Tourism Strategy. 

The economic development plan had to reflect the challenges of a small community facing unique opportunities and challenges driven by an economy anchored by the nuclear power industry and tourism sector. The town had experienced strong population growth in recent years. The strategy was developed with guidance from a volunteer committee and input from a broad range of community stakeholders. The plan included a full review of economic and demographic data, benchmarking Saugeen Shores against four other similar communities and an environmental scan of the forces that will influence the community’s growth prospects in the coming years.

The tourism strategy included research on emerging trends and best practices and the implications for Saugeen Shores’ tourism assets and programming. The analysis incorporated a review of various governance models including the advantages and disadvantages of each model. The extensive community consultation included feedback from over 1,000 individuals. Key tourism stakeholder participated in a priority setting exercise. 

The final strategy included recommendations on a new governance model, product development and marketing, with an emphasis on sustainable growth for the community.

When seeking a consultant to complete the first Economic Development Strategic Plan for the Town of Saugeen Shores, it was important that we receive authentic, personalized service. No two communities are alike when it comes to economic development challenges and opportunities, and we didn’t want a cookie cutter approach.

Aileen and her team delivered customized service for Saugeen Shores. They dove deep into data and learned from community stakeholders. The team at Mellor Murray took the time to learn from the community and our Economic Development Advisory Committee and delivered material that made sense. The Economic Development Strategic Plan and Tourism Strategy for the Town for Saugeen Shores are thorough, justifiable, transparent and achievable.

Jessica Linthorne Ec.D.(F), Former Director, Strategic Initiatives, Town of Saugeen Shores

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