A planning framework at crossroads

As we have seen above, Montreal has a land planning tradition and a restrictive policy to preserve agricultural land. In the case of the Parc Safari, the contradiction between urban and rural development is marked. We can see this not only in narratives that control different facilities: the park needs infrastructure to manage concentration during heavy days of traffic, business services and additional tourist services. On the other side, the development of rural areas surrounding the park limits the non-agricultural settlements and provides strong constraints for tourism development, even though it is presented as desirable by planning documents. If constraints to rural accommodations are a result of this situation, the park would benefit from the establishment of a tourist complex in the vicinity to move from a regional park status to a destination park status. In this context, it could not only increase its attendance but also be less dependent on weather hazards (Milman, 2009). Finally, the spillover effect on other tourist organizations would be increased.

This contradiction is presented in the recognition of tourism stakeholders of the development deficiencies of the Parc Safari owing to the lack of a recreational tourism cluster close to the park. Right now, the current land planning constraints do not allow such development to take place. The neighbouring areas of the park are considered agricultural, and allow rural tourism development centred on a diffused attendance and facilities on the farm. They are intended to generate additional revenue for agricultural activity. It is clear that the current situation is not advantageous to the various stakeholders. While the park does not hesitate to make available its various communication tools to highlight the tourism stakeholders around it, the lack of amenities in its periphery and the difficulty of enabling the park to become a destination for more than a day hamper its capacity for spillover effects.

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