Shaunavon and surrounding communities were recently paid a visit by travel blogger and social media influencer Ashlyn George.
George, the creator of The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World and a former Saskatchewanderer, has over 13 thousand followers on Facebook. She traveled to the communities of Eastend, Frontier, Gull Lake, Hazlet, Maple Creek and Shaunavon from May 31 to June 7.
During her travels she made daily posts on Facebook and Instagram about what she did in each community.
This was a part of an effort to help promote tourism to the area.
Since the beginning of 2020, the Economic Development Officers of these communities have been meeting every month to discuss and work together to bring economic development and regional cooperation to southwest Sask.
“We have formed a strong partnership,” said Shaunavon Economic Development Officer Lauren Johnson. “We get together monthly to share ideas, problem solve, and develop opportunities to promote the area.”
The Southwest group applied for the Tourism Saskatchewan Marketing & Event Partnership Program to help fund the Regional Tourism Campaign that brought in George.
“The idea of the project is to market these communities as a summer region to visit and to show activities and adventures that travelers cannot experience elsewhere,” said George. “Most people don’t travel in our own backyard but there are incredible things to see and do, and you don’t have to go far for great experiences.”
George enjoyed her time in the Southwest and can't wait to come back.
“My favourite part of the trip was just how friendly and wonderful everyone was, I just had great conversations with people out on the street and they saw me taking photos and that kind of stuff, and just how welcoming all the business and community members are,” said George.
While she was in Shaunavon George visited the Grand Coteau Heritage and Cultural Centre for the unveiling of the facility's new sensory sidewalk, played disc golf and dined at many of the town’s restaurants.
She also explored a wide range of the town's businesses and other local attractions - from the Plaza Theatre and Memorial Park to Ranch House Meats, Studio Southwest and everything in between. The whirlwind tour also included an overnight stay at one of the community's hotels.
“There is just so much to see and do, and I need to come back and finish getting everywhere I couldn’t see on the trip," she said.
To view the daily posts, you can head to the town of Shaunavon’s Facebook page or George’s Facebook page, The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World.
Jacob Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shaunavon Standard