Why not attend the November 7 Council Meeting to show your support for the Chamber and show how important Tourism Services are to YOUR business.
Tourism is Lambton Shore's Primary Economic Driver
The Chamber has provided Tourism and Visitor Services to this area for many years. Annually, the cost of providing Tourism and Visitor Services is about $78k. For the first time in 2011 the Chamber received some financial assistance from the Municipality for the provision of these services (2011 - $13k; 2012-$15; 2013-$21k). The financial assistance received however, does not nearly cover the actual cost.
How Are Tourism Services Paid For In Other Areas?
Tourism Services are paid for by all levels of government across Ontario. There are only a few Chambers in Ontario that provide Tourism Services and those that do have multi-year, paid contracts with their municipalities. As an example, the Chamber of Commerce in Prince Edward County (which is NOT a county, it's a municipality) is paid $57k annually to provide a year-round Welcome Centre, website with online accommodation checker, respond to visitor inquiries, and produce and mail out the visitor guide. The amount they're provided does not need to cover advertising or marketing of the area.
What We Do?
Our Chamber provides a year-round Welcome Centre ($10,649), tourist-focused website with online accommodation checker and mobile-friendly mapping system ($3,534), responds to visitor inquiries, and produces and distributes the area's visitor guide ($24,475). We also actively market and advertise this area ($9,838) in established media such as Bluewater Visitors Guide, Drayton Entertainment Playbill, Pinery Provincial Park Visitors Guide, Navigate (Tourism Sarnia Lambton's guide), Ontario's West Coast (Huron Tourism Association's guide), DayTripping, and Summer Fun Guide. As well, we produce a monthly e-Newsletter that's sent to 1,300 potential visitors and we officially represent our area on the boards of Tourism Sarnia Lambton and Huron Tourism Association ($1,626). We estimate about 50% of our manager's time is spent on these activities, 100% of the two summer students and 100% of our two volunteers ($32,985).
Tourism Benefits Lambton Shores
Did you know over 2 million people per year visit Lambton County and the amount of money they spend while here is almost $178-million?
Since StatsCan collects data based on census regions, we are unable to break that figure down for Lambton Shores alone, but below you'll find some attendance figures for local popular attractions and events.
Did you know -
- 600,000 people visit Pinery Provincial Park each year
- 60,000 patrons attend the Grand Bend Motorplex events
- 41,000 patrons attend Huron Country Playhouse
- 23,000 people attend Canada Day in Grand Bend
- 11,642 people are helped by our Welcome Centre
- 10,451 folks visit Lambton Heritage Musuem
- 7,000 frequent Grand Bend's Farmers' Market
- 2,700 attend the Studio Tour
- 1,000 people go to Aquafest
- 816 bird enthusiasts attend Return of the Tundra Swans
- 750 attend Winter Carnival
- 500 visit the Forest Garden Show
Based on the 11,642 inquiries our Welcome Centre handles annually, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport's "Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model" calculator figures we are responsible for $1.5-million of tourist spending in terms of accommodation, food, retail, transportation/gas and area attractions!
What We Will Propose to Council
The Huron County Playhouse reports its 13-week summer season annually accounts for $14-million of local visitor spending.
Grand Bend Motorplex's 60,000 patrons - using the same Ontario Ministry's calculator - would account for $10.8 million of local visitor spending.
In our November 7 presentation, we will propose that Tourism and Visitor Services receive a percentage of Grand Bend's paid parking revenue (about $600k annually). Paid parking is in effect from the Victoria Day Weekend through to mid-September and is primarily used and paid for by area visitors. By establishing a link between Tourism Services and the parking revenue generated during peak tourist season, we will be connecting the activity (i.e. Tourism & Visitor services) to the return-on-investment (parking revenue) without any extra load on the taxpayer. Our Call To Action
Join us on November 7 to show your support. If you cannot attend the Council Meeting, why not write a letter of support in favour of the Chamber's plan and your thoughts on the importance of Tourism to Lambton Shores?Council Meeting Details
When: Thursday, November 7
Where: The Legacy Centre, Thomas Hall, 16 Allen Street, Thedford.Letters of Support
Address to Mayor & Council and reference the "Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce November 7 presentation" and mail to:
Mayor & Council
Municipality of Lambton Shores
7883 Amtelecom Parkway, Forest, ON N0N 1J0