March 2015 - Current Tourism Performance Indicators

By Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport

Summary: Visits to Ontario show a 6% increase over March of last year, while showing a 10% decrease of Ontarians leaving the province for visits to the States and an 8% increase of visits to overseas locations. Ontario-wide hotel occupancy in March ran at 58.7%, which is a 1% increase over March 2014. Average hotel daily rate is $130.57 - a 2% increase over March 2014. Employment in the tourism industry dropped by 5% in comparison to this time last year. Inquiries to Ontario Travel's 1-800 number and Information Centres increased 10% and 8% respectively.

More Information: March 2015 Results (PDF) / Q4 2014 Results(PDF)
2015 Visitor Guide
Have You Got Yours?


We try to make sure we've delivered visitor guides to local businesses, but it's possible we may have missed you. If we did and you'd like the LOCAL visitor guide, contact our office at 519-238-2001 to get a delivery to your location or drop by the Welcome Centre, 1-81 Crescent Street in Grand Bend to pick-up a quantity.


Welcome Centre hours: Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm; Sunday 10am - 4pm. Starting July 1: Monday to Saturday 10am - 6pm; Sunday 10am - 4pm

Bylaw Concerns - Lambton Shores wants to know


If you have concerns respecting Municipal by-law enforcement, contact the appropriate enforcement officer at the following number: 519-238-5246 or email Mark Russell, By-law Enforcement Officer at 

Special Offer to Chamber Members
Get 2 FREE passes to the opening dress rehearsal of "Behind the Bars" at the Huron Hi storic Gaol on Tuesday, July 7. Interactive chance to meet some historical characters of the gaol's past, including inmates! Tour the gaol and governor's house to find out about life and death behind the bars through true stories of crime, poverty, and intrigue. Visiting hours run 7-9pm, with last entry at 8pm. Allow 45-minutes for a full tour.

PRINT THIS TICKET and bring it with you to gain FREE entry (PDF)  
Email Marketing!
Did you know we promote this area to 1000 subscribers!

During the peak tourist season, we distribute an event-based e-newsletter on a monthly basis to 1000 subscribers interested in hearing about news from the Grand Bend Area.


Editorial content is focused on local events and festivals, such as Drive' N Jive, Buskerfest, Summer Sunset Sounds, Canada Day, Huron Country Playhouse's theatre schedule, Grand Bend Motorplex racing schedule, Pinery Provincial Park events, Farmers' Markets (Forest & Grand Bend), Forest Fall Fair, Kettle & Stony Point PowWow, Western Ontario Steam Threshers and much much more!


Designed to fit the 10-second eyeball glance, the information is short and sweet with accompanying visuals taking up an equal amount of space. The heading portion of the e-newsletter has key links back to the website, such as the homepage, stay, play, dine and events sections of the website.


Once emailed, the e-newsletter is available on Click here to check out June edition.  

Congratulations to Workplace Safety Certification Workshop Attendees
In April, 12 Members attended a specially-priced Workplace Safety Certification course presented by Workplace Safety & Prevent Services. Thanks to Smackwater Jack's Taphouse for hosting.
Certificates are on their way to:
  • Glenna Britton (Geo-Teck),
  • Mary-Jo Schottroff-Snopko, Shirley Fischer, Sarah Fuller, Gregory Snopko, Tina Shantz, and Robbie Adams (all from Pine Dale Motor Inn) and
  • Joan Williamson, Justin Patterson, Kim Thomas and Brad Oke (all from Smackwater Jack's Taphouse) and
  • Susan Mills (Chamber).
Quick Links to Roger Brooks Wisdom
Tourism Marketing Guru - Roger Brooks
If you missed Roger Brooks at the last two years of Tourism Sarnia Lambton's Tourism Su mmit events, it's a good idea to at least review his tourism-based business marketing recommendations and try to implement as many of them in your own marketing efforts as possible.

With time - things change. Marketing has changed drastically in the last 20-years. If you're still doing what you did a decade or two decades ago, then you're likely missing out on ways of connecting with customers.

Here are links to Roger's articles and presentations for your convenience, including MY PERSONAL NOTES taken at Roger's most recent presentation at this year's Tourism Summit. (All documents are PDF format.)

Note: For those of you who take the time to read the annual visitor guide, you will note we have implemented many of Roger Brooks recommendations in our guide, on our website and in any print advertising we've been able to do. We annually do a review of the "best of breed" award winning guides and brochures to ensure our guide is a competitive product and in-step with the times. We are also working on other Roger Brooks inspired activities and recommendations.

Free business Listings on


Another funnel through which customers may reach you 


Bill McGrath, owner/operator of would like fellow Chamber Members to know you can have a FREE listing.
Like your local online phone book, the "Shop Local" brand of websites make it easy for your customers to contact you.  You can edit your information anytime, such as hours of business, payment methods, upload a photo and logo and write a business description. You can also announce business events in the "What's New" feature and have it published on's home page and your Facebook and twitter accounts simultaneously. You can even include PayPal when you sign up and start selling Gift Certificates.

In addition to the Chamber owned/operated websites (i.e. and, Bill's website offers another channel through which potential customers can find you! The fact that this is offered for FREE is a great budget-friendly option to leverage.  
Welcome Centre - Requests for Information


What Are They Asking?


At the start of 2014, we published a new Request for Information form on to better collect visitor inquiry questions.


These requests almost always result in us mailing out an information package. To date, we have mailed 113 information packages as a result of this form. Of course, this number does not include our phone, regular email and in-person information requests which number in the thousands! 

  • 57% of information requests are received May, June & July, with 34% of all requests received between January and end of April
  • 37% wish to be added to our e-Newsletter subscriber list
  • 74% plan to visit during the summer; 19% will visit in the Spring; 12% in the Fall
  • Equally, 24% plan on staying 1-3 nights and 4-7 nights
  • 39% will visit as part of a 1-2 person group, followed by 24% as part of a 3-4 person group
  • 41% have NEVER been to the Grand Bend Area before
  • 43% are visiting the are as part of their family vacation, followed by 24% as a personal getaway and 14% for business
  • 29% found us via Google Search with 27% indicating another method (a method other than an article, print ad, Facebook, YouTube, Tourism Sarnia Lambton's website, Ontario's West Coast website or other Internet).
  • 81% requested a copy of our local visitor guide - It Starts at the Beach, followed by 56% wanting a copy of Ontario's West coast, 49% requesting Navigate and 35% requesting the Drayton Entertainment Theatre Guide
  • By decreasing percentage, travel interests included restaurants (49%), parks & beaches (42%), festivals & events (37%) and accommodation (37%), shopping (36%), hiking & canoeing trails (32%), farm-gate, culinary & farmers' market info (28%), arts & culture (24%), outdoor adventure (24%), sports (12%), spas (10%), marine & marine services (8%), slots & horse racing (7%), golfing (4%), meetings & conventions (4%).
Congratulations - Members' Milestones Anniversaries
We love to celebrate our Members! If you've got a milestone anniversary coming up, please let us know so that we can share the great news!
  • 3-years: Smackwater Jack's Taphouse
  • 35-years: Ellison Travel & Tours
  • 40-years: Merry Rags