Visitor Guide Coming Soon
February Distribution!


Janette Baillie's winning shot graces the cover of the largest guide produced to date, increasing by 48-pages to 160-pages! 


Thanks to Judy and Barry Johnson of Windrose Marketing in Exeter, more businesses were invited to advertise. With increased advertising and new content the guide blossomed to its larger size! 

The guide is one of the key methods we use to promote the Grand Bend Area to visitors and the advertising pays for its production. This means the guide is a cost neutral method of marketing.


This year's guide includes 88 local festivals and events and new content tagged the Beach Bucket List!"

Data & Dollars

Rural Economic Development
Since spring 2015, the Chamber's been working with Southwestern Ontario Tourism Cor poration (SWOTC) to establish baseline statistics and identify this area's tourism needs. During the summer, SWOTC's intern student and our Welcome Centre students began to survey beach visitors.

Survey Incentive
Promoted through the visitor guide, web badge advertising, Facebook and postcard-sized announcements at local businesses, the visitor survey will collect data such as purpose of visit, length of stay, basic demographics, amount spent, activities experienced and overall trip experience.
When the survey is published, the QR code and URL will take the viewer to the survey.

An incentive prize package is being offered to encourage responses. Thanks go to SWOTC, the Chamber of Commerce, the Municipality of Lambton Shores and participating accommodation providers and restaurants.

$350k of Economic Development Dollars
The survey data will be used to support various projects and initiatives to increase tourism to the area and through increased tourism, local economic development.

One initiative currently underway is a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant application spearheaded by the Chamber (Glen Baillie), the Rotary Club of Grand Bend and the Municipality of Lambton Shores. The grant application was submitted in January, 2016. 

The RED grant is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) funding opportunities, which looks for multi-partner applications and whose final grant amounts are determined by the partner's financial commitment. 

If successful, this grant could mean about $350k in development dollars for this area!
Save Money & Help the Chamber!
Did you know you can save money with First Data POS services and put money into the Chamber's bank account?

First Data Merchant Services for Chamber Members provides exclusive rates negotiated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce  to provide Chamber members with savings on point-of-sale transactions.  

Through our membership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and theirs with the Canadian Chamber, these merchant services benefits are available to you and to us. 

How Does it Work?
With each point-of-sale transaction you handle (credit and debit card payments), a small percentage of the net revenue is paid into the Chamber's own bank account. 

Why not help YOUR Chamber finance the programs and services we offer YOU through a business function you do every day?!

More Information:  Contact First Data at 1-888-265-4117 or email them at

Be sure to let them know you're one of our members.
Info Requests via

What Are They Asking?

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

Requests almost always result in a mailed-out information package. To date, 137 information packages have been mailed as a result of this form. Of course, this number does not include our phone, email and in-person information requests which number in the thousands! 

Here's a summary profile of who's asking and what they're asking:
  • Most inquiries are from Toronto & GTA (31%)
  • Most inquiries occur in June (22%)
  • Most plan to visit in the Summer (50%)
  • Most plan to stay 4-7 nights (34%)
  • Most plan a trip as a couple (45%)
  • Most have not visited Grand Bend Area before (58%)
  • Most are visiting for their family vacation (53%)
  • Most discovered us via Google Search (40%)
  • Most ask for a copy of It Starts at the Beach visitor guide (97%)
  • Top 5 travel interests are Restaurants (73%), Parks & Beaches (69%), Shopping (61%), Accommodation (58%), Festivals & Events (57%)
January to November 2015 - Tourism Performance Indicators

By Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport
  • Visits to Ontario increased 8.9% over the same time in 2014, with 8.7% of visits originating from countries other than the United States, which itself accounted for 8.9% of visits 
  • Ontarians leaving the province to visit either the United States or other international location decreased by 9.6% over the same period in 2014 
  • Ontario-wide hotel occupancy ran at 67%, a 1.1% increase over the same time period in 2014
  • Average hotel daily rate was $139.21 - a 5.9% increase over the same period in 2014 
  • Employment in tourism related industries dropped by 3.6% in comparison to the time in 2014 
  • Inquiries to Ontario Travel's 1-800 number and Information Centres increased 0.4% and 8% respectively, with no change for the

Upcoming Events & Workshops

Mark the dates!

Mayor's Breakfast: Tuesday, February 2, 8am - 9:30am, The Colonial - Main Dining room, 1 Main Street West, Grand Bend. Tickets $20 per person (taxes and gratuities included).

Annual General Meeting: Tuesday, February 23, 1pm, Grand Bend Legion Hall.

Full listing of 2016 events:

We putting together another social media for business workshop in the spring - hopefully with a beginner and adept level. Watch your inbox for announcements!
Welcome New Members
Since this time last year, the following businesses have joined the Chamber. Please welcome them, make an effort to recommend them and purchase their products and services and be sure to say hello when you meet them at Member events.
  • A Beach Life in Southcott Pines Cottage
  • A Brand New Beat
  • A Dollhouse Shoppe
  • Anne's Cottage
  • Bee 'n' Bee Bed & Breakfast
  • Bittersweet
  • Brentwood Cottages
  • Coast Creative Services
  • Cottage in Southcott Pines
  • Cozy Corner Cabins Property Management & Rental
  • Dairy Dip
  • Dark Horse Estate Winery
  • Derkzen Motorsports
  • Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre
  • Grand Bend Dental & Health Centre
  • Harbourhill Suites 
  • Keller Williams Lifestyle Realty
  • Lakeshore Painteriors
  • Lambton College Employment Services
  • MARVEL Arts Academy of Learning
  • Protect Deck, Fence & Stone
  • RPM Productions
  • Ryconn Print & Publishing
  • Swisstrio Farms Inc
  • That Girl Taxi Services
  • Total Septic
  • Workplace Safety & Prevention Services