Windsor Tourist Office
The tourism industry is on the mend and one city councillor expects the region to bounce back this summer in part because of the International Children’s Games in August.
“This is going to be the biggest tourism summer in years, ” Coun. Percy Hatfield said at the Ontario Travel Tourism Information Centre on Park Street on Monday at the kickoff event celebrating provincial Tourism Week.
Surrounded by Carrousel of the Nations dancers and Elvis impersonators, Hatfield said the ICG event will bring hundreds of athletes and tourists to the region. The ICG event is Aug. 14 to 19.
At its peak, the region attracted nine million tourists in 1999. Gordon Orr, president of Tourism, Windsor, Essex, Pelee Island, said the industry is on the mend and managed to attract about 200, 000 more people recently. The increase brought annual visits to 3.5 million, generating 0 million in economic impact and supporting 18, 000 jobs, Orr said.
“I see momentum, ” he said. Tourism officials have moved away from trying to attract convention business. They are now promoting the diversified tourist attraction market that includes wineries, birding, festivals, cycling, rum runner tours and black history.
“It’s our role to tell people about the compelling reasons to come here, ” Orr said.
Kieran McKenzie, an assistant to MP Brian Masse (NDP — Windsor West), said tourism is the cornerstone of Essex County’s economy. He said eco-tourism is the wave of the future and could be boosted by having pedestrian and cycling lanes on the new international bridge between Windsor and Detroit.
Resident Esther Greenaway often visits the Ontario travel tourism office to find out what’s going on in the city. She recently took a friend from New Brunswick to the black history museum in Amherstburg.
“She said it was astonishing that (Essex County’s black history) isn’t taught in schools, ” Greenaway said. She said Windsor residents are fortunate to have a travel information office downtown because in most big cities tourism information is only available in hotel lobbies.
Nibbly: The federal government hasn’t “shut the door” to allowing pedestrians and cyclists access to the new international border crossing built between Detroit and Windsor, said Kieran McKenzie, assistant to MP Brian Masse (NDP — Windsor West). “It’s really up to the community to make it known what features they’d like included.”
Nibbly: MP Brian Masse’s office has tentatively scheduled a rally at 10 a.m. Friday in Charles Clark Square to support single sport event gambling. Parliament passed the bill but it is being held up in the Senate, Masse staffer Kieran McKenzie said. If Caesar’s Windsor could have single sport betting, it would create 200 jobs, he said. The federal government must amend the Criminal Code to allow single sport betting in order for provinces to adopt it.