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Tourism from US to Canada down 8.9%

The Canadian Tourism Commission has released February 2011 statistics on overnight visits to Canada from abroad, and they don’t look good.  Overall, arrivals fell 4.1% as compared to 2010.  The most notable decline was visitors from the US (down 8.9%) and Germany (down 26%).  Should we panic?

Kevin Pillai, president of King Charter says “We have not noticed the decline.  The number of tourists traveling to Toronto and Niagara Falls has been relatively steady”.  In fact King Charter, a bus charter company servicing the Toronto and Niagara Falls area, expects a double digit increase in tourist this summer once the weather improves.   There is reason for this optimism.  After all,  last year Canada hosted the Olympics which saw many people visit BC.  Comparing February 2011 to February 2010 is not fair.

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Niagara not just a day trip

Niagara Falls may be one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, but many visitors, even those from this country, just want to take a fast look at the water, buy some icewine, and head down the QEW to Toronto.
And that’s a serious problem, says Niagara Parks Commission Chairwoman Fay Booker.
“We have to do a much better job of educating people in our prospective markets,” she said during a Parks Commission meeting Wednesday morning. “We have to tell people there is so much more to do here. We have to keep them here longer.”
That will be crucial to the long-term success of the Parks Commission and the Niagara tourism industry in general. Commissioners heard a report during the meeting about travel trends, and the message was not good.
Visitors to Ontario from the United States, already in freefall over the past 10 years, are predicted to be flat for 2011 as the world still reels from the global recession. In addition, Americans travelling to Ontario will be impacted by the strength of the Canadian dollar and lower taxes in the United States – factors that also entice Canadians to forsake their own country for trips south of the border. more…

A Letter To Dalton McGuinty Premier of Ontario

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Protect our Parks, an activist blog dedicated to protecting the Parks of Southern Ontario, has published this letter to the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty.

——-

March 2, 2010

The Honourable Dalton McGuinty Premier of Ontario

This letter will be emailed and served by Registered Mail

Re: Reasonable Apprehension of Bias in Maid of Mist Lease Negotiations

Sir.

First, please let me tell you the reason for this whole letter. It is an embarrassment to the people of the Province of Ontario and your Provincial Government to have allowed the present Board of Commissioners and General Manager of the Niagara Parks Commission to still remain in their present positions with what you and the citizens already know.

Second, I fear that if you respond to this letter you will give me a standard explanation that you are forwarding this to Minister Chan, Tourism Minister. To pass the buck again to a new Tourism Minister who has done nothing to improve the credibility of your Government, nor show the people that the process will be fair, is negligence on your behalf. You already know some of the conflicts and dirty inner workings of the Niagara Parks Commission through this ordeal and you choose not to take control and be a leader, but to hope we all go away. That’s not going to happen unless we are assured a fair, unbiased tendering is done that is transparent in its selection.

Here are some of the facts:

1. The Chairman (Jim Williams) and General Manager (John Kernahan) of NPC were involved in a meeting with the CEO of IMAX in fall of 2006 where an option was presented that IMAX will
build a new attraction at Table Rock fully financed by IMAX. This meeting and all information was suppressed from the Niagara Parks Commissioners and never exposed until I was told in May of
2008. In the mean time the NPC borrowed $38 million to renovate Table Rock and build the attraction “Fury” which has been exposed to be a dismal failure.

more…