(Cornwall, ON)— As the 2016 tourism season approaches, Cornwall and the Counties Tourism (CCT) held their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, April 19 to review past activities and examine current trends with partners, members and stakeholders.
The regional economic impact of tourism in 2015 was estimated to be approximately $221 Million, with the International Plowing Match helping to attract visitors in an otherwise soft tourism year. The IPM attracted an estimated 83,000+ people to the week-long event in September 2015.
“Our members reported that 2015 was a slower tourism year throughout the region,” says CCT Executive Director, Linda Wilson. “With the current state of the Canadian Dollar, we expect to see more Americans visiting the region in 2016, and more Canadians organizing vacations closer to home. These factors present opportunities to increase the regional economic impact of tourism”
One of the challenges facing tourism operators is encouraging more overnight stays.
“The statistics we gathered for 2015 suggest that 49% of the visitors to the region are here for one day or less,” Wilson says. “We are working on creative ways to entice visitors to extend their stays and experience more of what the region has to offer.”
As the region heads into the summer tourism season, CCT is working with its partners to get the message out about various events and activities.
“There are a number of popular events such as CAPE, Beerfest and Pumpkinferno that add to a full calendar of summer fairs and festivals,” says Wilson. “We continue to welcome cyclists and divers to the region, and a number of businesses continue to invest in their properties. We are confident that by working together we can attract more people to come and visit us.”
CCT promotes the Cornwall & Counties region to an estimated 1.5 million people with the distribution of the annual Travel Guide, special publications, and member rack cards. CCT staff also attends trade shows and other events throughout the year, in addition to keeping several brochure racks throughout the region stocked with information. The CCT website and social media platforms also experienced growth with an average increase in followers of 26%.
The CCT AGM was well attended with over 40 members and stakeholders present. An election took place to fill 5 positions on the Board of Directors. Linda Halliday, Andre Pommier, Paul Dupuis, Lesley O’Gorman and Scott Lecky were named as Directors.