Friday, June 27, 2008

Small Business Banking Advice for the Tourism Industry

Tourism Thunder Bay has been working proactively with the Thunder Bay financial Services community, educating them on emerging trends in the tourism industy and to encourage them to support tourism ventures that elevate the quality experiences visitors can have in the community.

Scotiabank is literally hitting the road in a specially-equipped RV to deliver information, advice and tools to small business owners across the country to help them grow their businesses to the next level. The RV tour was officially launched in Vancouver on June 3rd and is making a stop in Thunder Bay on June 27th to join local Scotiabank Small Business advisors as they meet with small business owners to identify strategies to grow their businesses.

The Scotiabank ‘Get Growing to a Million’ RV will be in the parking lot of the Scotiabank Balmoral Business Banking Centre on June 27th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m at 745 Hewitson Street South. Scotiabank Small Business advisors will be on hand. Refreshments will be served and the RV will be open for interested small business owners.

While in town, Scotiabank will be highlighting the success of small business owner Lori Paras, a enthisastic local tourism industry partner and executive member of the North of Superior Tourism Association.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tourism Thunder Bay wows the Cruise Shipping Industry

On June 20th and 21st, Tourism Thunder Bay played host to 6 cruise shipping industry executives representing various companies including Travel Dynamics, Residensea, LePonnant, Mundy Crusing, and Cruise North. They were accompanied by Stephen Burnett , the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition.

The prepresrntatives were on an 8 day air safari of the Great Lakes and member ports of the Great Lakes Cruising Coaliton.

While in the city, they were treated to a tour of the Thunder Bay airport, an important ingredient in attracting vessels to use the city as a home port or terminal for starting and ending cruises, a strateegic advantage that potentially doublews the economic impact on the city. Guests were also treated to a sneak peak of Fort William Historical Park's historic precinct, revealing an incredivbley well manicured and prestine site on the heels of the June 6th flood.

Guests then enjoyed the dinner and hospitality of Whitewater Golf Course with Tim Heney of the Port Authority, Margaret Myslicki of the Thunder Bay Airport Authority and Bonnie Gauthier representing Lake Superior Visits, the local Inbound receptive operator, who all provided overviews of thier operations. After a tour of the course, the evening ended with a trip to Kakabeka Falls at 10 pm, highlighting the exceptionally long days of daylight we receive.

Saturday morning brought them to Good News on the Lake at the Historic CN Station for a catered sit down breakfast with Her Worship Mayor Peterson, Katherine Dugmore, the City's Waterfront Manager and Rob Lefavre of the Canada Border Service Agency. A presentaition on the new development followed by a tour of the Pool Six property, designated as the future cruise ship docking facility gave the delegation a great view of the harbour and a great site for future. From here, they boarded their chartered Kingair to continue a low slow flyover of the Lake Superior coast to Duluth.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Local Tourism Sector Supports Moving Muscles Ride 2008

Moving Muscles Ride 2008, a group of five university students, are cycling across Canada this summer to raise funds and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy. The five riders are Keith Martin, Jonathan Eric Taves, Patrick Cuthbert, Michael McDonald and Brian Avery Sprague.

The riders have a personal connection to Muscular Dystrophy in that Keith Martin suffers from Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD), a form of Muscular Dystrophy, a disorder that is characterized by the progressive weakening and wasting of voluntary muscles that control body movement. FSHD primarily affects the muscles in the face, shoulders and arms. Kieth is fortunate as others affected by the disorder are confimed to a wheelchair and although his future with FSHD is uncertain, he hopes to be able to maintain his lifestyle by constant movement of his muscle groups to avoid further deterioration. There is currently no cure or treatment for it.

The local tourism and hospitality sector have jumped on board to support this worthwhile initiative. The Valhalla Inn ( has offered to be the accommodation sponsor for the five riders, ensuring that they will enjoy a first rate sleep after living in tents along the highway for the past few evenings in Northwestern Ontario. Thanks goes out to Rene Gurtner and staff for their participation and extending legendary Thunder Bay hospitality to the group. Tom Petrie of Petries Cycle and Sports is another sponsor of the riders and will be offering them cycle servicing while in the city.

Corporate National Sponsors of the event include Bombardier and Specialized Cycles.

They will arriving in Thunder Bay from the west on Wednesday June 18th in the afternoon. Their fundraising goal is $150 000 and they have raised $112 000 to date and still have half the country to travel.

From time to time Tourism Thunder Bay receives inquiries from charitable groups raising money with exciting and unique cross Canada journeys. The local tourism industry is thrilled to extend Thunder Bay's warm hand of hospitality to those with the passion and determination towards advancing research and treatment of physical and developmental disorders.

You can follow their progress and read their blog each day at
Help us extend a warm Thunder Bay welcome to these five dedicated individuals by supporting Muscular Dystrophy's efforts in research and services.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tourism Thunder Bay June 2008 News

On June 16, 2008, Tourism Thunder Bay, in collaboration with Corporate Communications and the Community Economic Development Commision launched, a community engagement portal developed to gather stories, video and photos from Thunder Bay residents, businesses and visitors about what makes Thunder Bay a great place to live, work and visit.

The campaign will run over the summer and will encourage local residents to build pride in their community, share their best tales and help spread the word about everything there is do do in the city. The camapign will help residents and satisfied visitors become ambassadors for the community. Selling the community to ourselves makes it easier to sell to others.

Selected materials gathered from this engagement campaign will be utilized in a number of upcoming tourism marketing campaigns, focusing on real experiences of real travellers and residents.

The campaign will be supported by community media partners Dougall Media (, Newcap Radio (, NetNewsLedger (, CBC Radio 1 ( and the Chronicle Journal ( While a few other communities around North America have had similar type campaigns, Thunder Bay's is unique in that it will engage social media channels unlike any other city, using Facebook, MySpace, Youtube and other social networks to engage visitors and steer them towards the main portal.

TBayTel ( is a major partner in the campaign as is Thunder Bay Transit and the Thunder Bay Public Library(, who will assist those without access to a home computer to log on at any Thunder Bay Public Library Branch to have their say.
The campaign was developed by the City's creative advertising agency, Generator Advertising ( and a special thanks is extended to Jack Hudolin, Barry Smith, Heather Cranston and Steve Coghill of Generator for their creativity and insights into the project.

Visit to add your photos, stories and videos about what you like best about working, living and visiting Thunder Bay.

Upcoming Familiarization Tours

On June 20 and 21st, Tourism Thunder Bay will be hosting executives representing 7 various cruise lines and vessel management firms. They are touring Great Lakes ports as part of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition's efforts to introduce new cruise vessels to the Great Lakes. While in Thunder Bay, they will visit the Terry Fox Lookout, Whitewater Golf and the new marina development. While Fort William Historical Park is also on the itinerary, flood repairs may alter that visit.

While in the city, they will meet with City officials as well as staff from the Thunder Bay Port Authority, Thunder Bay International Airport Authority and Canada Border Services.

Cruise shipping can offer significant financial impacts on the community and it is expected that the 11 visits in 2009 by the vessel MV Clelia II will generate approximately $300 000 in economic impacts.

Following on their heels will be another delegation of 10 motorcoach executives touring Northern Ontario cities. With rising fuel prices, motorcoach travel is gaining in popularity and touring routes are once again popular. Three routes - the Lake Superior Circle Tour, loops from the prairies and trnas Canada travel catering to a largely Asian market - are all on the city's radar.

Seven Days With the Giant Update

Seven Days with the Giant officially ended May 30 and the campaign generated over 25, 240 entries. The winner's name should be released in the coming weeks and they and 3 guests will be visiting in August, 2008. During the campaign, web visitation to the site increased by 41%.

BluesFest Weekend Getaway

This year, Tourism Thunder Bay celebrated tourism week with the release of the Bluesfest Weekend Getaway campaign in the Winnipeg, Northern Minnesota and regional Northwestern Ontario Markets. Thunder Bay residents are not eligble to enter but are encouraged to invite their out of town friends to enter online. The winner and a friend will recieve weekend passes to the 7th annual TBayTel Thunder Bay Bluesfest, a sailing charter with yacht charters and 1 night overnight accommodation on their floating Bed and Breakfast, two nights stay at the Day's Inn North ( dinners at the Prospector and Lot 66 and lunch at Ruby Moon.

ReDiscover Thunder Bay

In the June edition of "Your City", Tourism Thunder Bay was featured in a two page centre spread, encouraging local residents to rediscover our city. As part of National Tourism week and in response to the fact that 180 000 visitors come to the city annually to visit friends and family, building local amassadors helps sell the city.

Map Flap

As many in the industry are aware, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership publications left Northwestern Ontario completely off the maps in both the distinctive Getaways campaign and the My Ontario 2008 Visitor Guide. However, with respect to each of the errors, the effects on Thunder Bay were minimized in that, the experiences featured in the Distinctive Getaways were not offered in this part of the Province and in the My Ontario Guide, the map ends just west of the city and Thunder Bay was featured in a 4 page editorial piece focusing on Fort William Historical Park, with the call to action listed as

The Northern Office at the OTMPC took up the issue as did MPP Michael Gravelle and his staff at the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. We thank them for bringing the concerns to the highest level to ensure the mistake is not made in the future.

We had the pleasure of meeting with Bill Duron, the Chair of OTMPC several weeks back to discuss many of the great partnerships Tourism Thunder Bay has formed with the OTMPC and Bill offered his heartfelt apology for the map deletion. However, we are pleased with the partnerships with OTMPC that assisted us with many campaigns in the past year, including Seven Days With the Giant. Watch for some new partnerships being announced in the nrear future.

Tourism Thunder Bay on the Move

We're moving out of our VicotriaVille offices and going on down to the water. Effective July 14, 2008, our new administrative offices will be located at Prince Arthur's Landing in the former Pool 6 office building.

The move facilitates the movement of the Mayor and CAO's offices into the former tourism location during City hall renovations this year.

We are excited by the new office location, while in the middle of a construction zone, signals growth of our city and our commitment to the waterfront development and future enhancements on the site, including cruise ship docking commencing in 2009. Terry Fox Visitor Center and the Pagoda will remain themain consumer points of contact for information.

Once we are settled, we welcome industry partners to visit for a tour and to see the plans for the new developments unfold.