Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Share Your Winter Shots with has been producing a ton of great stories and pictures that will be featured in our upcoming 2009 tourism marketing campaigns.

This is your chance to share your winter photos, stories and videos with us. We want to see your favorite Thunder Bay winter experiences and hear about what makes Thunder Bay a special place in the winter for you!

Simply click on to upload your pics, stories and video clips.

Also, visit on Facebook to see more great stories and photos posted.

Read what Wander Woman writes about Thunder Bay

After a record breaking year for attracting travel media to the City of Thunder Bay, we're starting to see some great stories roll out.

Suzanne Wright, a freelance journalist out of Atlanta, GA, paid us a visit this past July and had an absolute blast. For us, it was fantastic to bear witness to her first impressions of Thunder Bay, as our community partners rolled out pleasant surprise after pleasant surprise for her to absorb.

Read what Suzanne had to say here.

To read more about Suzanne's global travels, go to

Tourism Thunder Bay holiday Hours

Its hard to believe, given a great year of tourism accomplishments, but even we stop to rest once in a while.

Tourism Thunder Bay's Administration Centre, located at the Pool Six lands in Marina Park, will be closed from noon December 24th and reopening at 8:30 am, Monday January 5th, 2009.

Hours for the Terry Fox Visitor Center are:
December 24th - closed at noon
December 25th - closed
December 26th - closed
December 27th-30th - open regular hours 9-5
December 31 - closed at noon
January 1, 2009 - closed
January 2nd, 2009 - closed
January 3rd, 2009 - resumption of normal 9-5 daily hours.
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and we'll see you again in 2009.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thunder Bay's Japanese Profile

Tourism Thunder Bay welcomed a record number of travel media from around the globe this past year and the results are starting to roll out with print and digital media profiles emerging in key geographical and experience seeking segments.

One of the most unique travel media experiences we hosted this year was four from Japan, who work for Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership's Japanese market office. While in Thunder Bay, we rolled out the red carpet for them, exposing them to Sleeping Giant Park, Sailing Charters on Lake Superior, iconic local culinary experiences and a tour of fort William Historical Park.

The result is a profile on the Japanese OTMPC site:

The Asian market in general has shown promising growth for the city and region as a future area of focus with a number of trans Canada motorcoach tour itineraries through the city in 2008. The overseas market now represents 6% of visitors to the city, double from 2005 and while the numbers are small, the spending, per person is greater than a domestic or U.S. Visitor with an estimated annual contribution of approximately $1.8 million to the local tourism economy.

In addition, Thunder Bay's unique location and surrounding wilderness are a good product fit with the experiences that the emerging new Japanese markets are seeking. Having already seen Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa, travellers who have fallen in love with Canada are now looking for smaller communities to visit and explore.

2009 Great Ontario Outdoor Adventure Calandars are Out!

Tourism Thundeer Bay is once again, excited to work with the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation to help promote the great outdoor landscapes that attract visitors to our city and region from around the globe.

From December 15th, complimentary copies of the 2009 Ontario Tourism's "Great Ontario Outdoor Adventure" calandars are available to the public at the Terry Fox Visitor Center as well as our Tourism Administration Centre located at Pool Six in Marina Park.

These full colour calandars depict stunning photography from Provincial Parks across Ontario, including local and regional pics from the Slate Islands, Gull River and Candy Mountain.

SKAL Thunder Bay Elects New President

Tourism Thunder Bay and SKAL Canada are working closer than ever before and effective January 2009, Paul Pepe, Manager of Tourism Thunder Bay will assume the role of President of the Thunder Bay chapter.

SKAL is an international association of travel and tourism professionals with 17 Chapters across Canada. The Thunder Bay chapter, active since 1981, is currently comprised of 24 members representing the accommodation, travel services, car rental, education, attractions and destination marketing organization segments of the tourism industry. The organization meets monthly to discuss tourism trends and issues and is a sounding board for a lot of the services and programs Tourism Thunder Bay is actively pursuing. The Thunder Bay chapter is one of the few in Canada that has representation by a municipality and the only one where a member of the municipal tourism association is the President. This is an accomplishment I'm proud of and shows a positive public/private working relationship to help build a stronger local tourism industry.

For more information on SKAL, SKAL Canada and SKAL Thunder Bay, visit:

Sport Tourism Strategy Released

The City of Thunder Bay's new Sport Tourism strategy was approved by City Council on December 8, 2008. Sport tourism is worth an estimated $40 million annually for the local economy so a greater focus on this segment of the tourism industry is key to a healthy sustainable local tourism industry buy building on the City's advantages as a sport tourism destination.

The policy, three years in development, is a significant milestone for both the Tourism and Recreation Divisions as it will create an enhanced and more formalized working relationship between the two divisions that will deliver greater results for the local tourism industry.

Based on the research and findings, the proposed Sport Tourism Events and Activities Policy recommends that the City continue to encourage and strengthen its support to the hosting of sport events that attract significant numbers of visitors to Thunder Bay.
The proposed vision for Thunder Bay is to be recognized as a leading sport host community by successfully hosting major sporting events and activities that attract visitors from outside the City. Maximizing sport opportunities through a shared City vision will:
-Build community pride and spirit
-Benefit the local sport system through the development of volunteers, athletes, coaches, officials, and facilities
-Generate positive economic benefit by attracting and hosting visitors
-Showcase Thunder Bay to national and international audiences
-Promote health and active living

In order to develop sport tourism opportunities, the proposed Sport Tourism Events and Activities Policy recommends that the City:
-assist local sport organizations to attract and host single-sport championships (international, national, provincial and regional);
-host multi-sport games either as the lead host or by supporting other community organizations to host;
-develop sport facility infrastructure;
-attract participants and spectators to sports events;
-help create new sport tourism events and activities as well as supporting existing annual ones;
-promote Thunder Bay as a training site.

For more information on the Sport Tourism Strategy, contact Paul Burke at pburke