Tourism Thunder Bay will be featured on this weekend's edition of Cross Country Check Up with Rex Murphy on CBC Radio 1.
The North American tourism industry is facing unprecedented changes and challenges and moving or tourism industry forward requires creative and proactive solutions. Some of the things we've been doing to help Thunder Bay weather the tourism industry environment have included the shift to consumer researched marketing strategies that focus on experiences rather than the destination, industry leading engagement of social media and the promotion of the city to the local markets to encourage greater awareness and appreciation for the diversity of the tourism experiences that exist here. We live on the shore of the world's greatest fresh water lake and only minutes to some of the planets most exotic wilderness and geography. We have to recognize how lucky we are and share it with others.
With tourism being a $183 million annual industry here, employing 2000 people and affecting over 1400 businesses, its important to our community's evolving economy. One of our biggest allies has been the local, regional media who have continuously kept tourism front and center, whether its industry news, attractions or events, it all helps build local awareness of just what exists around us.
With over 28% of visitors coming here to visit friends and family, it makes perfect sense to build awareness among the local population and to encourage the growth of local Ambassadors - people who can help welcome their Friends and family,who can attract a meeting or conference for the business or organization or host a sports tournament here. With fuel prices high, passport requirements and tightening household budgets, its the perfect time to rediscover the city with a staycation. Visit the Fort, Sleeping Giant Park, or the Art Gallery. Wander through the farmer's market or take the kids to the skateboard Park of Boulevard Lake. There are hundreds of things to do in our own back yard. If we experience them ourselves, we can share them with our out of town guests.
Its widely known that we provide cases of our magazines and trade show displays to local residents who want to be ambassadors. We even provide guidance and advice to groups bidding on meetings and sport events, helping them help us.
To sell Thunder Bay to the world, we have to sell it to ourselves as well.
To listen to the podcast, visit http://www.cbc.ca/checkup/podcast.html and download the July 12 episode.