The Terry Fox Visitor Information Center enjoyed a significant upswing in traffic in September 2009, with 7,546 persons using the facility, up 19.5% from 6,312 users in September 2008.
Of the 7,546, building visitors, 2,471 took the time to register in our visitor management system, providing us with some valuable consumer data. Approximately 75% of visitors were Canadian, with 57% of those being from Ontario. These markets are followed by Alberta (11%), British Columbia (8%), Quebec (8%) and Manitoba (7%).
U.S. residents accounted for 20%, largely from our key Minnesota (31%), Wisconsin (18%) and Michigan (15%) markets while 5% were from overseas, primarily Germany and the Netherlands.
The increase in traffic coincides with the traditional fall touring traffic around Lake Superior and is encouraging to see. An increased shift towards promoting the City's location along the Lake Superior Circle Tour to the touring markets in both Canada and the United States is likely contributing to the early returns on investment as is our overall outdoor strategy that continues to draw those seeking unique recreational experiences on the doorstep of the City. After a summer season that continuously saw lower than average temperatures, a pleasant, seasonal September created a better touring environment for the region.
Promoting our City's connection to the natural spaces around us and our location on the Circle Tour is key to increasing awareness of one of North America's most scenic coastal drives to the hundreds of thousands of avid motorcycle, RV and auto club visitors who continuously seek out new destinations based on exceptional scenery, culturally unique communities and winding highways.