Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tourism Thunder Bay Welcomes European Cruise Executives.

This past weekend Tourism Thunder Bay had the privilege to host five European cruise and group tour executives in the City as part of a Great Lakes industry familiarization tour coordinated by the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition.

The Coalition, of which Thunder Bay is a member, represents over twenty Canadian and U.S. ports, cities, vessel managers and tourism organizations. This bi-national group is successful in leveraging resources to attract the global cruise shipping industry to consider the great Lakes for future itinerary development.

Representatives from German, French and British operators were accompanied by Stephen Burnett, our great friend and GLCC Executive Director as part of a ten day tour. Chartering a Amphibious Caravan from Watson's Skyways, they were able to land on the water at Red Rock (another GLCC Member) before continuing on to Thunder Bay for an overnight stay and tour.

While here, we escorted them around in style to showcase the calibre of shore services and transportation we're capable of providing as a community. We utilized Prestige Limousine's limo bus and driver Rob for the two days, providing the perfect platform to showcase the best our community has to offer them.

After settling into their hotel, they were taken up to Hillcrest Park, the Pool 6 Cruise Terminal and the new Prince Arthur's Landing development. From there it was onto Gargoyles for an epic dinner reception with some of Tourism Thunder Bay's partners in cruise shipping attraction. Doug Morrill, Gargoyle's owner and chef out did himself with a custom menu featuring all locally sourced ingredients including bison, pickerel, fresh greens and more. This was backed by some exceptional service from Gargoyle's team.

Following a great rest and breakfast at the Valhalla, our guests toured Fort William Historical Park, Kakabeka Falls, and finishing off at Whitewater Golf Club with a course tour and lunch. From there it was off to Wasaya where a chartered Pilatus whisked them onto Duluth to continue their fact finding journey.

Later this year, we'll welcome the C Columbus for two visits. While we have no commercial cruise vessels yet confirmed for 2012, we continue to work regionally in attracting vessel operators for the year and subsequent cruising seasons.

A big thanks goes out to all of Tourism Thunder Bay's partners involved in the familiarization tour. This familiarization tour was also made possible through funding provided through the Regional Tourism Organization and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. We continue to work with local and global industry partners in growing the cruise segment that enhances Thunder Bay's reputation as a port community.

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