February 19, 2004

York Region to establish Tourism Advisory Group

NEWMARKET – York Regional Council today approved Terms of Reference and has authorized the Regional Chair to appoint up to 12 individuals from the tourism industry to serve on a newly-created York Region Tourism Advisory Group.  Markham Regional Councillor Frank Scarpitti and Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Sue Sherban were appointed to the Advisory Group and will serve as Regional Council liaison.
“The Advisory Group will assist in building the Region’s tourism profile and be ambassadors for the tourism program at private and public sector levels,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.
The creation of a York Region Tourism Advisory Group was identified in the 2004 Tourism Marketing Plan that was approved by Regional Council last month.
“Regional staff will rely on input form this industry-led working Advisory Group to collaborate in the development of marketing strategies, tactics and partnership program which support economic growth, tourism, business sustainability and assist in setting out the Region’s Tourism vision,” said Markham Regional Councillor Frank Scarpitti, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.
“The tourism industry plays an integral role in social and cultural development, as well as being a major economic generator and employment base for local municipalities,” said Mayor Sherban.  “I look forward to serving on the Tourism Advisory Group that will represent the diverse municipal needs.”
The purpose of the York Region Tourism Advisory Group is to:
• Assist Regional Council and staff in developing plans and policies to support and promote tourism in York Region
• Provide a forum for tourism industry input and information exchange on issues affecting tourism in York Region
• Review studies, plans and proposals from senior level government or other tourism organizations that may affect tourism in York Region
• Provide comments and recommendations as requested by Regional Council on matters that may affect tourism
• Encourage greater public awareness of tourism and act as ambassadors for the tourism industry in York Region
• Assist in the development of longer-term partnerships and collaborative marketing and promotional opportunities between the Regional Municipality of York and industry stakeholders.

A request for volunteers will be formally announced at the Region’s Tourism Annual General Meeting on February 25th, 2004.  As well, area municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, Business Improvement Associations and other organizations will be contacted to obtain their nominations of individuals within the tourism business community who may be interested in this opportunity.
Contact:   Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1238
- E-mail:  wendy.lewis@region.york.on.ca

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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