January 12, 2004
ďIt is essential to have an industry-led, market-driven and research-based vision to sustain a vibrant and profitable tourism industry,Ē said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. ďTourism marketing and promotion are a key component of the Regionís overall economic development efforts.Ē
The 2004 Tourism Marketing Plan builds upon industry research and foundation of the 2003 plan. Overall goals for 2004 are to position York Region as a viable four season tourism destination for tourists; motivate new tourists and to encourage repeat visitation and overnight stays; and to create an environment for the development of the Regionís tourism industry.
ďA vibrant tourism sector gives the Region a competitive advantage to attract tourism investment and create employment opportunities,Ē said Markham Regional Councillor Frank Scarpitti, Chair of the Regionís Planning and Economic Development Committee.
Highlights of the 2004 Tourism Marketing Plan are to:
In a separate report to Committee regarding an update of SARS Emergency Marketing and Recovery Initiatives, it noted that provincial research estimates it will take at least two or more years for Greater Toronto to reach occupancy and revenue levels prior to SARS.
Although the Regional Council allocation of $250,000 last May to implement a SARS Emergency Marketing and Recovery Plan for the tourism industry has showed success to date, the journey to recovery will last at least another year. Efforts must be ongoing and will take a collaborative approach involving private and public sector support to ensure the tourism industry continues to recover, maintain economic stability and recaptures market share.
Staff is working with the York Region Hotel Marketing Committee and tourism industry partners to facilitate the final component of the SARS funding. Staff will also continue to build its marketing and promotional efforts and the economic recovery process with the Regional Councilís adoption of the 2004 Tourism Marketing Plan later this month, which is subject to approval of the 2004 Economic Development operating budget in the coming months.
Contact: Wendy Lewis,
- (905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1238