June 1, 2007
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York to create a strategic vision for tourism investment and development

 
Long-term tourism destination development strategy to provide cohesive direction
 
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York will develop a long-term regional tourism destination development strategy that will help the Region make key decisions, such as where to invest, what to develop and how to enhance the quality of York Region as a tourism destination.
 
“The objective of the Region is to nurture economic vitality at every opportunity,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “A long term tourism destination development strategy will provide a cohesive Regional direction to develop York Region’s attributes and enhance the quality of place.  In turn, we will attract tourism investment, special events and, ultimately, even more visitors.”
 
The tourism industry in York Region represents more than $209 million in spending on the part of three million visitors to the Region, according to most recent data from 2004.  Tourism helps to generate more than 2,600 jobs in York Region across a variety of economic sectors, including accommodations, restaurants, food and beverage, recreation, culture, entertainment, transportation services, attractions and events.
 
“York Region is a remarkable combination of unique communities, natural experiences, attractions, cultural, and recreational activities,” said Town of East Gwillimbury Mayor James Young, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “Tourism has tremendous potential to enhance job and wealth creation within local municipalities while contributing to the quality of life for residents.”
 
Developing a long-term strategy requires a process that engages local municipalities in the formulation of options and ensures the most appropriate and sustainable opportunities are developed.  The strategy will:
• Provide a regional strategic vision to sustain a competitive and prosperous tourism sector
• Provide direction on economic development opportunities with respect to tourism
• Define areas of potential locations across the Region for development that supports tourism
• Increase the Region’s visibility as a unique and desirable location for new tourism business investment and identify potential tourism investment opportunities
• Explore public/private partnership opportunities that the Region and local municipalities could establish and promote as destinations for recreation and tourism
 
There is demand for York Region to reposition its own identity in terms of the unique advantages that exist throughout the Region.  Development options could range from an expanded natural heritage system that provides further opportunities for recreation, tourism and natural heritage appreciation, while supporting environmental protection, to investment in cultural and entertainment facilities located in major urban centres and along major public transportation corridors.
 
The strategy development process, to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2008, will seek direction and guidance from York Regional Council, the federal and provincial governments, local municipalities and stakeholders.

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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, York Region
 Phone: 905 830-4444 ext. 1238, 416 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 Cell Phone: 905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

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