Council recently received a report from the Community Services, Programs and Initiatives Department regarding the lessons learned from the 2021 Tourism Management Plan. The report was received as a Ferguson/Bailey motion
The Report was provided at the request of council and, as outlined in the executive summary, details how the municipality worked with partners to achieve success, encourage better behaviour and reach visitors in advance of their trip. The tourism management plan also aimed to improve amenities at municipal parks, boat launches and beaches while supporting staff through training.
The report also paves the way for the future of tourism management and provides the following recommendations:
1) Council direct staff to consolidate the revenues (including, but not limited to the Municipal Accommodation Tax) and expenditures across all departments for Tourism Management when reporting on the municipal operating budget in 2022 and beyond
2) Council direct staff to continue to work with community partners and tourism stakeholders to review, update and enhance the Tourism Management Plan annually; and
3) Council direct Operations staff to bring forward a Municipal Boat Launch Strategy that includes enhancements to the existing amenities by way of consultation with user groups and alternative options to the former Belleville St Launch no later than the end of the second quarter in 2022 with appropriate funding sources; and
4) Council direct staff to bring forward a Municipal Park Signage Plan no later than the end of the first quarter in 2022 to be funded through proceeds from the 2021 Tourism Management Plan and the Municipal Accommodation Tax.
Councillor Phil Prinzen had a question about the closure of the Belleville Street boat launch.
“When we made the motion to close the Belleville Street launch, were we not supposed to have something for 2022 and now it’s getting pushed to second quarter of that year, which means we have no hope for anything until at least 2023 or beyond?” he wondered.
Adam Goheen, Director of Operations, responded that an alternate location is in the works.
“We are pursuing an alternative location. That work has been underway for months,” stated Goheen. “We don’t have anything to report at this time but discussions are going on behind the scene and that information will be provided before the end of first quarter next year.”
Mayor Steve Ferguson inquired as to the success of local businesses providing French translations for Francophone tourists.
“Question about the success of the French translations…where an investment was made in translating information for our Quebec visitors, does that success get communicated to our businesses so they can communicate in a more fulsome way, providing French signage etc.,” asked Ferguson.
Todd Davis, Director of Community Services, Programs and Initiatives, noted there several ways in which staff have made businesses aware of bilingual resources available to them.
“We have a number of vehicles for communicating to various user groups, either visitors or industry partners,” Davis noted. “We have an industry newsletter we roll out on a regular basis more frequently as we approach high tourism season as well. We make businesses aware those resources are available.”