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Making Waves

Tourism Changes Planned

John

By John Divinski

The more I talk to people, the more I'm hearing that the Greg Sobara report on the future of advertising tourism in Ontario is headed in the wrong direction.

To jog your memory, the four-million-dollar report (it hurts already) basically says there should be less tourism associations promoting a bigger area.

For instance the one affecting us would stretch from Kincardine to Tobermory and then east through Owen Sound to the Muskokas.

The grass roots people I'm talking to say big isn't necessarily better.

Their first reaction is to get the provincial government to give the money to the local tourism organizations and let them promote, promote, promote.

The other issue that comes up is we already have a four million dollar report to pay for, who is paying the shot for these bigger tourism associations which really are another level of bureaucracy.

Whenever that happens, that costs big bucks.

Well according to one tourism manager says the program will pay for itself through what is called a Destination Marketing Fee or DMF.

The report says the various associations will have the option to charge the DMF on accomodation and other tourist attractions up to three percent.

Then that money raised would go back to the larger tourism associations to stay afloat.

What scares me here is that on the bottom line it's going to cost more to be a tourist in Ontario.

I'm not quite sure how that encourages people to come to this province to spend their vacation dollars.

If ever there was a time to talk to your MPP about an issue, this is it.

This plan is not etched in stone and we need to keep it that way.

Otherwise, we could see the tourism market shrink even further.

From where I sit, I'm John Divinski.


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