Tourism ‘flat’ in Falls

    10 Comments

    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It could be better. It could be worse.

    But with the peak season of tourism upon us, the general consensus among operators is business has been “mediocre” and “flat,” says Niagara Falls Tourism chairman Wayne Thomson.

    “Some of the properties are behind a little bit, or slightly ahead,” he said. “You certainly can’t get away from the U.S. visitors not coming. Everyone knows we have a problem in the U.S. with the economy and problems with respect to employment.”

    Thomson said Americans once made up about 65% of the visitors to Niagara Falls. He said it would be optimistic to think that figure is at 25% now.

    There are also a couple of good quotes from Tim Parker and Harry Oakes.

    I’m not privy to anyone’s sales numbers or guest counts, but based on the number of people I see around, I would have thought this year was up over last year.

    10 Responses to “Tourism ‘flat’ in Falls”

    1. Passport…..Gas Prices…..Rate Exchange…..That about says it all!!! AND, I might add, if you use “plastic,” our Banks here in the States charge you an additional 3% of your amount spent, which they refer to as a “Foreign Rate Exchange Fee,” when using said “plastic” outside of the US!!!! Gone are the days when this family used to make 5 or 6 trips to the Falls a year. We still enjoy going to the Falls but, sadly, at most, only 2 or 3 times yearly.

    2. Karen’s Mom you are so right. We were there beginning of June and the extra charges were amazing. The American Dollar was only worth 95 cents. Some places took a hit and did even exachange but some places still charged the actual exchange. Example Mama Mia’s when we cashed out there was a rate exchange charge for the difference of our dollar to the canadian and the waitress was very nice to point it out. And coming home to the extra charges was another hit. But a tidbit I wanted to tell about is my sister and I took my Aunt and her boyfriend. My sister and I live in NY and My Aunt and Her boyfriend live in NJ. Well all our Credit cards were fine but my Aunts Boyfriend tried to use his and it was rejected. Well he called the bank and they said you are SUPPOSED to alert the bank you are leaving the country ahead of time they have to ok any transaction. Everyone else did not have a problem only him. But the lady at the souvenir City said it happens more and more to people

    3. Lisa…..I, too, have experienced a “rejected” credit card. It is rather embarrassing, but a good precautionary measure. I always try to notify my bank before we go to the Falls. I also experienced this when I travel from State to State as they claim it is being used outside of my “normal” range of purchase!

      You used to use your credit card, in the past, to get the best rate exchange, but now with a Foreign Exchange Fee being charged on both sides, I guess the best thing would be to stand in line at the Canadian Banks!!! There is still a conversion charge applied at the banks, I believe. Less time to enjoy the View!

    4. Karen’s Mom – You know usually we get cash out before we come and we go to the Casino and exchange all our money there. There is no fees associated and we get the best rate going on that day. And it is not like we are taking advantage of the casino we stay there and hour or so and gamble and sometimes eat there.

    5. Ladies,
      this is what us Canadians have been experiencing for decades. But imagine instead of 95¢ on the dollar, you got only 70¢ or 75¢. It wasn’t all that long ago that that was what we got for a Loonie. 🙂

    6. One way that would help with the US visitors if they would go back to the tax rebate. They need to make it more interesting for the US to come where they are not blogged down in service fees, triple taxes, and lower doller value. I remember about 6 years ago coming up to the US dollar being worth $1.56. Those days are gone. The hotels are making big money based on all their add ons. Parking Fees, Internet Fees, Breakfast Fees. It is hard for a family to make the trip up there anymore. Myself I still will make it up there as often as I want. It won’t be the same since I lost my mom 7/22 who just lived and raved about Betty’s Restaurant. (Wish I could of took her once more).

    7. Lisa……Yes, I, too, have done the Casino “exchange!” 🙂 Regarding your latest post, so sorry about your Mom. Don’t “wish”….just continue to enjoy one of God’s greatest Wonders and she will always be with you!

      To Drafty…..Granted, this family did very much enjoy the 70-75 cent Loonie, but at the same time, we poured a lot into your economy at that time. We visited every change of season and bought all our three kids their back to school clothes in Canada when we vacationed in August. I still have in my wardrobe a lot of the same clothes that I purchased from stores that are no longer in existence. The GST Rebate was great also, but, at the Duty Free, when we got our rebate, put it back by purchasing….got lots of t-shirts from the Duty Free. 🙂

      Now it’s your turn…..Come to the US…it’s an open invitation! If you can get as far as Pennsylvania, there is NO tax on shoes or clothing!!!

    8. The Niagara region is truly so beautiful. I sometimes wonder what can be done to better promote its beauties which I think are often underestimated with regard to the other provinces. There is nothing better for me than the early morning walks in the wonderful green spaces of this part of Canada.

    9. K’s Mom,

      not to worry. We’re in the U.S. almost every week shopping, plus make frequent trips to Vegas, Florida and Myrtle Beach. We’re doing out part. ;-

    10. buy sporting goods, Drafty… lots and lots of sporting goods. No particular reason…. i just don’t think anyone can have enough sporting goods………

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