Category: Niagara Falls Tourism Industry

Diodati calls for clarity on hotel tax, DMF

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

It will be up to the City of Niagara Falls whether to replace the controversial Destination Marketing Fee with a new hotel tax, says Eleanor McMahon, Ontario’s minister of tourism, culture and sport.

“That will be up to municipalities, that will be up to them to decide,” she told the Niagara Falls Review during a sit-down interview following her address to delegates this week at the Ontario Tourism Summit at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.

Tourism minister addresses summit

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Ontario Tourism Minister Eleanor McMahon celebrated the success of the sector in the province, while acknowledging it faces challenges as a result of her government’s policies.

“This sesquicentennial year has been nothing short of extraordinary, with so many special events and visitor experiences,” she told a room full of delegates during the second of a two-day Ontario Tourism Summit at Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls Tuesday.

“While there is much to celebrate, I am — we are — cognizant that there are some challenges on the horizon, and despite our significant assets and opportunities, you have been grappling with some challenges.”

Tourism agency finalist for awards

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada has shortlisted Niagara Falls Tourism as a finalist in the 2017 Canadian Tourism Awards.

This acknowledgement comes after the success of its summer 2016 #ExploreNiagara social media campaign.

The awards are presented annually by the association and the Toronto Star to recognize success, leadership and innovation in Canada’s tourism industry.

“Niagara Falls Tourism is thrilled to be recognized for a campaign that excelled largely because of its spotlight on our amazing members, who work hard every day to enrich Niagara Falls as a world-class destination,” said Jon Jackson, executive director of Niagara Falls Tourism.

‘One of the best years’ for tourism

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

A co-ordinated marketing campaign and hosting a live American talk show helped make for another great tourism season in Niagara Falls.

“I just talked to one of the major players the other day, and he said he was up 10 per cent last year, and he’s up 10 per cent this year, so that gives you a very good idea,” said Niagara Falls Tourism chairman Wayne Thomson.

He said the heart of the tourism sector — Fallsview, Victoria Centre and Clifton Hill — was regularly jammed with people during the traditional busy season May 24 to Labour Day.

“People right from Clifton Hill, right down to Table Rock — people walking up Murray Hill — it was just constantly loaded,” said Thomson.

Niagara Falls attractions secure despite Toronto casino plans

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From Multibriefs.com:

After years of debate, a casino is coming to Toronto. Great Canadian Gaming Corp. and Brookfield Business Partners recently announced a partnership to upgrade the OLG Slots at Woodbine to a full casino and entertainment/hotel complex.

With plans for a “city within a city” set to run on a 22-year lease, the development is causing concern among some who worry that it could steal some of Niagara Falls’ thunder. However, Niagara Falls’ tourism initiatives shouldn’t be counted out just yet — they have a few new offerings on the horizon.

Strong tourism start despite surging dollar

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

A top Niagara Falls tourism official is not concerned about the Canadian dollar’s surge to US80 cents this week amid a weakened U.S. dollar and further signs of a strengthening Canadian economy.

“I don’t think it’s enough to discourage anybody from coming,” said Wayne Thomson, chairman of Niagara Falls Tourism.

“I think 20 cents on the dollar is really not bad. They’d prefer 30 cents on the dollar, 32 cents, but 20 cents on the dollar is a pretty substantial reduction on (Americans’) travelling (costs to Canada) … so I don’t think we’re in any kind of concern at this point.”

Niagara Falls may have more visitors than it thought

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From the Buffalo News:

Niagara Falls tourism officials customarily say that their city draws 8 million visitors a year, but a new study may show the figure may be larger than that.

A consultant estimates 7.3 million Americans visited Niagara Falls last year. Longwoods International is still working on numbers for Canadian and other foreign tourists, said John H. Percy Jr., president of Destination Niagara.

Kicking off tourism season Friday

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Tourism officials in Niagara are expecting another solid tourism season as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Jackie Phillip, manager of the two Ontario travel information centres in Niagara, said she has talked to a few tourism officials who expect to see business increase between 10 and 20 per cent.

“If we get a 10 per cent increase across the board I’d be thrilled and I think with Canada’s and Ontario’s 150th, and with the US dollar the way it is and with the internationals that are travelling, I think we can do it,” she said.

The unofficial start of Summer 2017

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As you are probably aware, the two May holiday weekends (Victoria Day weekend in Canada, Memorial Day weekend in the US) marks the unofficial start of the summer tourists season here in Niagara Falls. I haven’t heard or read anything specific about what sort of business levels people are expecting this year, but I would definitely assume that people will continue to flock to Niagara Falls.

  • The zipline will have a full summer in operation
  • The Big Top attraction on Clifton Hill will open
  • The new developments by Kelsey’s will open (Niagara Speedway, Funnel Cakes, etc)
  • The Canadian dollar is weaker, so more Americans should be coming

Here’s hoping it is a great year for everyone!

Does hotel tax mean end of Niagara Falls DMF?

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Will a new hotel tax the province has granted municipalities power to impose replace the notorious Destination Marketing Fee in Niagara Falls?

There were lots of guesses after Thursday’s provincial budget, but not much clarification. Even Mayor Jim Diodati is unsure just what the new tax is, and what it means for the city.

“I’ve got a lot of questions I need answers to, but if it’s done right this could be a good thing,” said Diodati Friday. “I’m guessing that the province’s idea is not to add a tax, but to create an environment that’s more accountable, more transparent, more consistent.

“But at this point, we’re still in the dark on it.”

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