Tag: ontario tourism

    ‘Blockbuster’ the name of the tourism game

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It used to be a video store, but “Blockbuster” is now the mantra of the tourism industry in Niagara and the province of Ontario.

    Get used to it.

    Blockbuster. Blockbuster. Blockbuster.

    At some point, the word became the catch phrase for the kind of events Ontario’s tourism industry wants to hang its hat on.

    It crept into the lexicon in 2010 when Celebrate Ontario, a provincially funded agency, created a program to support “blockbuster events” or one-time events “of a size and scope sufficient to draw visitors to Ontario’s communities.”

    In the past two years, “blockbuster” is the phrase everyone from Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan to Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and Niagara Parks Commission chairwoman Janice Thomson has borrowed to set their sights on hosting larger-than-life events.

    Judging by some events this year and others that are on the calendar, both Niagara and Queen’s Park are on the same page.

    Wallenda getting second chance to woo Niagara Parks Commission

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    There are people on both sides of the Nik Wallenda fence, but everyone now seems to agree that it’s an international walk or no walk at all.

    Wallenda, the American aerialist who has proposed walking across the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope, is now waiting for a second meeting with the Niagara Parks Commission in hopes of getting the commission to reverse its earlier decision not to allow the walk.

    After meeting with Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan Friday, Wallenda said he was encouraged to hear the minister’s interest in the proposal, which would see Wallenda walk across the Horseshoe falls this spring or summer.

    Wallenda was denied permission by the NPC last month, and was hoping Chan would overrule that decision. While the minister didn’t reverse the NPC’s call, he did suggest a second meeting between the aerialist and the commission.

    Chairwoman Janice Thomson said Monday she would sit down with Wallenda for a longer meeting than the formal 10-minute forum he was given on Nov. 16.

    Ontario tourism minister didn’t force people-mover deal on Parks Commission: Niagara Falls MPP

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    From Bullet News Niagara:

    A pending deal between the City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Parks Commission to create a new people-mover bus system to service the millions of visitors to the Honeymoon Capital each year was no shotgun wedding.

    While Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor acknowledges he and Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan were asked to help resolve an impasse in negotiations between the parties in recent weeks, the minister did not force a deal on the provincial agency, whose chairwoman Fay Booker continues to raise concerns about the impact the new system could have on Niagara Parks’ revenue stream.

    “No – I don’t think that’s true,” said Craitor, when asked if the ministry put pressure on Booker and the commission to get the deal done.

    Tourism minister drops by Falls city hall for friendly chat with mayor

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    From Bullet Media:

    The view from 10,000 feet is often brilliant and rarely detailed. And that pretty much sums up the meeting Friday between Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan: A relaxing get-together with nothing on the agenda, and few if any expectations.

    “It was just a chance to get acquainted,” Diodati said. “There was nothing substantive or contentious at all. It was one of those discussions from 10,000 feet. We talked about items of general importance to tourism in Ontario and Niagara Falls. We talked about the Chinese market, the upcoming Bollywood festival, and how we can capitalize on this.”

    Chan seeks clean sweep of board

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Ontario government doesn’t want the same municipal politicians — including Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin and Niagara Falls Coun. Vince Kerrio — reappointed to the Niagara Parks Commission board.

    The Niagara Falls Review learned through sources the Ministry of Tourism is looking to follow up its purge of four provincially appointed commissioners by asking Niagara Region, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake to appoint different members to the board than during the last term of council.

    A spokesman for Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan confirmed the province doesn’t want familiar faces returning after the four municipalities swear in their councillors this month.

    “We are encouraging the municipalities to put forward new names for these appointments,” Mukunthan Paramalingham, the tourism minister’s senior communications adviser, said in an email response to questions posed by The Review. “Our goal is to establish a strong board with members who will bring forth new ideas and qualifications to move the commission forward.”

    Justify sole-source contract: MPP

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Whatever information Niagara’s regional tourism organization used to justify an “exception” from the province’s ban on single-source contracts, it should be disclosed to the public to ensure public confidence in the agency, Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor says.

    “I think that the chairman of the board should explain to the media or to the public what they presented to the bureaucrats that convinced them this should be an exception,” Craitor said Th ursday.

    The first project by Niagara’s regional tourism organization — a body created last year by Ontario’s Liberal government to promote tourism — led to a controversy after it was revealed it commissioned Niagara Fallsbased Rev Publishing to produce a glossy $500,000 tourism magazine without putting it out to tender.

    “This is not a good way for it to start out,” said Craitor, who is also parliamentary assistant to Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan.

    Falls important for Ontario tourism: Minister

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    As Michael Chan met with several of Niagara’s tourism officials this week, he said one thing became abundantly clear.

    “I think the Niagara region is in a really good position moving forward. I’m very hopeful for the future of tourism in the area,” Ontario’s tourism minister told The Niagara Falls Review during his day-long tour of the peninsula Wednesday.

    While mayors, economic development officers and others with a stake in the local industry continue to raise concerns about the economy, currency exchange fluctuations and border-related challenges, bright lights can be seen on the horizon, Chan said.

    Construction of the Niagara Convention and Civic Centre in Niagara Falls, a motor speedway proposal in Fort Erie and the formation of a regional tourism organization will put the area in good stead come the future, he said.

    Williams goes out fighting

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The way Ontario Tourism Minister Monique Smith wants to tender the right to run boat tours on the Niagara River will harm the Niagara Parks Commission, Niagara Falls’ tourism industry and tourism provincewide, says former Niagara Parks Commission chairman Jim Williams.

    He’s not going quietly after resigning his $250-a-day government- appointed job Thursday over a dispute with Smith, the cabinet minister responsible for the parks commission.

    “If she’s willing to jeopardize the parks in this cavalier a fashion, I don’t want any part of the organization. This is a bad decision by the government and this minister,” Williams told The Review Friday.

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