From Niagara This Week:
The region’s crucial tourism industry is salivating at what officials are confident will be a massive year after years of struggles.
At the kickoff of Tourism Week at the Ontario Travel Information Centre next to the QEW in St. Catharines on Tuesday, optimism for a boon year for tourism practically oozed from the crowded centre.
The terrorist attacks of 9-11 that rocked tourism way back in 2001, the deadly SARS outbreak in Toronto in 2003 that kept visitors away, the Canadian dollar soaring to be at par with the U.S. greenback and a new policy in the U.S. requiring Americans to obtain passports to get back across the border hit Niagara’s tourism industry with a series of devastating blows.
“There were so many challenges at the border at one time that we were saying the only thing that hasn’t happened is the (plague of) locusts,” said Niagara Falls Jim Diodati.