Tag: tourism operators

    No TV for Falls New Year’s Eve once again

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    From Niagara This Week:

    Despite interest from a pair of broadcast outlets to televise the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, no cameras will be rolling when a variety of musical acts hit the stage at Queen Victoria Park on Dec. 31.

    “There was interest from two broadcasters,” Mayor Jim Diodati said. “The discussions were going quite well, but in the end they had to make a financial decision.”

    He said to mount a show like the one featuring Keith Urban to close out 2014 would cost between $2 and $3 million to produce, and the funds simply aren’t there.

    “Certain acts need a certain level of production,” Diodati said. “Talent is not cheap.”

    Tourism operators were reluctant to add any more money to the pot, Diodati said.

    “I empathize with the tourism operators,” he said. “On New Year’s Eve they’re already full. You can’t create more rooms. When you’re full, you’re full.”

    Tourism officials set sights on U.S. visitors

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    From Niagara This Week:

    With a sinking loonie, the playing field has tilted slightly toward tourism operators on the Canadian side of the border.

    As of Tuesday, the dollar was trading a little more than 90 cents (.0902) against the US greenback, and tourism officials in Niagara Falls said they’re ready to take advantage.

    “Since U.S. passport changes came into being, U.S. guests travelling and staying here dropped completely off the board,” said Wayne Thomson, board chair for Niagara Falls Tourism. “Niagara Falls tourism has certainly been a hard struggle for the past several years.”

    There’s No Bettertime Than Easter for a Spring Fling in Niagara, Ontario, Canada

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    From a GlobeNewswire press release seen on Yahoo! Finance:

    From the famous Niagara Falls to world-class casinos, and from award-winning wineries to charming towns like Niagara-on-the-Lake, there is no better time than Easter for a short stay or getaway to Niagara — especially when area tourism operators and accommodations are offering over 200 packages and 88 perks offers online at www.niagaraspringflings.com for travel over the long weekend.

    Tourism operators applaud loosening liquor laws

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Beer and wine drinkers might soon be able to walk among the teetotallers now that Ontario’s Liberals plan to loosen the province’s liquor laws.

    It’s a move some Niagara Falls tourism operators say will help the industry.

    Attorney General Chris Bentley announced plans to overhaul the rules preventing Ontario resorts from offering the kind of all-inclusive packages popular at Caribbean resorts where alcoholic drinks are built into the price.

    Among the changes being considered are dropping the need for beer tents, extending the hours that alcohol can be sold at special events, allowing all-inclusive packages in Ontario and enabling people to circulate with drinks in-hand in retail booth areas of festivals.

    “We believe any well-managed policy that makes us more competitive on the international stage would be beneficial to the industry,” said Keith Simmonds, general manager of Great Wolf Lodge.

    Seamless transition needed for Maid lease, tourism operators say

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    If it took White Star three years to build the Titanic, it shouldn’t take two years to build new boats to give tours of Niagara Falls, says Patricia Salci Mangoff, co-ordinator of the Preserve Our Parks group and a critic of the Maid of the Mist.

    During a Niagara Parks Commission consultation Wednesday, Mangoff challenged a consultant’s estimate that it could take at least two years for a new company to get up and running if it were successful in replacing the Maid of the Mist.

    “You have no concept how difficult it is going to be to get a new service provider,” said Bill Mocsan, a Mississaugabased consultant hired as a procurement specialist to help the Niagara Parks Commission conduct a competitive bidding process that could lead to a new company providing boat tours on the Niagara River.

    China decides to unleash its tourists

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Niagara Falls is eager to roll out the red carpet to hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists now that Canada is on the list of places their government will let them go.

    People working at Niagara Parks Commission attractions are going to learn when someone pretends to wash their hands in front of them, it means they’re looking for a washroom. When they make a motion with their right hand like they’re scooping something from their cupped left, they’re hungry. And restaurant servers shouldn’t raise their eyebrows if a Chinese tourist asks for nothing but hot water.

    “We know that when they come here, they expect to be treated like VIPs and we’re happy to do that. They love photo-ops. They love to have pictures taken,” said Katherine Fisher, the parks commission’s corporate training manager.

    Now that China has announced Canada will be granted Approved Destination Status, tourism operators should be bracing for an influx of travellers from the world’s most populous country, she said.

    “That’s huge for us.”

    ‘Extremely unsettling time’ for wary tourism operators

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Things are going well for the Niagara Parks Commission.

    The first half of 2009, including two long weekends, brought better than expected crowds around the historic park area.

    “It has been a good kickoff to the year,” said general manager John Kernahan.

    “But I’m extremely fearful of what’s coming.”

    After four years of false starts and minor concessions to its opponents, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative officially kicks in Monday, affecting travellers over the age of 16 in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, as well as Americans returning from abroad at land or water ports.

    Starting Monday, all those travellers will be required to have a passport or some other form of enhanced, U. S.-approved documentation to enter the States.

    “It’s an extremely unsettling time. We’re happy with what we’ve done so far this year. We’re making the best of what we’ve got. Now we have to deal with a new law that threatens to bring all that down,” Kernahan said.

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