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By Brock Weir
Shelburne recognizes the importance of tourism to this community and has taken to the skies to prove it.
On Monday morning, to mark the start of Tourism Week in the Town of Shelburne, Municipal CAO John Telfer was joined by representatives from Headwaters Tourism to hoist the flag at Town Hall.
Council recently proclaimed May 28 – June 3 as Tourism week within the Town, encouraging all citizens to recognize, value and nurture the significant role of tourism and the tourism business “in the fabric of our community.”
In a statement, the Town said, “Ontario's tourism industry is responsible for $29.8 billion in annual tourism receipts in the province each year; and supports 372,000 tourism jobs; and provides $5.1 billion annually to provincial tax revenues; and contributes more than $32.7 billion annually to Ontario's GDP.
“The Town of Shelburne actively supports the vision of Headwaters Tourism to promote the pan-region of Headwaters (which encompasses the Town of Erin, Dufferin County, The Town of Shelburne and the Town of Caledon) as Ontario's premier rural tourism destination; and supports their work to integrate tourism into the Town's economic development undertakings, helping to build a robust and thriving tourism industry.
“Tourism Week is an opportunity to highlight the value and collective impact of investing in regional tourism, and to recognize the award-winning work of Headwaters Tourism to raise the profile of the region, and to be a leader in the tourism industry both provincially and nationally.”
The importance of tourism was set to be underscored this week by the County of Dufferin, a key component of Wednesday night's Joint Council meeting held in Mono to go over the Dufferin County Economic Development Strategic Plan.
In the plan, Dufferin County is cited as a growing tourism destination, boasting draws when it comes to arts, culture, culinary attractions, scenery, equestrian programs, and natural beauty.
“There is substantial potential to grow the tourism sector further, and, with it, many of the supporting agriculture, food, recreational and creative sector activities on which the area can build its reputation,” reads the draft of the Strategic Plan.
According to the document, Shelburne and Mono are financial contributors to Headwaters Tourism, which spearheads such initiatives as the annual Visitors Guide. It calls on participating municipalities to develop multi-year plans to draw visitors into the area.
“The municipal-level effort and interface with Headwaters Tourism will be strengthened where the municipalities have developed multi-year strategic plans for the tourism sector in concert with their partners and in consultation with Headwaters Tourism,” say planners. “A tourism strategy has not yet been developed for Dufferin County. It should be a near-term objective. Orangeville has such a strategy which was done in 2010 with a ten-year horizon. Dufferin County could choose to develop its first strategy somewhat in parallel with the renewal of Orangeville's. Areas that merit attention as part of the Strategy include visitor servicing, wayfinding signage and social media, and attracting investment in accommodation and hotels.”
Have your say – Do you think Shelburne and Dufferin County as a whole have untapped potential as tourism destinations? Send your thoughts and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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