TourismTourists NEED to know you are here
I have spent lots of time travelling local highways and an incident a few years back brought something to my attention.
I was visiting Duluth, Labour Day State side doing some shopping, visiting the mall of America and all that fun stuff. Our drive back along the North Shore of Lake Superior on the US side was filled with all sorts of little “festivals”, Labour Day things and what not. A lot of people out and about.
Cross the border, and as I am coming into Nipigon, I drive right to my house as if any other day in the area. Then it occurs to me – this is Fall Fishing weekend in Nipigon!
Not a sign, literally, of Nipigon’s largest yearly event (was the 50th anniversary). Where is the celebration of Nipigon? Anyone driving along the highway (thousands of cars every day) would never know, never have the opportunity to stop and explore.
Why is there an apparent shortage of open-ness about what we have here in Northwest Ontario? Large potential regional events become delegated to local events that even neighbouring communities know nothing about. Yes, some people do, but what about most people?
Northwest Ontario is separated by considerable distance but shared interests, common thoughts and the desire to bring prosperity back to the region once enjoyed at the height of the forestry industry.
For tourism to happen here, there are numerous things we need to do at all levels. The average person, small group, organisation and town – we need to stop thinking of our events and local resources being just of local interest – we need to share our knowledge, our pictures, our resources and our activities with those that may happen upon our region.
We have a captive audience on those highways, and now we have to get the people to stop, the first step is to celebrate what we have here openly.
As a Business Owner, as a community member and as someone who enjoys what the region has to offer, let’s work together.