Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod toured Kingston on Tuesday before announcing nearly half a million dollars to help boost local tourism, which has been hard hit due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, the Conference Board of Canada ranked Kingston ranked fourth on the list of cities most at risk to have its food and accommodations services impacted due to COVID-19.
Both the city and Tourism Kingston have been actively lobbying for local tourists to come, stay and play in the Kingston region, to help save the many businesses who rely on the usual influx of vacationers during the summer months.
“Our sectors were hit first, the hardest and will take the longest to recover,” MacLeod said in Kingston on Tuesday. “As our government moves forward with reopening the province, we are proud to support numerous organizations that build up our unique communities and put our tourism industry on a path to recovery.”
Through the provincial grants, the government has made the following local investments:
- $17,732 for the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum
- $20,000 for the 2021 Kingston Canadian Film Festival
- $18,636 for the Kingston Theatre Alliance Kick and Push Festival
- $27,791 for the Marine Museum
- $24,051 for the Museum of Health Care
Another $350,000 has been pledged to the Kingston region’s provincial tourism organization. The money will be used, in part, for a local marketing campaign to bring hyper-local tourists — people from a 40-kilometre radius — to the region.
The province’s Regional Tourism Organization 9, which will be running the campaign, says they are currently collaborating with several municipalities across their catchment area, which runs from Prince Edward County and the Bay of Quinte to the Quebec border, north to the Rideau Canal World Heritage Site, to create long-term marketing plans to attract tourists to the region.