Tourism spending, funding study expected within weeks

CORNWALL/SD&G – Cornwall and the Counties Tourism (CCT) has hired a consultant to look and tourist spending in the Seaway Valley.

What it could also do is solve the quandary over the funding for CCT, which some Cornwall councillors have said is unfair.

The report is expected within the next two to three weeks.

During county council Monday, Coun. Tammy Hart, who sits on the CCT board, said the tourism agency is spending $10,000 for a study by HLT Advisory, a Toronto-based consultant with a focus on the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries.

Hart said the consultant will not only review and quantify visitor spending in the region but will also “devise a structure to allocate the spending between the city (Cornwall) and county from which a formula will be devised to cost share funding.”

“They (HLT Advisory) will be recommending something…whether it’s a percentage share or something different, just depending on the findings from the interviews that they did and their financial reviews,” CCT Executive Director Linda Wilson told Cornwall Newswatch.

Wilson says HLT Advisory is one of the most respected consultants in the industry.

“It’s totally independent. That’s why we didn’t want to do this research on our own. We felt that it was important that it was arms-length and that it came from an organization that has nothing to win or lose,” Wilson said.

In April, Couns. Andre Rivette and David Murphy tried unsuccessfully to yank CCT funding until a fairer funding formula was found.

Cornwall pays $181,144 for its portion of CCT (roughly 69 per cent of the cost of Cornwall and the Counties Tourism) while the United Counties pays $80,623.

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