CORNWALL – The city will likely take local tourism marketing under the wing of its economic development department in 2017.
City councillors will vote Monday on a plan to have services be run by the city with a designated tourism officer in the economic development department and possibly one or two summer students.
This, after city staff met with Cornwall and The Counties Tourism Executive Director Linda Wilson on “a number of occasions over the past few weeks” on how to plan for city delivery of tourism services.
Under the recommended plan, the tourism department would have a $238,000 budget made up of grants ($21,000) and local marketing partnerships ($37,335) and $180,000 from the city.
That’s slightly more than the $160,000 CCT was receiving from Cornwall.
The preliminary budget shows the management position would have a $70,000 salary and the summer students would be paid $10.55 to $11.25 an hour, depending on age.
The tourism department would be responsible for marketing all tourism related operators and not just ones that paid a membership fee to CCT.
When the county withdrew its $80,000 funding, a “considerable portion” of the $23,000 in membership fees came from county members and “relatively few private members within the city…have contributed to Cornwall and The Counties Tourism,” states the report.
City staffers believe it would be more legwork and administration time than it would be worth to collect less than $10,000 in membership fees.
In order to accommodate travellers, satellite information counter services would be set up at places like the Aquatic Center, Benson Center and possibly the Cornwall Public Library with staff at those sites being provided additional training on handling tourism.
While Cornwall would take its tourism in-house, it also plans to meet with SD&G each year to see where both parties can have marketing projects for the entire region.
If the plan goes ahead, city staff and existing CCT staff will have to work quickly to secure bookings for events like 2017 trade shows, which are typically booked in the summer.
This move to restructure city tourism comes after the county decided in May to take its tourism marketing in-house, pulling its $80,000 investment in CCT after the end of this year.
Before 1992, the city had taken care of tourism marketing before the creation of, what is now known today as Cornwall and The Counties Tourism.