By Kelly Louiseize
A feasibility study for towns within the Manitoulin Island region and LaCloche Mountain area, which includes Killarney and the North Channel has been released. Upon final acceptance by FedNor the area will obtain a completely new and much needed regional strategic marketing economic lift.
Firstly, LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corp. (LAMBAC) developed a strategic plan itself, which identified tourism as their main industry. Upon the completion of the study they found few organizations that had the know-how to make the area a viable four-season destination.
“There was a lot of fledgling organizations like the Manitoulin Tourist Association who never really had enough resources and power to market the area properly,” says Paul Marcon, marketing director of LAMBAC.
From the strategic plan was born the LAMBAC marketing division, of which LAMBAC is the community development corporation for the region. Within three years the organization has learned how to increase the tourism market in the areas with the assistance of FedNor.
“We are 20.3 per cent ahead (in terms of tourism population increase) in July from last year at the same time,” Marcon says.
“This year we have noticed an overall 9.3 per cent increase in traffic flow into the region compared to last year.”
He attributes this to the increase in winter tourism traffic they experienced last year.