With the tourism industry set to face challenges ahead, the City of Timmins is working on a plan to get through it.
“I don’t need to tell you that tourism has suffered greatly because of the pandemic and it was the first industry that was hit and it’s going to be the last industry to come out of this in some sort of a shape or form," Tourism Timmins director Karen Bachmann told council, April 27.
"The industry is going to take some time to recover. We know that many of the sites have been shuttered for over a year and events have been postponed or cancelled and travel remains restricted within the province so that provides a lot of different challenges for everyone working in the industry."
Council has approved an interim Reboot and Recovery tourism strategy.
“This is really just the start for our recovery plan for tourism in Timmins. It gives us a direction and some things to think about for the next few months as we move ahead,” said Bachmann.
Initiatives that don't directly and immediately support pandemic recovery will be put aside for now, she said.
Tourism Timmins' overall goals are to increase visits to Timmins, increase the length of stay, increase repeat visitors, and increase how much people are spending.
The three highlights of the interim strategy are to enhance and develop tourism products and experiences, develop a marketing strategy focused on increasing overnight tourist visits, and develop partnerships both internally and externally.
To enhance and develop tourism products, she noted the major sporting events planned such as curling in 2022, and a golf tournament in the fall, if everything goes well.
Other objectives in the report are to target meeting and conference opportunities, provide support for other sports and outdoor tourism opportunities, as well as cultural and heritage opportunities.
The marketing strategy includes goals to foster community pride via tourism promotion, social media marketing and community branding. It also includes promoting Timmins as a tourist destination of choice, developing goals and performance metrics to tracks success, and aligning with existing Northern Ontario marketing plans.
For partnerships, the goals are to improve tourism experiences in the community, help create tourism experience packages and work with regional tourism organizations to co-market events and packages.