Prosperity 2020 and Guelph Tourism

I am a strong proponent of the City’s recent decision to redefine Guelph Tourism by looking at a new model of engagement and governance. While the City has made great progress in leadership of Tourism, it is time for a complete review.

This notion has long been expressed by local tourism industry stakeholders and was affirmed in the Prosperity 2020 report prepared for Economic Development and Tourism by Malone Given Parsons Ltd..

Here are a few excerpts and recommendations from Prosperity 2020, made to Guelph City Council in 2010.    ian

“The industry is not working together collaboratively and not advocating for the City and telling its story. It needs to partner, collaborate and be cohesive within its own region”

“Consultation stakeholders do not perceive Guelph as having a distinct tourism brand, which makes the City more difficult to sell as a compelling destination. The City needs to attract and support job growth by increasing Guelph’s attractiveness and profile to short and longer haul visitors.”

“Build collaborative relationships with public and private sector partners in
tourism and hospitality.”

RECOMMENDATIONS:
5.1 Define an effective model for leading Guelph’s tourism development and
marketing efforts in the context of a larger Regional Tourism Organization.

5.2 Develop programs and projects in market sectors in which Guelph can
maintain and establish new sustainable competitive advantage, which
complement Guelph’s current tourism product mix and build on the key
themes identified in the Premier-ranked Tourist Destination Project.

5.3 Branding and position Guelph with assistance and input from tourism
industry partners and stakeholders.

5.4 Develop sector-specific marketing strategies for each of the identified and
selected market sectors and segments, including downtown Guelph.

5.5 Collaborate with the University of Guelph to leverage tourism
infrastructure and programs.

5.6 Promote the importance and benefits of tourism investment in Guelph to
position Guelph in the minds of residents and businesses.”

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6 Comments

Filed under Branding of Guelph

6 responses to “Prosperity 2020 and Guelph Tourism

  1. AS

    Ian,
    Perhaps you can identify why the city has decided to shut down operations of the Tourism Office when in fact the 2020 report identifies the need to invest in Tourism by developing new tourism products and experiences and establish a destination marketing presence?

    • ianward2

      I agree that we need to invest in new products and experiences to expand the Guelph brand.
      Should it always be City Hall identifying these opportunities or do we let the industry lead and do what it knows best for tourism?

      • AS

        Thanks Ian. I think the key is to have industry invest in new products and experiences, but I don’t see industry partners being able to coordinate and execute a coordinated marketing strategy with seperate and competing interests.

        When looking at the tourism partners in Guelph, you have to first ask yourself if they are in fact engaged. I know for a fact in larger municipal jurisdictions it is very difficult to have tourism partners engaged on a meaningful level without government support, even when initiatives will have a direct impact.

        A major hurdle with Guelph is lack of capacity in hotel accommodation and venues for sporting events to host meetings, conventions and tournaments and attractions.

        I strongly feel that the RTO approach implemented by the province will never be able to deliver the best interests for Guelph as it was created to suppress special interest in the Niagara Falls region and ultimately reduce the amount of funding delivered to municipl destination marketing organizations. Toronto and Ottawa will be the biggest hit with millions of dollars being lost from their marketing budgets with the loss of the destination marketing fees previously collected prior to the implementation of the RTOs.

        Can I ask again Ian why the tourism office was shut down? Was it strictly a budget decision? Who made that recommendation to Council?

  2. geo

    It’s because they spent ALL the money on garbage and litigation.

  3. Sean

    I personally feel that council put the cart before the horse by “freezing” funding. Common sense would have been to look at the options and then a transition period instead of just freezing out everything.

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