Tourism dollars still flowing in Ottawa - Metro US

Tourism dollars still flowing in Ottawa

Compared to other major cities in Ontario and Quebec, Ottawa’s tourism industry fared well in 2008 and continues to do well this year, the president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism said Monday.

“Ottawa held its own in 2008,” said Noel Buckley. One of the easiest ways to measure tourism is through accommodation, he said. “We had stable hotel occupancy compared with 2007, which was a very strong year.”

So far, the trend continues this year.

“The first five months of the year are dead even with last year,” said Buckley, but adds that he’s cautiously optimistic.

Ottawa’s tourism is performing better than that of Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City and Niagara Falls at this point, said Buckley.

While Ottawa did well in the student market this spring, the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships and Winterlude pulled in the tourists in January and February, while the Canadian Tulip Festival and Ottawa Race Weekend brought them in again in May.

But it’s not just festivals that bring people in.

“We’re a very balanced market,” said Buckley, adding that corporate travel, conventions and meetings bring people to the capital as well.

The stats for 2008 and 2009 will be just some of the things discussed when Ottawa Tourism hosts its annual general meeting this afternoon at the Ottawa Marriott on Kent Street.

The meeting, which begins at 4 p.m. and is open to the public, will also reveal the results of the Premier Ranked Tourism Destination (PRTD) study, which the Ottawa Tourism, the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Algonquin College partnered to undertake in January.

The study provides a current inventory of local tourism products, identifies product and experience gaps and points out new investment opportunities to make Ottawa more competitive.

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