Pelham is a Niagara Tourism Opportunity

According to a Destination Niagara Image Survey conducted in 2008 there is a lack of knowledge of or appreciation for Niagara beyond the Falls and visitors to our area perceive that the Niagara region is weak for interesting towns, recreation, agritourism and the food and wine experience.

The study also identifies a peculiar “before and after” effect in that once people visit and are exposed to Niagara their perception of our area is much higher than those who have never visited.

The dilemma once again seems to be that while we know we’ve got it no one else seems to know about it.  I am reminded of an old Spanish proverb “It’s not enough to lay an egg. You have to crow about it.”

The Destination Niagara report goes further to say that it works better when we all crow together.  The study concludes that the opportunity for building longer stays in Niagara is by “coalescing fragmented efforts, focusing image and getting travelers to become aware of all the other experiences/activities that comprise Niagara Canada.”

One of the first critical steps to achieving this goal was the recent formation of a unified Regional Tourism Organization to manage tourism in Niagara. The objective of this new tourism partnership is to ensure that all of Niagara’s visitor attractions including those offered here in our Town of Pelham are featured in the Niagara storybook.

Our part of the story should include our cultural heritage such as the Fonthill Bandshell Summer concert series, Pelham Art Show and local arts/artisan tours; our boutique shopping destinations; our agritourism sector including the Pelham Farmer’s Market and all our many specialty retail food and farm destinations; cycling and car tour maps featuring Effingham and other local scenic attractions; golf and sports visitor packages and eco/geographic explorations of the Fonthill Kame, St.John’s Conservation area and Short Hills Provincial Park. 

Town promotion programs have a tremendous impact on local development. In addition to the obvious economic benefits of supporting the growth of and attracting new businesses and jobs to our community there are other less tangible—but equally important—payoffs.

A well planned community marketing strategy improves the quality of life as residents and visitors alike are able to take better advantage of local services and attractions. It also promotes community pride, which grows as more and more people work together to develop a thriving Niagara economy.

“Made in Welland” Marketing Campaign

Kudos to the City of Welland for the recent launch of the “Made in Welland” marketing campaign.

As local real estate professionals, our work of attracting new residents to establish themselves in our community is greatly enhanced by the support provided by public sector marketing initiatives.

The “Made in Welland” promotion program showcases the extraordinary successes of Wellander’s Anthony Lacavera, Sophia Aggelonitis, Terry Leon and Paul Beeston while highlighting the economic opportunity of locating businesses in the City of Welland.

The key strengths outlined in the marketing campaign include:

1) Strategic location within a day’s drive of more than 70% of Canada’s and the United

States’ industrial capacity

2) Skilled workforce with a sizable bilingual component;

3) Expanding highway links as well as railway and canal access

4) Strategic partnerships with Niagara College, Brock and McMaster Universities and the Vineland Innovation and Research Centre to help entrepreneurs

We look forward to including this valuable resource material as part of the community information that we distribute to all our clients investigating the opportunities available within the Niagara Region. We are pleased to provide the Made in Welland campaign with a link to our business website here and encourage all local companies and community organizations to consider offering similar promotional support to this exciting, new local initiative.



Our Dreams for Niagara

Niagara is a beautiful yet complicated beast. Our economic development landscape is dissected by a complex series of over lapping boundaries. We have five municipal cities with their own economic development office and seven other municipalities that are serviced by the Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC), a non-profit corporation with a mandate to advance the economic prosperity of the Niagara region as a whole.

There are nine different Chambers of Commerce representing the “voice of business” in Niagara. We have eight utility providers who deliver hydro services within territorial jurisdictions that the average consumer can Google for hours without figuring out.

Niagara is home to the St. Catharines and Area Arts Council and a multitude of other Art Associations. We have a variety of different heritage organizations in each of our individual municipalities and we also have a Niagara Culture Committee that reports to our Integrated Community Planning Committee that in turn advises our Niagara Regional Council.

I could go on but we have all heard the rant over and over again in many different forms.

My question is what are “we” going to do about it? I don’t know about you but I for one love our beautiful beast and believe that change occurs through a slow, patient process of harnessing our individual concerns and converting them into an avalanche of collective willpower.

There are some wonderful examples of more cohesive strategies emerging throughout Niagara.

The Regional Tourism Partnership of Niagara is forging ahead to establish the framework for an integrated regional approach to destination marketing in Niagara. All nine Chambers of Commerce met as a policy group this past week and on March 25th will be jointly hosting Regional Chair, Gary Bourrough’s inaugural “State of the Region” address. On March the 10th our regional council will debate the status of economic development in Niagara as it reviews the future mandate of the Niagara Economic Development Corporation.

In Pelham, on March the 8th at 7pm, Brock University and Café on Main are providing us with the opportunity to collectively explore our “Dreams of Niagara” by participating in a Conversation Café. Brock has organized a total of eleven such events throughout Niagara between February 7th and May 16th.

The format is a conversation recognizing that no single person has the whole answer but rather that everyone has something important to contribute. I hope to see you there and look forward to learning from your perspective.