Single Publication - 5 or more pages

Economic Impact of Tourism

Submitted ByBruce County

The purpose of this project was to develop a standardized methodology to measure the economic impact of tourism in Bruce County on an annual basis. The project goal was to develop a framework for the collection and analysis of tourism data to leverage existing collection sources, address current gaps, build a baseline of information, reduce duplication of efforts and better inform business and industry support for prospective business growth opportunities. This standardized and consistent approach has the potential to guide the expansion of tourism and will foster incremental growth in a key economic sector in Bruce County, see Appendix A. It is currently the only model of collecting primary data annually to measure the economic impact of tourism within a designated area in Ontario.

The report that was generated has helped entrepreneurs decide on why they should open their business here because they have data to support their decisions. Recently, at the EDCO Investors Dragon pitch session, we shared this data and since then have had two hotel investors have come to the Peninsula, with one confirmed to open a business next year.

In 2019, we have had an influx of new tourism businesses open and expand in Bruce County, including:

  • Four new craft breweries and one opening this year
  • Two new hotels with the potential of two more
  • Bruce Peninsula Eco-Tours and an outdoor escape room based in the forest (not for profit eco tours)
  • Two axe throwing (business additions from Ascent Aerial Park in Sauble Beach and Cornerstone Golf in Tobermory)
  • The June Motel (successful motel owners from Prince Edward County)
  • Downtown retail stores and restaurants, both new and expanding

More tourism related businesses has increased the number of visitors to their area– since more tourism activities/experiences = more visitors, longer stays and more spending. The report provides vital and useful information for attracting new businesses to the area. Prior to the completion of this study, collection efforts didn’t provide the appropriate data for business development, address current gaps, or form a baseline of information. Data collection efforts were being duplicated by multiple stakeholders and were often based on subjectivity rather than fact.

The challenge of a project like this is to create meaningful data that will help current and potential businesses, our industry partners and ourselves, while being sustainable on an annual basis. With this change being made, we are now able to support our businesses with factual primary data that they can use in their marketing efforts, in their business expansions as well as when applying for grants and other financial assistance. We are also able to better understand where we should be putting our own marketing efforts in the creation of our next Strategic Plan and see how our efforts are influencing the tourism industry on an annual basis, see Appendix B and C.

The target audience includes (more detailed information in Appendix D):

  • Nature Lovers: 35-54-year-old couples, with young children, budget conscious, love the outdoors
  • Memory Makers: 35-50-year-old couples, often sandwich generation with elementary aged children
  • Mellow Vacationers: 55+ year old, working couples without children, seeking rest and relaxation
  • Knowledge Seekers: 55+ year old, females with grown children, employed, higher levels of education
  • New Canadians: 25-34-year-old couples with young kids, high levels of education, influenced by trends

See Appendix E for News Articles and Media Attention.