Friday, September 18, 2009

Saint John Board of Trade encourages 5 Regional Municipalities to work together on Tourism model

The Saint John Board of Trade is extremely excited with the City’s prospects for attracting and retaining more tourists and visitors to our great City and region. The fact we have now attracted over 1,000,000 cruise passengers to our area is solid and undeniable proof that we are in the midst of a great destination location; one that is gaining momentum, but one that is performing far below its potential.

It is for this reason that the Board of Trade is supportive of the formation of a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). The energy and optimism surrounding the positioning of the Greater Saint John area as the Destination of Choice in Atlantic Canada is gaining momentum.

“We are confident this can happen with one voice and a shared vision which the DMO is proposing. We are also pleased that the Strategic Plan will be based on measurable tactics that can show return on investment objectives” said Imelda Gilman, President of the Saint John Board of Trade. “The proposed model will leverage existing dollars, eliminate duplication of efforts, and clarify the common vision to industry, stakeholders, entrepreneurs, and visitors. We encourage the five regional municipalities to work together on this tourism model” added Ms. Gilman.

For the past two years, the Saint John Board of Trade’s Retail Forum has been working on promoting Saint John as a Retail Destination. The Board of Trade wants to see more shopping in Greater Saint John by our local citizens and to attract shoppers to our city. While the objective is to increase retail activity, the City’s attraction is much more than retail. It is heritage, waterfront and rivers, cultural activity, sporting events and great restaurants. It is a walk in Rockwood Park, the Nature Park, Harbour Passage, or Fundy Trail. It is a great evening of dining in the historic downtown or the Kennebecasis Valley. It is golfing at Saint John, Grand Bay-Westfield, and Rothesay. And of course it is shopping throughout our City and region.

The Board of Trade and its Retail Forum are ready to work with the DMO and the five regional municipalities in helping it see Greater Saint John become the Destination of Choice in Atlantic Canada.

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