It's been a successful year for tourism in Kenora. Both the Discovery Centre and the Thistle Pavilion saw an increase in visitors over the summer. So far this year, 20,007 people have stopped at the information centres, compared to 18,104 in 2012. This marks a ten per cent increase in visitors. Mark Duggan of Tourism Kenora says many things have contributed to the increase, including culturally targeted marketing initiatives.
"With the Manitoba market, we specifically went after some pockets of people. That has certainly paid off, we've seen the numbers come in strong from Manitoba. It's only two hours away so people are realizing it's a short getaway with lots to see and do," he said.
Duggan also notes the many events in the city added to the city's draw.
"Not only the air show, but the number of events that we've had. We've had about 50 or more events underneath the tent, and that's just what's going on downtown. We also have all of the events from across the region," he said.
Although the kids are back at school, and many have left their seasonal properties, Duggan notes there's still those who are stopping by.
"A lot of senior citizens are travelling in groups, going across Canada both ways. They're stopping in Kenora and enjoying what we have to offer. They're really enjoying the Discovery Centre here. It's a great facility and people are spending time to see the great things that are here," he said.
As the winter months approach, Duggan says they're hoping to continue to see an increase in the amount of traffic, compared to previous years.
"We're starting to plan for winter events and things like that to bring more people back in. Things are already started for the Winter Carnival. We're doing planning for that for March. The ice rink is being talked about again so it's going into place. We're going to keep things going throughout the other seasons," he said.
Duggan notes they'll also be planning for the winter markets for the second year in a row.