As part of my platform of ideas, I want to pursue tourism as an economic development opportunity for North Grenville. I believe that we have a number of tourism elements already operating, it’s just a matter of bringing them together to build something bigger. Day trips to North Grenville for residents of Ottawa and even Montreal could bring a big boost to the local economy.
I believe that the first step should be a gathering of tourism stakeholders including the Municipality of North Grenville. This would include community organizations, local business groups, the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville and individual business owners who potentially could directly or indirectly contribute to the growth of tourism in the area.
The second step should be the creation of a tourism organization that includes the range of stakeholders that could potentially be involved in tourism locally. This could be a North Grenville organization or even a regional organization. Sharing of resources would be key at the beginning stages of development of the group.
The third would be to develop a strategic plan on how to bring our local tourism assets together and create a tourism attraction(s) that would bring people to the area. One of these attractions could be an agri-food tour where people get a full day tour to several of the agri-food businesses in the area to see how these businesses operate and try samples of their work. Blue Gypsy Wines and Grahames Bakery could be two of the stops on this tour. There are also assets like the Ferguson Forest Centre and the Kemptville Campus that could be developed into active transportation or nature-based tourism activities.
The final step would be to create a marketing plan to promote these attractions in order to draw people here. In the east, the market could be from Ottawa to Montreal as they are close enough to be able to do a daytrip to North Grenville. According to research, one of the hottest trends in tourism is taking “a look behind the curtain” and learning about how things are done or made. An attraction like an agri-food tour could capitalize on this trend.