Tourism Building in Thunder Bay as Market Transitions


Cleia IITHUNDER BAY – Our city is transitioning its tourism marketing toward a being the gateway for visitors to the entire region. That effort has been spearheaded by Thunder Bay’s Manager of Tourism Paul Pepe and his team of experts.

The level of communications to the public, and to tourism partners coming out from this city department is impressive, and should, and is, a model for other city departments. One of the keys is sharing information with tourists, and tourism partners. When visitors arrive in the region, there are things that they will see and do, if they know about them.

One area where there is a notable change is with the arrival over the past two seasons of the Clelia II cruise ship. Using the total impact model as it’s what’s generally accepted, the arrival of the ship, the economic benefit of the cruise ship is estimated at $60,000.00.

Explaining how that figure benefits Thunder Bay, Pepe states, “Visitor spending  on attractions, bussing, tour coordination and guides, retail spending, taxi, bike rentals, plus crew spending (clothes, dvds, food, etc.). Then add in vessel spending on services, port fees, security, taxi, medical, garbage, water, hotel supplies, customs, linesmen, plus facility operational contracting  (purchased maintenance services and supplies) x 1.6 economic multiplier.

“60 cents of every dollar spent recirculates in the community.  When you add up the 26 companies involved in this, the hours add up to almost 2 full time jobs annually”, states Pepe.

“We are also investing approximately $60 k this year and $100 k next in capital improvements to the site to make it more functional for the ships and passengers,” adds Pepe. “The updates include painting, landscape enhancements, maintenance dredging, on site Wi-Fi for the ship, potable water supply system, better lighting, and we are even considering the future installation of massive electrical service to allow the ships to plug into shore power while dockside and turn off their engines and generators…saving fuel and emissions”.

“This is a new trend and more ships are outfitting themselves with shore power capabilities.  A ship this size is the equivalent of 200 houses in power consumption,”

Pepe states, “There’s no doubt that the phase one waterfront transformation currently underway at Prince Arthur’s Landing is going to be spectacular when finished. It is important, to remember, that during construction this year, some things of convenience we take for granted are going to have to be sacrificed”.

It is also important Pepe shares to keep in mind that for many businesses it is still business as usual. “We’re pleased to report that the charter boat operators out of Marina Park are operating as usual through this year and we want to make sure our visitors and tourism partners know who they are and where they’re operating out of during construction season,” commented the Tourism Manager.

The Clelia II will dock in Thunder Bay ten times this season.

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