Friday November 28, 2014

Tourism remains crucial to economy

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Neil Thom, president of Tourism Yorkton, presents a mock cheque symbolizing the value of tourism in the city to Mayor Bob Maloney.

Tourism Week June 15-21 has been proclaimed by Yorkton Council.

The request for the week’s designation was made by Neil Thom president of Tourism Yorkton at the regular meeting of Council Monday.

“Tourism engages people in our city and making a week to recognize the natural beauty, fascinating heritage, diverse culture and one-of-a-kind hospitality is an important message not only for visitors but for our local residents who bring friends and relatives to businesses, events and attractions,” Thom told Council.

Thom said Yorkton has become a definite tourist destination.

“Yorkton continues to grow as a premier four season destination and the latest accommodation statistics show we have 661 hotel rooms and 129 campsites to welcome visitors to the city,” he said.

“Events and attractions bring millions of dollars to the local economy and Tourism Yorkton continues to work closely with host organizations and attraction operators to grow tourism revenues.”

Thom said he expects that trend to continue as “2014 is looking to be a banner year for visitors to Yorkton. The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, Take Off Pounds Sensibly and just this past weekend the Kinsmen Clubs held events in the city. Combine that with the Parkland Outdoor Show, Kalyna Dance Festival, Yorkton Film Festival and most recently the Painted Hand Casino Powwow, its obvious tourism is a big part of Yorkton’s economic engine.

“Currently details are being worked out to host a grand slam curling event and the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards as well as the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association provincial meet.”

Such activities bode well for the future continued Thom.

“With millions in revenues for the city and more than 10 per cent of the workforce tourism plays an important role. We continue to try and establish a destination marketing fund to ensure the current events and attractions remain viable and groups, organizations and businesses can access promotional funds to try and attract new tourism dollars.”

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