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In a press release today, the Town of Cobourg says that travel and tourism contributes $23.7 Million each year to Cobourg's economy.   The total contribution from travel and tourism for Canada is $78.8 billion and for Northumberland County it's $142 Million. Cobourg actively pursues tourists, not just for the beach, but for year-round unique experiences  "…offered in a variety of ways, including outdoor recreation, heritage and culture, festivals and events, arts and entertainment, unique shopping and spas and wellness."

Sand CastlesSand Castle competition - One of many tourist attactionsMy back of the envelope calculation shows that Cobourg gets a Tourism benefit of about $1300 per resident whereas the number for all of Canada is about $2400 per resident.  So $24 Million is good but other places do a lot better.

Erin Wakely, the Town's Tourism Coordinator, says that Cobourg's travel and tourism industry is a collaboration between businesses: the transportation services which deliver visitors to and from Cobourg, the hotels who provide them with comfort and hospitality, and the attractions that create the 'feel good' experiences which compel visitors to come and return to Cobourg. This collaboration not only brings in tourists who spend money, but also stimulates the economy through travel, transportation and largely by creating jobs.

According to the most recent Ministry of Tourism report, Cobourg's tourism sector has meant:

  • Attracting nearly 500,000 visitors every year
  • A total spend of $23.7 million dollars spent annually by tourists
  • Close to $14 million spent on retail and restaurants alone
  • Nearly 300 jobs created through tourist spending
  • Tourism activity accounts for $15 million in wages and salaries

The press release also says that the Downtown Vitalization program will help tourism although it does not provide specifics.

I would guess that this release is in response to criticism that visitors to our beach spend very little in Cobourg.  Indeed, if you take the $23.7 Million spent and the 500,000 visitors, that works out to $47.4 per visitor.

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