COLLINS LANDING – The summer tourism season received overwhelmingly positive marks from businesses who rely on visitors to the region.
More than 70 percent of businesses said they were pleased with summer commerce in response to an annual survey by the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council. The positive feedback was the highest rate recorded since the Council first surveyed tourism businesses in 1999. High satisfaction coincided
with optimism for the future; 77 percent of responders believe tourism in the region will improve in the next five years.
“Our businesses rebounded from the high water levels that disrupted so much of the 2017 season,” said Corey C. Fram, Council tourism director. “These responses surpass the positive reports we were seeing in the years before 2017; it’s encouraging that businesses share our optimism for the future.”
The survey, which is sent to tourism businesses throughout the region on both sides of the border, is similar to those distributed in previous years. While not scientific, responses show trends in how tourism businesses perceived the previous season and their thoughts on various factors. Results for 2018 were
compiled from 169 responses.
Among varying factors, the weather and general economic conditions received the most positive responses. Negative reactions to the U.S.‐Canadian dollar exchange rate fell, continuing a trend of increased positivity stretching back four years. Feelings about the ease of crossing the border also showed slight improvement from 2017.
The largest swings from 2017 unsurprisingly surrounded feelings on the weather and water levels. In 2017, more than half of responders gave negative feedback about the weather; this year, almost 90 percent of responders gave it positive marks. Water levels received negative responses from nearly 70 percent of businesses in 2017 but just 10 percent this year.
New for 2018, the survey asked operators about their social media marketing habits and found that more than three‐quarters of responders are utilizing various digital platforms to promote their businesses. Almost all responders – 94 percent – reported increased use of social media to do promotions.
“Travelers are finding new ways to be inspired and knowing that our businesses are embracing that evolution bodes well for the future,” Fram said.
Read the complete results and analysis at www.ticouncil.com.