Transition period begins for tourism services in Saugeen Shores

Saugeen Shores Committee of Whole recommended at its meeting on Monday (Jan. 13) that the Town enter into a one-year agreement for 2020 with the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce for tourism service delivery.

The Chamber of Commerce has re-aligned its focus as an organization and is no longer interested in delivering tourism service and 2020 will be the final year that the Chamber of Commerce provides municipally funded tourism services. In 2021, the Town of Saugeen Shores will manage all aspects of publicly funded tourism service delivery.

The proposed agreement outlines the transition of services between the Town and the Chamber of Commerce. Highlights of the agreement include the Chamber of Commerce’s continued staffing of the Port Elgin Visitor Centre and its hosting of events like Labour Day fireworks, a community Santa Claus parade, the sunset piper in Southampton and will include managing tourism-focused marketing and promotion for 2020.

“With these changes to tourism in Saugeen Shores, we are aligning service delivery with the Tourism Strategy, which was received by Council in the fall,” said Mayor Luke Charbonneau. “This year will allow for an appropriate transition period while ensuring that this important economic driver is being supported in our community.”

The Town’s total budget for tourism service delivery is $171,500. The Chamber of Commerce will deliver the services outlined in the agreement at a cost of $121,500 in 2020. The difference of $50,000 will be used to ensure local community events are supported and that the Southampton Visitor Centre remains open.