Category Archives: Tourism

City Announces New Director of Tourism/CEO of Tourism Mississauga

The City of Mississauga has selected Victoria Clarke as its new Director of Tourism effective May 31, 2021. The Director of Tourism has also been appointed as the CEO of Tourism Mississauga, a position previously held by Shari Lichterman, the City’s Commissioner of Community Services. The position of Director of Tourism was developed to provide dedicated executive leadership for the tourism portfolio in Mississauga and to lead Tourism Mississauga in supporting a strong recovery from the pandemic for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Victoria as she joins us at a critical time for our hard-hit tourism industry. As we begin to reopen our City, it will be crucial for us to focus our energy on helping our tourism industry recover from the effects of the pandemic. Victoria brings the skills and experience to work with Tourism Mississauga’s Board of Directors and support our tourism industry as we build back better.”

Mayor Bonnie Crombie

Clarke brings extensive leadership experience in the tourism sector, most recently spending six years as Executive Director, Discover Saint John. In this role, Clarke worked with her team and Board of Directors on a highly successful #SaintAwesome campaign which transformed the City’s reputation and led to an all-time high for visitation and visitor spend in Greater Saint John.

“I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Victoria Clarke on being selected to represent Mississauga as our new CEO of Tourism Mississauga. Victoria’s previous experience has shown us that she leads with strength, innovation, determination and confidence.  Victoria is going to be a fantastic tourism leader and a brilliant addition to the team!”

Toni Frankfurter, Chair, Tourism Mississauga

Prior to her work with Discover Saint John, Clarke was Associate Director at the Canadian Cancer Society New Brunswick and held leadership positions at Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation where she led the organization’s major gifts program. Clarke has a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University and is set to complete the Certified Destination Marketing Executive (CDME) designation from Destinations International later this year.

Clarke has extensive volunteer experience with many charitable and professional organizations including the Ronald McDonald House Atlantic Capital Campaign. She served as Campaign Chair with the United Way of Greater Saint John and has chaired the Destination Marketing Association of Canada and served as Advisor with the Wallace McCain Institute, as well as Director on the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association.  She received the InSpirit 2020 Outstanding Business Award from the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce, the Trailblazers and Innovators award from BMO Celebrating Women, and earned industry recognition from SeaTrade Global, the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick and the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.

“I’m very excited to welcome Victoria to the City of Mississauga. We created this position because we recognized the need for a dedicated focus on moving our tourism industry forward and realizing the goals of our Tourism Master Plan. With the addition of Victoria to our talented tourism team, we have the pieces in place to move our tourism industry forward as we recover from the devastating impacts of the past year. I look forward to working with Victoria and the Tourism Mississauga Board of Directors to enhance Mississauga’s position as a tourism destination of choice. ”

Shari Lichterman, Commissioner of Community Services

In her position, Clarke will work closely with Tourism Mississauga’s Board of Directors, who provide strategic direction to tourism activities and initiatives in Mississauga.  Tourism Mississauga, the City’s destination marketing organization, was formed in 2020 with a mandate to implement the City’s Tourism Master Plan. The Plan provides a vision for tourism in Mississauga and articulates guiding principles to align the strength of the city with the opportunity for tourism development. Tourism Mississauga is funded by a dedicated Municipal Accommodation Tax reserve.

Victoria Clarke, Director of Tourism,
City of Mississauga

“I’m excited to be coming home to Ontario. And like everyone in this industry, we can’t wait to be open for business for our neighbours as we get ready to welcome back the world. Mississauga has unique communities that together make an incredible and formidable whole. I can’t wait to get started.”

Tourism Mississauga Announces New Board of Directors

Tourism Mississauga, the City’s new destination marketing organization, held its first meeting today with its new Board of Directors. The board is made up primarily of members from Mississauga’s tourism sector who will provide strategic direction to tourism activities and initiatives in Mississauga.

“As we begin our recovery efforts and start to slowly reopen our city, we will be focusing on helping our key sectors like tourism bounce back and galvanize our economy. Our new Tourism Mississauga Board of Directors will focus on how to best drive tourism to our City and encourage people to support ‘Mississauga Made’ in light of our new reality. On behalf of Mississauga City Council, we thank these industry representatives for stepping up to take on these roles and for being ambassadors for all that our city has to offer.”

Mayor Bonnie Crombie

The board consists of three City Councillors, as well as external stakeholdersrepresenting Mississauga’s tourism sectors:

City Council Members:

·       Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko

·       Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish

·       Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito

Members representing the accommodation/hotel sector:

·       Terry Mundell, Greater Toronto Hotel Association

·       Toni Frankfurter, Waterside Inn

·       Peter Eriksson, Hilton Hotel

·       Frank Russo, Four Points Toronto Airport Hotel

Members representing other services/organizations/venues sector:

·       Lorrie McKee, Greater Toronto Airport Authority

·       Sam Kohli, BIA/Business Center/Appraiser

·       Brad Butt, Mississauga Board of Trade

Members representing the retail/restaurant/culinary sector:

·       Lesley Boughen, Oxford Properties Group 

Members representing the attractions/festival/event sector:

·       Eileen Keown, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra

·       Ron Duquette, Retired Corporate Filmmaker

“The new board brings together the right mix of sector-level representation and experience that reflects Mississauga’s growing tourism industry. I look forward to working with these highly-experienced individuals to promote Mississauga as a tourism destination and to plan the recovery for this hard-hit sector.”

Shari Lichterman, Commissioner, Community Services and Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Mississauga

For more information about Tourism Mississauga, visit visitmississauga.ca.

Background:
In 2017, the Government of Ontario introduced a regulation permitting municipalities to implement a Municipal Accommodations Tax (MAT). On February 7, 2018, Mississauga City Council approved the implementation of the MAT. This law went into effect on April 1, 2018. Government of Ontario legislation requires 50 per cent of the MAT funds collected by a municipality be directed to an eligible non-profit organization.

In July 2019, City Council approved plans to create a Tourism Municipal Services Corporation now known as Tourism Mississauga. It is the destination marketing organization for Mississauga with a mandate of implementing the City’s Tourism Master Plan

Mississauga Introduces Hotel Tax to Promote Local Tourism

On Wednesday, November 1 at General Committee, Mississauga City Council approved in principle the introduction of a four per cent hotel tax effective July 1, 2018. The new tax is a result of Bill 127 which the Government of Ontario passed earlier this year. The Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures) 2017 allows municipalities to charge a transient accommodations tax also called a hotel tax.

“This new revenue tool is an opportunity for the City of Mississauga to generate important funds that will be reinvested in an accountable, transparent and dedicated way toward undertaking important city-building initiatives to grow and diversify our local economy, strengthen our tourism industry and showcase our many celebrated attractions, festivals, heritage, culture and businesses.” – Mayor Bonnie Crombie

The four per cent hotel tax rate is consistent with the rate being considered by the City of Toronto. With Mississauga and Toronto being near to each other, applying a similar rate in Mississauga would ensure local hotels continue to be competitive.

The City estimates that the tax will generate approximately $9.8 million annually, 50 per cent of which will be shared with Tourism Toronto to promote tourism in Mississauga. The City and Tourism Toronto will use hotel tax revenues for tourism-related activities such as implementing recommendations from the Tourism Master Plan, developing and maintaining tourism-related infrastructure, improving programs and services and for Economic Development initiatives.

“Mississauga hotels are essential to our tourism activities and it’s important for them to know how the City is going to use the money it collects,” said Pat Saito, Ward 9 Councillor and Chair of the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board. “We are already working closely with Tourism Toronto to build tourism in Mississauga. Our goal is to use the tax to attract more visitors and generate more hotel stays all of which will make our local economy stronger.”

During the coming months, City staff will meet with hotel industry stakeholders to help them understand the hotel tax and prepare for the July 1 start date.

In addition to hotels, the City will also explore the possibility of introducing a similar tax on private short-term vacation rentals.

The recommendations will go to Council for final approval on November 8 and a final report is expected to go back to General Committee in January 2018.

City’s New Tourism Plan Focuses on Making Mississauga a Tourist Destination

Today, during General Committee, staff from the City’s Recreation division presented Mississauga’s new Tourism Master Plan. Endorsed by Council, the five-year plan provides a vision for tourism in Mississauga.

“This plan is a new way forward; helping to transform Mississauga into a place where visitors can experience the culture and diversity that makes our city so special,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “This plan builds on our city’s economic success and high quality of life to attract visitors and tourism investment.”

Funded jointly by the City and its regional tourism organization, Tourism Toronto, the Master Plan guides future tourism efforts, provides strategic direction to help elevate Mississauga as a tourist destination and identifies key initiatives to promote positive visitor experiences.

The plan positions Mississauga for success by:

  • creating recognition throughout Ontario as an emerging sports, cultural and waterfront destination
  • increasing the tourism impact on its economic growth
  • ensuring that a municipal structure is in place to advance tourism opportunities

Crombie added, “It builds on our authentic reputation as a welcoming city, while reinforcing our renewed vision of making Mississauga an internationally recognized and celebrated tourist destination. The outlined recommendations allow for a more robust platform for future tourism efforts.”

The plan outlines the following eight strategic focus areas with recommended actions which include:

  • Developing Tourism Product Clusters
  • Celebrating Community Diversity
  • Planning Creative Communities to Attract Visitors
  • Tourism Funding and Product Investment
  • Tourism Brand Development
  • Promoting and Developing Tourism Assets
  • Expanding Partnerships and Alliances
  • Municipal Structure to Support Tourism

“As Chair of the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board, I am very proud of all the work that has gone into this plan. The recommendations brought forward within the plan will grow our tourism sector – attracting visitors from far and wide, whether it is for business, sport or pleasure. It also allows us to capitalize on our existing tourism assets like the downtown core, our evolving waterfront and top-notch sporting infrastructure,” said Pat Saito, Ward 9 Councillor and Chair of the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board. “Thank you to Members of Council, the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board, our Recreation staff, Tourism Toronto and to all those who helped bring this plan to fruition.”

In July 2016, the consulting team of MDB Insight and HLT Advisory were engaged to work with city staff to develop a Tourism Master Plan. The planning process included stakeholder consultations, research on industry trends and benchmarking information from cities across North America with similar tourism and visitor profiles. Consultants interviewed both internal and external stakeholders, from City staff to hotel and retail operators, and representatives from Tourism Toronto.

The Tourism Master Plan will go to Council for final endorsement next week.

With Council’s approval, staff will implement the Tourism Master Plan in early 2018. To learn more about the City’s new Tourism Master Plan, or to find out more about Mississauga, visit discovermississauga.ca.

17 MUST-ATTEND AWARD-WINING THEMED & CULTURAL FESTIVALS & EVENTS!

Family and friends are summoned to flock to Ontario streets

Streetsville Bread & Honey FestONTARIO (May 10, 2017) There’s no better place to flock the streets this year than at an Ontario festival. Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO) is happy to highlight a subset of FEO’s award-winning festivals – each of these themed and cultural festival has something distinctive and unique to offer its guests! The kaleidoscope of festivities lying in wait for you range from bush planes to sheep dogs to cacti and everything in between. It’s just so easy to be captivated by anyone of these festivals and events and there’s something special for everyone.

This year’s Themed and Cultural Festival Highlights include:
Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival     May 1 – 31  (Toronto)  scotiabankcontactphoto.com  CONTACT is the largest photography festival in the world devoted to celebrating the art and profession of photography with over 1500 artists exhibiting at more than 200 venues throughout the GTA. Continue reading 17 MUST-ATTEND AWARD-WINING THEMED & CULTURAL FESTIVALS & EVENTS!