The stars seem to be aligning for London and the rest of Southwestern Ontario.
Trends like low gas prices, a low loonie, and more Americans with passports are leaving Tourism London feeling cautiously optimistic for the coming summer.
The Low Loonie
General Manager of Tourism London, John Winston expects more Americans will visit the London region, and fewer Canadians will be tempted to cross the border.
“The reduction of the Canadian dollar to 80 cents is an attraction to potential American visitations, but its also a detraction for Canadians who want to go the United States,” says Winston. “We are hopeful that Canadians, and particularly Ontarians are going to stay within the province.”
But that’s not the only promising factor for London.
Although the requirement for passports discouraged Americans to make spontaneous travels to Canada, it has now become popular. Within the last 10 years, the number of Americans with passports has doubled.
“We are optimistic that this means we will see an increase in visitations,” says Winston.
And now London is at work preparing for a busy summer by launching a major advertising campaign that they will be running in the Michigan market place to attract tourists.
“We will be launching that in a month or so. We will also be making sure that we have the region covered as well; so all around Kitchener, Goderich, and those areas,” explains Winston.
London hotels are also preparing with hotels like the Hilton London, the Holiday Inn, and the Four Points Sheraton undergoing renovation and rebranding.