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July 2004 newsletter

For previous editions of this newsletter see below.

  • Canadian travel news
    Tourism makes the case for more federal cash
    International travel to Canada rebounds
    Australia market poised for significant growth
  • International travel news
    U.S. travel growth expected
    Sshh! This is the Big Apple!
  • Real Estate news
    Home and cottage sales remain sky-high
  • Regional news
    Believing in Niagara Falls
    Destination Calgary
    Impact of festivals and events huge
  • Internet info
    Visitor traffic
  • Advice for the property owner

Canadian travel news

Tourism makes the case for more federal cash
There is increasing frustration within Canada's tourism industry over the failure of the federal government to provide adequate funding for tourism marketing. Recently, the president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Randy Williams described the current level of funding as "woefully inadequate" and warned: "Canada is facing fierce competition in international tourism markets and risks being left behind."

Williams says that along with becoming uncompetitive, the failure to invest in marketing Canada as a tourism destination is also costing jobs, threatening the future of communities across the country and choking off a significant source of tax revenue. He said "[we] have been through the worst time in our history and the government response has been placid at best - when you consider that we only need an added investment of $25 million - it is a small investment for the $8 billion that they [the federal government] get in tax revenues."

TIAC's release of a business case study dealing with the need for increased public funding for this country's tourism industry comes at a time when Canada's travel deficit has hit $3.2 billion - a level that's not been seen since the early 1990s. In that study, TIAC points out that Australia gets $121 million in funding annually, and in the U.S., Las Vegas has a marketing budget of $153 million - compared to the $83 million currently available to the Canadian Tourism Commission. "The federal government has given billions of dollars in aid to other sectors in times of crisis, but tourism - which lost $1.7 billion because of SARS alone - continues to be ignored."

Planning a trip to Alberta, Canada?
Check out Alberta Vacation Properites - Rocky Mountain Escape

International travel news

U.S. travel growth expected According to results from the 2004 National Travel Monitor, the demand for both leisure and business travel services is expected to grow in the months ahead as the economy continues to improve and Americans finalize their vacation plans for the summer season. The Monitor reports that 33% of leisure travellers expect to take more trips in 2004, compared to 2003 - with 38% expecting to take the same number of trips and 29% saying they'll take fewer.

Of note, the Monitor says that interest in international travel declined for the most popular destinations including Western Europe, down 6%; the Caribbean, off 3%; Canada, down 4%; and the Far East, off 3%.

The Internet continued to post growth with 63% of active leisure travellers using it to plan vacations - up from 57% in 2003 - and 45% actually using it to book reservations - an increase from the 38% reported last year. As well, the Monitor points out that the Internet is now the information source used by the majority of Americans when planning a vacation (51%).

Sshh! This is the Big Apple!
First the Big Apple was bitten by the non-smoking bug - and now, the city that never sleeps is aiming to ensure its residents can get a little peace and quiet. The city's mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to put "mufflers on the metropolis" by introducing the most radical anti-noise laws in three decades. Among the noise-polluters being targeted by the mayor, who recently introduced a no-smoking rule in all workplaces, are dogs, air conditioning units, construction workers, car alarms - and even ice cream vans. Bloomberg said: "Complaints about noise are not frivolous. Noise disturbs our sleep, prevents people from enjoying their time off work and too often leads to altercations when police are called in. It can also produce serious hearing impairment, especially for those who work in noisy jobs."

Real Estate news

Home and cottage sales remain sky-high
The real estate market is showing little sign of slowing down with activity remaining near record level highs. Sales for the first four months of the year surpassed all previous year-to-date records in a number of major markets including Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Saint John.
Housing demand continues to outpace the supply of homes and cottages available for sales. As a result, market conditions remain historically tight. The average price topped all previous monthly records in a number of major markets, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, London, Ottawa, and Montreal.
Low interest rates, people redirecting their investment dollars from the stock market into recreational real estate and Americans buying slices of Canadian recreational paradise are all fuelling the market. Thinking of selling your recreational or tourist related property - now could be the ideal time. Recent sales have dramatically reduced our inventory of available properties. For only $25.00 list your property for sale now. More information?

Regional news

Believing in Niagara Falls
The Orlando-based company Ripley Entertainment Inc. is spending almost $225 million on various entertainment and hospitality related projects in Niagara Falls, making it one of the largest private-sector investments in the community outside of the development of the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. Niagara Falls officials think Ripley's investment in the city is sending a clear message to other developers. "Confidence help grows more confidence," said Noel Buckley, Niagara Tourism president. "It sends a clear message that they have faith in the area." The region attracts about 14 million visitors annually, but that number is expected to jump to 20 million tourists in the coming years, thanks to a wave of private and public sector investments.

Destination Calgary
~ The UK's leading tour operator to Canada, Canadian Affair, will begin flying to Alberta year-round starting on Oct. 30 - there will be flights every Saturday from London Gatwick to Calgary. In 2002, approximately 188,000 UK tourists visited Alberta, spending nearly $200 million there. ~ LTU Airline Charters will begin weekly non-stop service from Dusseldorf to Calgary starting this December. In 2002, some 68,000 German tourists visited Alberta, spending about $55 million.

Impact of festivals and events huge
Festivals and events in Ontario are huge contributors to their local economies, according to an economic impact study released last week. The assessment states that 17 of the largest festivals in Ontario have a combined impact of $345 million on their regional economies, creating over 10,000 full-time jobs each year. The average major festival in Ontario, such as the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest or Niagara Grape & Wine Festival, contributes approximately $22 million to their local economy. Larger events like Pride Toronto have impacts of $60 million or more.
In addition, the average major festival generates over $11 million in taxes and creates nearly 700 full-time jobs, mostly in the hospitality sector.
The scope of the study was not limited to large events. Findings also showed that the average regional event in Ontario has an impact of $2.7 million on the local economy. Small community festivals like Oshawa Canada Day contribute $400,000 on average. "This is welcome news to event organizers across the province who have been struggling for years to convince all levels of government that a healthy special events industry means big business," says Peter McFadden, Managing Director of Festivals & Events Ontario. "The federal government's cancellation of tobacco sponsorship, and now the federal sponsorship program, has put many major events near bankruptcy. We hope this will be a wake-up call to politicians who make these decisions." Michael Harker, a senior partner with the research firm, puts the numbers in perspective. "If two or three major festivals were discontinued due to lack of government funding, it would mean a loss of over one hundred million dollars to regional economies in Ontario each year."

Internet info

Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada web site for the month of June 2004:
Total 'hits' for the month = 116,792 hits (3,893 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 8,940 (298 per day)
Visitors came from 61 countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.

Advice for the property owner

Cleaning Never under-estimate the importance of this vital aspect of property rentals. Garbage cans that haven't been emptied, candy wrappers lurking in a far corner under the kids' bunk beds and greasy stoves all add up to an odious start to anyone's vacation. It's essential to have good, reliable cleaners......for complete article

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