Golf Boosts Local Tourism In 2014

Jeffrey New

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson Golf Reed On The Greens, by Jeffrey Reed
Local Tourism Heats Up In 2014
February 4, 2014

When it comes to analyzing London’s place on the Canadian tourism map, Tourism London general manager John Winston cautions, we shouldn’t make a mountain out of a molehill in respect to the city’s latest ranking amongst domestic destinations for Canadian Tourists.

However, Winston said London’s overall hotel occupancy rate of 55% to 60% – 1.5 million overnight visitors – for the last several years does indicate tourism is alive and well, and living in the Forest City.

Hotels.com, in its latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) rankings, pegged London as Canada’s 13th most popular destination amongst coast-to-coast communities, in terms of where Canadians visit – up from 14th place from two years ago. The top five destinations according to the rankings were Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Niagara Falls and Edmonton.

In terms of visits from international tourists, Calgary and Windsor showed the biggest increases since the previous HPI rankings were released.

The biannual HPI report uses data based on bookings made through the Hotels.com website, and actual prices paid by Canadians rather than advertised rates.

While Winston said it’s good news for London, he called the ranking “more of an industry ranking. We have an economic impact analysis through the Conference Board of Canada. Whether it’s measuring an event, or measuring overall economic impact, they have a measurement tool that’s as good as we have. It’s an industry standard.

“Putting (the Hotels.com ranking) into perspective, we have thousands of communities in Canada. So to be ranked in the top 20, and being ranked number 13 when you’re competing with the Torontos and the Calgarys and the Halifaxes of this world, is a good thing. For a city of our size, and with the number of hotel rooms we have – between 3,800 and 4,000 – I think that’s a pretty good success story.”

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Winston said another positive sign comes from the total number of annual day visits to London – about 3.5 million annually during recent years. He said, “That’s a pretty robust number of visitations. Those are fresh dollars flowing into the local economy.”

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The GTA may be the “centre of the universe” in the eyes of Torontonians, but few cities in Canada will rival London this year in terms of big-time events.

The LPGA Tour returns to London Hunt and Country Club August 18-24 for the CP Canadian Women’s Open, and PGA Tour Canada’s Tour Championship returns to Sunningdale Golf and Country Club September 8-14.

This week, Golf Canada holds its annual conference and general meeting in London, with industry seminars and an award banquet at the Hilton Hotel. The Hunt Club’s Doug Alexander will be sworn in as Golf Canada’s new president.

“We’ve worked very closely with Golf Canada to hold their AGM here,” said Winston. “We have the Memorial Cup (May 16-25), and the Association of Municipalities Ontario conference in August – it is in excess of 2,000 delegates.”

Said Winston, “All of this helps raise the occupancy levels.”

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About Wilson Golf

For a century, Wilson Golf has designed, manufactured and distributed premium and recreational golf equipment throughout the world. Since 1914, Wilson Staff irons have won 61 major championships, more than any other iron manufacturer in history. That winning tradition continues today by delivering the highest quality golf equipment to all golfers to enhance performance on the course and overall enjoyment of the game.

In 2013, Wilson Staff’s D100 irons, driver and hybrid, as well as the DUO golf ball and FG Tour TC wedges, were all honored with Golf Digest’s Hot List awards. Wilson Golf is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports equipment by Amer Sports. Consumers can log onto wilsongolf.com or call (800) 622-0444 for more information.

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989.