With summer right around the corner, individuals and families are plotting what they will do to fill the hours to keep children happy while the adults maintain some level of sanity. Tourism Windsor-Essex-Peele Island are calling on residence of our region to have a “stay-cation” supporting local festivals, markets and attractions. The value of residence in Windsor Essex engaging in local markets, festivals and events is not inconsequential.
In November of 2014, Canada South Festival Network announced the results of an economic impact assessment that I authored which conservatively calculated the impact from the limited number of festivals and events that they survey at $5-$6 million annually to Windsor-Essex County. The actual value of festivals and events in our region are likely in the tens of millions of dollars range annually, with a number of attendees well over several hundred thousand people going through gates, turn-styles and entrances across the region each year.
The big takeaway in my opinion is that tourism is a major saving grace for the Windsor-Essex Economy. Despite only directly employing 3,150 people in our region (2011 number that is a poor snapshot of the industry) tourism and hospitality has many multipliers that ripple through the local economy . A single hotel stay can mean, meals at local restaurants, foot traffic in a downtown or water front, people visiting shops and malls and most importantly happy visitors going home and telling their friends and families about what our region has to offer.
This was the purpose of the report that I authored. To get a baseline, a very basic idea of the impact of this industry on our region, to show its value and potential to leaders, politicians and citizens. Unfortunately the report has never been posted online for the community or other organizations to view. I am hosting a nearly final draft version of the report here that can be downloaded and I hope the CSFN hosts the final version soon. You can download the report, A Festive Region: A Festive Bounty here.