Cross-border officials planning to reopen safely for summer tourism season

May 18, 2020

There is a big push on both sides of the Niagara River to get economies going, particularly as warm weather starts, when ordinarily millions of tourists would be coming through.

As anyone who has been in Niagara Falls, NY or Ontario on a summer day knows, there are a lot of people visitng from across the world. That is not true now because of the lockdowns. Those millions of people spend a lot of money and meander through a lot of tourism destinations along the way, like heading to or from Niagara Falls, ON by way of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Tourism Partnership of Niagara President Anthony Annunziata has been named co-chair of the Ontario reopening panel for tourism. Annunziata said Premier Doug Ford recognizes the need to get Ontario going.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON is a popular destination for summer tourists.
Credit Niagara-on-the-Lake

"He oversees the most economically prosperous provinces in the country and he sees Ontario as the powerhouse to drive the Canadian economy back," said Annunziata. "More importantly, they recognize Niagara as one of the jurisdictions, the key jurisdiction, in terms of driving the visitation and part of the economic recovery back, not only for Ontario but for the country."

Annunziata said there are complicated issues, like dealing with the crowds in Toronto, as his co-chair Scott Beck, the president of Tourism Toronto, does. For Niagara, Annunziata said there is a lot of open space for social distancing and potential different opportunities, like more meals in grape vineyards.

"We want to make sure that we come out of this safe, and if we come out of this the way we hope to, as a safe jurisdiction, then people will have that confidence to come visit us again," he said.