Lynnette Bain

TWEPI boasts increased numbers in social media, web and hotel activity

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Representatives from Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) were at Essex County council at their most recent meeting with improvements being touted in several areas.

TWEPI CEO Gordon Orr, vice president Lynnette Bain and director of marketing Kris Racine were at county council’s most recent meeting updating the elected officials about what the tourism agency has been doing. Highlights included a new logo, the “Where Can We Take You” and “Visit Your Neighbour” campaigns and the fact four conferences either have been or will be in the Windsor-area this year.  The Barrels, Bottles and Breweries tours along with coffee trails and “We Heart Local” campaigns were also highlighted for county council.

Some of the big gains have been made online, with statistics showing that unique visitors to the www.visitwindsoressex.com website have risen 12.9 per cent over the last year. Social media activity has been on the rise with Facebook activity going up 49.9 per cent, Instagram 19.3 per cent and Twitter 75.6 per cent.

“We’re seeing double-digit growth in all social media platforms. It’s a great way to push out content,” said Orr. “Social media teases the receiver and then they click on and they go back to our website where they get more information. They’re given a number of reasons of where we can take you when they come to visit Windsor-Essex and Pelee Island.”

Kris Racine, Gordon Orr and Lynnette Bain appeared before Essex County council at their most recent meeting providing an update on the area’s tourism and social media activity.

Orr said TWEPI is also offering a pilot project where grants are awarded to those with new tourism ideas and the funds are used to develop them. That program has resulted in innovative ideas and job creation, he stated.

Hotel occupancy in Windsor-Essex County has risen 1.2 per cent in terms of overnight stays while overall occupancy has increased 4.95 per cent in the last year.

“Those are positive figures because for a lot of years they were kind of flat-lined. More people are staying overnight and when they’re staying overnight they’re spending more money in the region,” Orr said. “Everyone right from Windsor to Haldimand County, Windsor-Essex has seen the most positive hotel growth in that entire region. So it’s not everybody, it’s Windsor-Essex that’s doing very well. London is doing well but we usually beat them or we come close to doing it on a quarterly basis.”

Orr acknowledged that Amherstburg is working to land a hotel, with Lakeshore and Tecumseh also wanting one as well.

Warden Tom Bain thanked the TWEPI officials for their hard work and for keeping county council informed.

“We appreciate you coming in and keeping us up to speed on the work you are doing,” he said.

 

Tourism stats on the rise, TWEPI officials tell county council

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Tourism statistics are on the rise in Windsor-Essex County, according to representatives from Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI).

TWEPI CEO Gordon Orr, vice president of tourism programs and development Lynnette Bain and director of marketing and special events Kris Racine appeared before Essex County council last Wednesday night. They pointed out the area won the Ontario Culinary Tourism Experience award last year, as well as the Motorcities National Heritage Area’s Award of Excellence in Tourism. TWEPI was a finalist for the Ontario Culinary Tourism Leadership Award.

Launched in 2016 was the Barrels, Bottles and Brews Trail, the waterfront trail on Pelee Island and a regional tourism committee.

Orr pointed out TWEPI has modified its logo to be similar to the Canada 150 logo, launched a new website (www.we150.ca) to promote local Canada 150 events and the hashtag #WE150. He added their “Plenty of Reasons” campaign continues to promote the region’s attractions.

Lynnette Bain, Gordon Orr and Kris Racine from TWEPI addressed Essex County Council at the May 17 meeting.

Lynnette Bain, Gordon Orr and Kris Racine from TWEPI addressed Essex County Council at the May 17 meeting.

Bain noted they received a $30,000 grant from the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership as well. They are increasing their marketing presence and that includes social media in both Canada and the United States. She said they are doing a digital targeting campaign to attract more visitors. She also cited WDIV-TV in Detroit as being one of the many partners they have in the United States to attract visitors.

Bain said after news stories aired on WDIV about winery and cycling tours, TWEPI immediately got calls stating there was a jump in business.

“Channel 4 has been very good to us,” she said.

The 2017-18 marketing plan focuses on pillars such as arts and culture, outdoor adventure, food and drink and entertainment. Growth from 2015 to 2016 included a 4.85 per cent jump in hotel occupancy in Windsor-Essex, an $8.56 jump in the average daily room rate and a 3.97 per cent increase in American residents entering Canada.

There has also been a 32.9 per cent jump in “unique visitors” to TWEPI’s website – www.visitwindsoressex.com – from 2016 to 2017 with social media statistics climbing as well.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara thanked TWEPI for its help during last year’s AMO Conference, noting the area’s “best kept secrets” are coming out in the open.

“More people are taking advantage of them,” said McNamara, adding the area’s volunteer base is strong as well.