OTK BIA hopes to play central role in tourism strategy

·2 min read

The Old Town Kemptville BIA is looking to play an integral part in the municipality’s new tourism strategy. At the OTK BIA meeting last week, members heard from consulting firm MDB Insight, which is in the process of developing a tourism strategy for North Grenville. Their four-person team has been working hard this Fall to capture the essence of North Grenville by consulting with the municipality, businesses, and residents through interviews, as well as an online survey. “What is it about tourism that excites you?” MDB Insight research analyst, Kai Liepins, asked at the meeting. “The more we understand that vision, the more we can adopt our strategy.”

BIA Executive Director, Deron Johnston, told BIA members that he already had a long interview with Kai regarding how the downtown can fit into North Grenville’s tourism strategy. “I really felt there were some important things to share in terms of the downtown,” Deron said. “We don’t always realize the assets we are sitting on here.”

The online survey is still underway, and BIA board chair, Debbie Wilson, encouraged all members to take the time to have their input. “I really encourage people to take the survey,” she said.Deron believes that Kemptville’s downtown should play a key part in North Grenville’s tourism strategy. As part of this, he hopes that MDB Insight will include a tourism office in the downtown as part of their recommendations to council. “This is an opportunity for the BIA to contribute significantly to tourism in North Grenville,” he said. “By offering reasonable options to the municipality and MDB Insight, we can make sure that the BIA is a focus.”

Deron encouraged BIA members to contact him if they have any other ideas about how the downtown can be featured in North Grenville’s new tourism strategy. MDB Insight is in the middle of the community engagement process right now, and they hope to have a finalized report ready for council approval at the end of January.

Hilary Thomson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Grenville Times