Windsor-Essex receives more than $500K to boost local tourism sector affected by COVID-19

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Ontario Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod announced more than $530,000 in funding to boost tourism in Windsor-Essex. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Windsor-Essex received more than $500,000 from the provincial government to boost the region’s local tourism following an economic decline due to COVID-19.

Ontario Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod made the announcement at a media conference in Riverside Monday.

Of the $532,000 given to Windsor-Essex, $350,000 is set to help with local marketing initiatives. The funding is intended to help encourage people to support local products and institutions. 

Funding is expected to help regional businesses with local marketing initiatives, as well as support next year’s festivals and events. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

The remaining $182,000 will go toward the region’s festivals and events, specifically those  that were cancelled this year, but were identified by the ministry as large  economic generators for Windsor-Essex.

“We want to make sure that they are in a position next year to welcome people back to this city,” MacLeod said, adding that she hopes the money will also help people in Windsor-Essex re-connect with their community. 

“I’m very, very excited for this particular area and the money that our government … is providing for the people in this community,” said Conservative Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls on Monday. “We’re slowly starting to come out of this.” 

The funding comes as parts of Windsor-Essex, except for Kingsville and Leamington, began to reopen after entering Stage 2 on Thursday, June 25. 

Businesses in Pelee Island — a large tourist destination in the region — are also gearing up to reopen to the public on Canada Day. 

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said the funding is much appreciated during these times and helps to ensure that “when that new normal comes about, that we are ready to go, that our region is ready to go [and] that businesses can thrive.” 

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