Kingston, Ont. releases new tourism strategy for pandemic recovery – Kingston


After a two-year struggle due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Kingston has big plans to revitalize the city’s tourism sector.

The organization has a new 25-point strategy that aims to put the city in the spotlight.

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“We are still emerging from a pandemic, so there are considerations of labor shortages and budgets that we appreciate,” says Megan Knott, CEO of Tourism Kingston.

“But certainly we want to be a destination for everyone, all seasons.”

The strategy defines the short and long-term objectives to be achieved by 2025.

In the short term, Knott says Tourism Kingston will work to secure longer rental agreements with Kingston Penitentiary, which is already used for tours and filming, to provide a wider range of touring opportunities. events, such as weddings and concerts.

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The organization will also work with community partners to identify more areas of the city to turn into walkable zones, similar to what the city is already doing with the Princess Street Promenade.

But Tourism Kingston hasn’t ruled out the idea of ​​choosing a street to close to traffic permanently.

“Is it permanent in nature, or is it temporary in nature, or is it very short-term in terms of a weekend event?” said Knott.

“I think we can put all of those things together to make sure we’re not creating transit backlogs, we’re not creating parking shortages, but we’re certainly opening up areas and more consistently to create those pedestrian areas.”

A local business owner, Michael Tenenhouse of clothing store A-One, says that while more tourism is great for business, he fears the city could potentially close streets to traffic, especially permanently.

“I just think it would make it harder for cars, vehicles and deliveries,” he says.

“I think Kingston is already a very walkable city downtown. I don’t think closing another major artery permanently would make it that much better.

In the long term, Knott says, Tourism Kingston has identified bigger infrastructure projects, like providing a deep-water dock for tour ships and opening a conference center.

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“We know that the latest business report shows that Kingston needs more space to accommodate medium-sized functions,” she says.

These can be business, sports or community functions, she adds. “So that’s definitely one of our priorities.”

While Knott says big projects will take longer, she says the city could see shorter-term goals, like closing some streets to traffic, as early as 2023.

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