Niagara tourism projects receive $540,000 from federal government

Niagara tourism projects receive $540,000 from federal government

Source: The Standard

Tourists are looking for “authenticity” when they travel, said the federal tourism minister while visiting destinations in Niagara-on-the Lake on Friday.

“They want to see something, but also feel something,” said Soraya Martinez Ferrada, who was at the Byland Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. “The stories behind their tourism experience is very important to them.”

That’s why the $540,000 in funding Ferrada announced from the Federal Economic Development Agency for southern Ontario is being provided to  projects at Byland Estate Winery, Flat Rock Cellars Ltd. and Port Colborne across the Niagara area to help “extend the tourism season, expand their offerings and improve the tourism experience.”

The funding for the three projects is from the Tourism Growth Program, which is investing about $108 million over three years directly to businesses and organizations within regional economies.

Byland Estate Winery, located on Line 3 Road and owned by Jackson Bai, received $90,000 over three years to expand the business’s parking area to allow for tour buses, install washrooms and improve landscaping.

Bai, 56, who emigrated from China in 1999 and purchased the business in 2015, said expanded parking has already accommodated several chartered tour buses to his winery.

“I’m very glad for the funding from the federal government,” he said. “It has made a difference.”

Jacob Glantz, business manager for Flat Rock Cellars Ltd. in Jordan, which has been operating for 25 years, said the $200,000 interest-free loan will help pay for an outdoor covered area that will extend the tourist season for the winery into the fall.

He said the company will save about $16,000 with the interest-free loan that will be invested back into the business. Glantz said the project will begin later this year and should be ready in spring of 2025.

“(The funding) will impact the entire area,” said Glantz. “With this investment, we all benefit.”

And the City of Port Colborne is receiving $250,000 to improve the Wharf Terminal at the Port Colborne Marine Terminals to boost the number of cruise ships that can dock at the port.

There are 54 scheduled cruise ship stops in Port Colborne this year, a decline from 2022 when there were 66 stops, while in 2023 there were more than 80 stops in the city.

Vance Badawey, Niagara Centre Liberal MP, said tourists are arriving in Niagara Region by driving, flying and by water.

“The cruise ship industry is becoming a very popular designation,” said Badawey. “Once we capture (the tourists) here they can go and take advantage of the unique shopping districts in Port Colborne and other places, such as wineries and Niagara Falls.”

Ferrada said the federal government requested businesses and organizations submit applications to the tourism growth program.

“We are supporting companies and businesses that will actually grow the tourism sector, “ said Ferrada.


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