Carrying more than 200 passengers, the cruise ship Pearl Mist (formerly named Columbus) was set to dock here three times this summer. The bad news is that this is no longer happening. The good news: instead of three times, the luxury vessel is now scheduled to stop here six times. This will ultimately bring a total of around 1,200 visitors here, folks who typically have deep pockets and spend a considerable amount of money in the places they stay. The local waterfront has seen its fair share of moored cruise ships these past few summers. Part of the reason is because Ian McMillan, Executive Director of the SSMEDC’s Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division, is the former Chair of Cruise Ontario and a current member of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition. The goal of both organizations is to work with cruise liners and tourist operators to attract luxury vessels to the region.
· The SSMEDC administers Summer Company in the city and region. The program offers grants and mentoring for students to operate their own business. Essentially, it teaches youth the ins and outs of entrepreneurship while helping to generate employment opportunities that allow more area residents to return or remain in their hometown during the summer months. The 2015 participants include: Wood Runner, Superior Shine Auto Detailing, Shine Designs, Sonke Deck & Fence Maintenance, Sam Luck House & Cottage Portraits, O’Wooden Furniture, Makea Design Co., Levi’s Wood 4 Sale, Get Laid Interlocking Repair, Fogg Bros. Landscaping, Colin’s Lawn Care Services, and Brett’s Superior Home Maintenance. For contact info and other details, visit www.sault-canada.com
· This week, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie hosted a familiarization (FAM) tour for visiting executives from Festivals and Events Ontario. The organization is looking for a place to host an upcoming annual general conference, and its brass came here to conduct site visits at area attractions and accommodation facilities. Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the SSMEDC, in partnership with Destination North, is looking to bid to host the Festivals and Events Ontario conference in either 2017 or 2018. If successful, the event would bring more than 300 industry representatives here from across the province. Bidding on major events that draw visitors is a main activity of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. In 2014, the organization’s work in attracting and supporting conferences and sports tournaments generated 13,866 visitor days, $2.08 million in direct visitor spending, and millions more in indirect and induced economic activity.