The PBS television show Travelscope recently aired an episode on visitor attractions in the Sault area. The U.S. public broadcasting channel is transmitted to 82% of American homes. Simply put, the Travelscope episode will generate significant marketing exposure for the Sault. How did this opportunity come about? Ian McMillan, Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, attended the Canadian Media Marketplace last year. While there, he met with officials from Travelscope and learned they were looking to film a six-part series on Canada. Ian discussed the beauty of his hometown to the show’s producers, who later made a commitment to shoot three episodes in Northern Ontario, with one focused on the Sault. This promotional opportunity was also made possible with support from the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.
· So far in November, the SSMEDC has provided area tours and general information to five visiting doctors who are looking for a place to practice. The Corporation is a longtime supporter of the community’s physician recruitment efforts. Over the past several years, the SSMEDC has met with – and given tours to – several dozen medical professionals, many of whom made subsequent commitments to practice here. The goal of this activity is to attract investment and create jobs while increasing the quality of life for citizens. Says Christine Pagnucco, Manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Physician Recruitment & Retention Program: “The support we have received from the SSMEDC team over the years has gone a very long way in helping to attract doctors to the city. We look forward to continuing to work together in the months and years to come.”
· Tourism Sault Ste. Marie is pleased to welcome its new Manager of Sport Tourism and Special Events. Alana Kenopic was recently hired for the position. In this role, she’ll be working with partner organizations to secure and support major sports tournaments and other events that draw visitors to the community. Alana joined the SSMEDC team in October 2014 in a contract role as Coordinator of Meetings and Conventions. With recent staffing changes, and following a competitive hiring process, an opportunity arose to have her stay with the organization in another position. Between 2008 and 2014, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, working with its community partners, secured or supported 392 sports tournaments and conferences. This activity attracted well over 70,000 visitors and injected $33.7 million of direct spending into the local economy.
· Last week, at the 2015 Business Awards from the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, SSMEDC Board member Donna Hilsinger received the Paul Dalseg Award. The honour recognizes a businessperson who has demonstrated exemplary interest in the community and, in doing so, has made an outstanding achievement or contribution to the Sault. Donna is a longstanding leader in the tourism and arts sectors. She’s General Manager of Algoma’s Water Tower Inn & Suites and volunteer President of the Algoma Fall Festival. As well, Donna is the past Chair of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie and currently serves as Secretary on the SSMEDC’s volunteer Board of Directors. Also at the Chamber Awards last week, the SSMEDC-sponsored Environment Award was presented to the City of Sault Ste. Marie in recognition of the Municipality’s green initiatives.