Katie del Mazo, centre, is the new face promoting tourism in Leeds-Grenville at the Highway 401 service centre at Mallorytown. Del Mazo was introduced during a news conference Monday, August 15 announcing the United Counties has reached an agreement to provide tourism information at the service centre. At the announcement were (from the left) Warden Mel Campbell, Front of Yonge Mayor Roger Haley, del Mazo, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark and Ann Weir, economic development manager for the United Counties.
Brockville - Aug. 16, 2011 - The incredible tourism opportunities in Leeds and Grenville will be showcased to hundreds of thousands of potential new visitors after a local marketing initiative has finally received approval from the provincial government.
Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Warden Mel Campbell and Front of Yonge Reeve Roger Haley announced today that the United Counties has reached an agreement with the province to operate a staffed tourism information kiosk inside the ONroute service centre on Highway 401 in Mallorytown.
"I've always believed in this proposal and the potential it has to provide a real boost to the tourism industry in every corner of Leeds Grenville. Now, instead of passing us by on their way to another destination, Highway 401 motorists are going to give us a second look," said Clark. :This is a great news story for economic development in this region."
Clark praised Haley and United Counties economic development manager Ann Weir for working tirelessly with him on the initiative since last year.
"Ann's expertise in tourism marketing in developing our outstanding proposal was invaluable," said Clark. "We knew we had the right idea and we simply weren't prepared to take no for an answer from the government.
"I'm excited about this opportunity and confident that we're going to see it pay immediate dividends for our region," said Clark.
The Visitor Services Initiative, called a "Special Opportunity", will utilize space available at the existing Ontario Tourism Information kiosk located inside the ONroute service centre off the westbound lanes of Highway 401 at Mallorytown. It will allow the Counties to engage the ELR (Engage, Listen, Respond) Customer Service Standard to increase visitor spending in the region.
"We can now get the message out to thousands of motorists how Leeds Grenville is a terrific place to visit and enjoy a vacation," said Warden Campbell.
"We welcome this opportunity to show people what we have to offer. This is a place where you can experience world-renowned natural beauty, take in shows, explore unforgettable waterways and historic landmarks and so much more" ,Campbell said.
Mayor Haley said the kiosk will benefit all Leeds Grenville communities and special events throughout the area.
"This kiosk will encourage travelers to take a closer look at this region and we feel, once they have, they will come back again and again," Haley said.
The Township of Front of Yonge has requested the Counties take the lead role in executing this special opportunity. "We are very pleased to undertake this initiative on behalf of our municipalities located in our area and throughout the Great Waterway Region," Weir said.
A staff person has been hired by the Counties and will be able to engage with motorists, listen to their requests for information and respond with up-to-date information about tourism destinations and special events happening in Leeds Grenville and Region 9. Katie del Mazo, who has extensive tourism visitor centre experience, will staff the kiosk Thursday to Monday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Weir said del Mazo has nearly 10 years of experience in customer services, including tourism promotion, and is fluently bilingual
The agreement with Host Kilmer, operator of the service centre, runs until October 31st of this year.