Welcome tourists

The tourism season will burst on Rainy River District in just three short weeks.
Much has changed since last September. Tourism is a people industry, and we must make our visitors feel welcome and safe when they cross the border into Northwestern Ontario. We also cannot forget tourism is the second-largest income generator in the district—and we are all in the tourism business.
As citizens, we have the chance to promote the area as a place where one can relax without fear of terrorism, without fear of disease, in a clean environment, and with the full knowledge we care about every vacationer’s safety and well-being.
As a warm-up to the tourism season, we first will play host to the world as visitors from some 34 countries come to visit as part of the World Health Organization conference early next month. It is our opportunity to meet and share ideas.
Tourists have always been great communicators—from the earliest explorers who kept diaries of their experiences over long voyages. Those diaries and experiences enticed other visitors to follow.
Life is no different today, except those stories can be exchanged in seconds to anywhere in the world.
The experiences and tales will unfold as soon as they cross that magic line which separates Canada from the United States. It will reflect on the politeness that is shown at Customs as more rigorous questioning takes place.
The goodwill stories can expand as tourists visit restaurants, gas stations, resorts, and stores. Each encounter is our opportunity to make a visitor feel welcome.
And finally, we must make the experience of crossing back at the border enjoyable even though tourists can expect longer delays than in previous years.
If we understand that tourism is a people business, and work to understand people’s needs, every kindness, every friendly greeting, will make a difference. We have the golden opportunity to grow our tourism industry.