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Press Releases 2004

For Immediate Release

February 9, 2004



Proposed 'Tourism Marketing Program' Will Provide Tourism and Hospitality Sector With Much Needed Support


(Peterborough) Today, Conservative MPP Frank Klees urged support for an enhanced 'Tourism Marketing Program' that would help to revitalize municipalities and the tourism and hospitality industry in Ontario.   During Pre-Budget Consultations held this afternoon, Mr. Klees referenced a motion that he moved at the committee's meeting in Thunder Bay last week that - if passed - would protect funding levels in the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, develop access to a much needed access to capital program and to establish a "matching-funds" program in support of Voluntary Hotel/Motel Room Levy initiatives being developed by the industry in some regions of the province.

"Conservatives recognize that the Tourism and Hospitality Industry is a cornerstone of the economy in Ontario," said Klees.   "Considering the significant challenges that this industry has faced in recent times, the government must step forward and provide both municipalities and owners and operators of tourism related businesses with the necessary tools to support appropriate marketing programs."

During the recent election, the Liberal government promised to provide municipalities with $300 million of provincial gas tax revenue, and to allow municipalities to introduce a visitors hotel room tax that would generate $75 million in new revenue.   Municipalities and the tourism industry in Ontario are counting on these funds, but it appears as though the Liberal government is content to break these promises and leave Ontarians with no additional support.

"The fact that the Liberal government has failed to identify this industry as a priority in Ontario is unacceptable," said Klees.   "It is my hope that the motion introduced last week will bring attention to the vulnerable nature of this industry.   These recommendations will help to stabilize the tourism sector and ensure that more jobs are created".

Throughout the Pre-Budget Consultation process, Conservative MPPs will continue to provide real leadership, and ensure that the voices of all Ontarians are heard.


For more information, contact:

Frank Klees, MPP

Oak Ridges 416 325 7316