The second “leading question” asked of all candidates in the upcoming election was “Tourists – Are they good for Cobourg?” Many of the Policies and decisions made by Cobourg’s Council encourage visitors to Cobourg. There are Town staff whose job it is to cater to Tourists; the Town has a web site that provides information for Tourists yet not all Downtown merchants and citizens see a benefit. Although the DBIA organizes many events downtown, it could be argued that these are intended to attract residents to Downtown and not necessarily visitors. Tourists spend money in Cobourg but they also cost for more policing, garbage collection and they create crowds. Is it worth it? Should Tourists be encouraged? Each Candidate gives their view on this question.
At one time, a Tourist booth was erected outside Victoria Hall and provided answers to anyone who asked. The photo at right is the booth on July 1, 2005. The Waterfront Festival on the July 1st weekend has traditionally been one of the busiest days for Tourism in Cobourg – although the Sandcastle Festival weekend is catching up. This booth is no longer used – instead visitors can go into Victoria Hall’s lobby, drive up to the CCC or get information from a booth at the beach. Dressler House is currently not a source of Tourist information.
|John Henderson (acclaimed)
|Cobourg has had a Tourism slogan for an extensive period of time, we know it as the “Feel Good Town.” Collectively, I believe our Council members, staff and citizens are open and welcome visitors to our wonderful community. This can be seen in a number of Town events such as our recent Canada 150 Year celebrations, the Sandcastle Festival and our upcoming Armistice 2018 to name a few.
With that being said, the Town due to the volume of tourist in the summer months means a greater focus on litter collection, limited parking, limited washrooms and a sense that Cobourg citizens are secondary. I believe the new Council must work to address these concerns to find a more equitable balance between Town citizens and tourists/visitors. [Response abbreviated]
|Tourism is essential for a vibrant downtown. We have many attractive features in the community which bring tourists who spend money in our shops and restaurants creating jobs and putting money in our town.
|Tourists can be good for Cobourg in that some of them stay in our hotels, shop in our stores and eat in our restaurants. The not-so-great tourists spend nothing here and leave their garbage behind for us to clean up. We need to measure the impact of tourists better to attract more of the former. Consider a Pay to Play Plan.
|I believe that tourists are good for our community. Through my work in destination development I’ve come to learn that tourists include both local residents and external visitors. I believe that tourists bring character and gratitude to our community as well as economic benefit through shopping, dining and overnight visitation. As a Cobourg resident I too enjoy our local events and experiences, staying and exploring local when and where I can. Yes, tourists can create traffic congestion but I think this can be addressed through innovative services such as affordable shuttle services from car parks uptown to downtown and parking, rideshare and cycling incentives for locals. [Response abbreviated]
|I absolutely believe that tourists are beneficial to Cobourg! Many businesses within the town see a large increase in sales during the summer months when tourism is at a high. We are able to host more events that are fun for local residents when we have added bodies in the town to help make the events worthwhile for the host (for example, higher ticket sales for plays, that might not be able to run if we had to rely solely on our residents purchasing tickets). When people think “tourists” they tend to think of just the ones who go to the beach, but our community is able to bring in arts and culture tourists, as well as sports tourism when traveling teams come to play here. We have many residents of Cobourg who were once visitors to our area and loved it so much they decided to move here, and that is a direct benefit to our local economy.
|Tourists are great for Cobourg and a lot of businesses profits because of it. However, my campaign is “LOCALS FIRST”. The tax rate is very high and I think the town should start catering to our local tax payer. i.e., parking, snow removal, housing and transit.
|Tourism can bring benefits, but we should recognize that residents are impacted by tourism and major events. I would only support municipal investments that deliver a better place to live and visit, with the emphasis firstly on creating a better place for residents and businesses, and secondly for tourists.
|Yes, I do believe tourists do contribute to Cobourg’s economy. According to the Waterfront Report 80% of the 2000 surveys said tourism is important to our economy.
|Karl Vom Dorff
|Yes. Finding a politician to argue contrary would be difficult. In perspective, tourists are always beneficial; Cobourg included.
|As welcome visitors, yes, tourists are good for Cobourg. But first, it is important that Cobourg be good for its citizens, both people who live here and businesses who operate here.
|Tourists (just like locals) can be both good and bad. Maybe the question should be do we want/need them? In my opinion, Yes absolutely!
Candidates listed in last name alphabetical order.
Some responses have been abbreviated from the originals submitted. No text was edited but where noted, some submitted text has been omitted.
The next question to be answered is “Downtown Vitalization – What should be done about it?”
- Municipal Election Page with comprehensive information about all the candidates in the upcoming election. Includes bios, campaign policies, web sites etc. Also includes how to vote and questions for candidates.
- Tourism Marketing Launched – 15 June 2018
- Boost to Cobourg Tourism Planned – 22 March 2018
- Tourism Survey – 17 August 2018