Pandemic Boosts Tourism in Small Town Ontario

A local tourism boom is taking shape in a small town in Ontario thanks in part to COVID-19.

A change in approach with stakeholders since the start of the pandemic has led to the launch of new businesses like the Riverside Cabins in Dresden.

“We are currently living in a period of growth that we are so excited about! “

Owners Bria and Tyler Atkins say they moved away from the outdoor The Crappie Store they own to set up six small rental cabins at the back of their property along the Sydenham River.

“We were what people were looking for during the pandemic and it’s just something really special,” Bria said.

Atkins attributes the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions to tourists looking for new opportunities from near and far, “Dresden is just a nice little hidden gem. It’s a quiet little town. Only one red light and this is the kind of place we love!

The Atkins are also awarding the “Spark” mentorship and grants program with financial assistance to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, motivate travel, and increase year-round visits to the region. region.

“We don’t take it for granted that we managed to get out of it anyway, and we are very actively trying to keep moving forward in this new COVID climate,” Bria explains. “Being able to navigate this world and have safe experiences so that people can go out and have fun and give them the opportunity to get out of the house, we are optimistic. “

Others in the city of 3,000 say they have also noticed an increase in the number of people outside the towers discovering the community.

“I think tourism has been hit pretty hard for the bigger attractions that exist in the big cities, but I think for the smaller towns it has actually been very positive.”

AirBnB superhost at The Hub and Spoke, Myriam Armstrong said visitors to CTV News Windsor from near and far have stopped and embraced what the small town has to offer.

“Toronto is a big one, we’ve got people from Ottawa just trying to get away from the crowds, away from the hustle and bustle, obviously trying to get away from the pandemic.”

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