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Ulf T. Runesson

Faculty of Natural
Resources Management,
Lakehead University

955 Oliver Road,
Thunder Bay, Ontario,
Canada P7B 5E1

Phone:
     (807) 343-8784

Fax:
     (807) 346-7769

E-Mail:
     ulf.runesson@lakeheadu.ca
 


Northwestern Ontario tourism, if one counts the first recreational anglers and sportsmen, is almost as old as the wood-based industry. Since the turn of the century, the region has been a Mecca for those seeking game, trophy fish or simple solitude in the wilderness.

Tourism throughout the entire Northern section of the province is estimated at $1.1 billion a year, with Northwestern Ontario accounting for roughly half of the total. The region has well over 1,000 tourism establishments, including hotels, motels, inns, resorts, lodges, fishing and outpost camps. In Thunder Bay alone, the total economic impact of tourism is calculated at more than $310 million a year.

More than two million visitors a year travel to and through the region. Data from the Northwest's three border crossings from the U.S. indicate that 650,000 Americans annually enter the region by road.


Traditionally, tourists to Northwestern Ontario have come to fish or hunt, but tourism today is changing. As public tastes are shifting toward ecological, adventure or culturally oriented travel, non-extractive activities are being increasingly emphasized by the region's tourism industry. The region's sporting lodge sector is catering more to families and general recreation and the expansion of the wilderness park network is expected to lure more canoeists, hikers and trekkers.

Culture-based tourism is at the forefront of the expanding tourism industry of the region's First Nations. Helped by organizations such as the Northern Ontario Native Tourism Association, many aboriginal communities are adding the attraction of culture — everything from native craft workshops to demonstrations of traditional techniques to legend-telling — to their hunting and fishing base.




Tourism Opportunities in Northwestern Ontario Communities


Last Modified: January 20, 2014 15:01:06. 
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