Mississauga Working to Make City a Tourist Destination

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When people visit Canada from abroad, we assume they stick to such major cities as Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal and only hit up the 'burbs if they have family or friends who live there.

If the city has its way, that will no longer be the case, as Mississauga will be the destination and not just the pit stop or resting place.

Recently, staff from the city's recreation division presented Mississauga's new Tourism Master Plan. Endorsed by council, the five-year plan provides a vision for tourism in Mississauga.

"This plan is a new way forward; helping to transform Mississauga into a place where visitors can experience the culture and diversity that makes our city so special," said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. "This plan builds on our city's economic success and high quality of life to attract visitors and tourism investment."

Funded jointly by the City and its regional tourism organization, Tourism Toronto, the Master Plan essentially guides future tourism efforts, works to elevate Mississauga as a tourist destination and identifies "key initiatives to promote positive visitor experiences."

How does the plan work?

  • creating recognition throughout Ontario as an emerging sports, cultural and waterfront destination
  • increasing the tourism impact on its economic growth
  • ensuring that a municipal structure is in place to advance tourism opportunities
  • "It builds on our authentic reputation as a welcoming city, while reinforcing our renewed vision of making Mississauga an internationally recognized and celebrated tourist destination," said Crombie. "The outlined recommendations allow for a more robust platform for future tourism efforts."
  • The plan outlines the following eight strategic focus areas with recommended actions which include:
  • Developing Tourism Product Clusters
  • Celebrating Community Diversity
  • Planning Creative Communities to Attract Visitors
  • Tourism Funding and Product Investment
  • Tourism Brand Development
  • Promoting and Developing Tourism Assets
  • Expanding Partnerships and Alliances
  • Municipal Structure to Support Tourism

Although most might not necessarily consider the city a tourist destination on its own, it's hard to argue that it doesn't boast tourist attractions.

Recently, Mississauga’s iconic Dairy Cream restaurant made this list and before that, Rattray Marsh Conservation Area and Riverwood Park made this list of Canada’s hidden gems. Now, it looks like the city’s signature Absolute (Marilyn Monroe) Towers have made Tourism Toronto’s Top Picks for Pics list.

"As Chair of the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board, I am very proud of all the work that has gone into this plan. The recommendations brought forward within the plan will grow our tourism sector - attracting visitors from far and wide, whether it is for business, sport or pleasure. It also allows us to capitalize on our existing tourism assets like the downtown core, our evolving waterfront and top-notch sporting infrastructure," said Pat Saito, Ward 9 Councillor and Chair of the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board. "Thank you to Members of Council, the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board, our Recreation staff, Tourism Toronto and to all those who helped bring this plan to fruition."

The Tourism Master Plan will go to Council for final endorsement next week.

With Council's approval, staff will implement the Tourism Master Plan in early 2018.

Cover photo by @me.idris

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