Stopping by the monument

Tourists stop for a visit at the Terry Fox Monument on Tuesday morning. Thunder Bay’s tourism department hopes to get the go-ahead to open the visitor centre at the monument by August.

Tourism Thunder Bay launched a golf stay and play initiative on Monday.

With the U.S.-Canada border closed, the city’s tourism office is looking to build a local market that traditionally wouldn’t be tapped.

“A lot of golfers here go to Lutsen, they go to Fortune Bay, they head state side,” Paul Pepe, manager of Thunder Bay Tourism, told The Chronicle-Journal on Tuesday.

“With golfers not able to cross the border, this is a great opportunity to build . . . some close haul markets and packages.”

The stay and play program is one way to divert regional traffic back to Thunder Bay.

Pepe gave that as an example as one of the campaigns they will be working on to attract people from the region to the city for dining, and outdoor and retail experiences the city has to offer.

“This year is going to be about the hyper local and regional market and for us, Manitoba,” said Pepe.

With Manitoba able to contain the COVID-19 virus similar to Thunder Bay, Pepe sees a comfort level that will bring travellers from Manitoba to Thunder Bay.

“We have to be mindful of, are visitors going to have the experience they want here?” he says. “Are things going to be open for them and are they going to feel welcome in the community?”

(See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal)

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