(LEAMINGTON, ON) – A Leamington councillor has charged the region’s tourism promotion agency with giving the town short shrift in a new promotional booklet entitled Windsor Essex Pelee Island Official Visitor Guide. It is designed to attract visitors to the region or to provide information to tourists who arrive.
But it omits many of the highlights of Canada’s Tomato Capital.
At a recent council meeting, in an almost heated debate between disappointed councilor John Jacobs and the quiet and sombre Gord Orr, manager of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Jacobs claimed he could only spot five references to Leamington in the 80 page document.
Orr begged to differ, which had Jacobs repeating the claim that his town was getting, “… the short end of the stick.”
Jacobs argued that after a brief page-by-page review, he came up with only five local mentions of his town’s tourist attractions. He did not say whether he was being figurative or literal, but a review of the Guide’s content does show a number of omissions.
Apparently not wanting to get into a shouting match, Orr diffused the situation by promising to prepare a report showing Leamington received more than the five mentions Jacobs had found in the thick handout.
The Square was able to obtain a copy of the booklet and can confirm Leamington has been sidelined in many areas in favour of other communities. In total, the town received 22 non-advertising mentions while its next door neighbor Kingsville received 41.
An example of how Leamington was ignored can be found on page 46, in a section on shopping. A paragraph talks of the shopping opportunities throughout Essex County inviting visitors to take, “… a day trip to rural towns like Kingsville, Belle River, Essex, or Harrow.” Leamington and a few other towns are not mentioned.
Mexican food is talked about in the start of the Food and Drink section, however, despite Leamington’s wealth of Mexican restaurants, not a single one is listed. Readers will not find the likes of Tacos Tony, Salsa Caliente, or Tortilla Leamington, to name a few.
But, they can read about Kingsville’s Butcher of Kingsville, Jack’s Gastropub, or Merlis Coffeehouse and Eatery.
Even highly tourist attractive features are not mentioned, including a lack of coverage in the booklet’s Heritage Sites of the ErieQuest Marine Heritage Museum. There are some 200 shipwrecks off of the town’s shores, and the group running the museum provides interpretive resources onshore.
Tourism manager Orr did not provide a date for presentation of his report to Jacobs and Town Council.