Great Northern Ontario Roadshow aims to bring boost to Gravenhurst’s tourism sector

On Saturday, a northern-based science center brought a traveling show to cottage country as part of its effort to boost the struggling tourism sector.

The Great Northern Ontario Road Show is spearheaded by Science North, which is based in Sudbury. It’s a traveling event that works with local vendors and business leaders in communities throughout northern Ontario, providing them with an opportunity to connect with clientele.

“So we come to places like Gravenhurst here, and we put on events,” says Meaghan Francis, the show’s event coordinator. “We try to invite local vendors and local community members to help us plan, and we invite the local community to come out and support the local vendors.”

Saturday’s event was put together in coordination with the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce and Muskoka Steamships & Discovery Center, where it was held. It featured various exhibits, local Indigenous storytellers, leaders from the Gravenhurst library, and other local vendors.

“Basically, the way we see it is a way for us to put on an event for our locals, especially in a shoulder season in a tourist town,” says Meghan Pratt, a communications specialist with the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce. “It’s not always easy finding things to do, so this was a really great opportunity for families to be able to come out and do something fun before the weather hits before the tourists come.”

Pratt says this event is crucial after two years of many businesses struggling throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She says something like this roadshow often has a spinoff effect, with people often visiting local restaurants while they are out.

“It is important coming out of COVID, especially in our town, which is very tourism-based, to add those opportunities where people can drum up a little more business for themselves,” says Pratt. “Obviously, there’s a lot to come back from with COVID, and hopefully, this is a step towards bigger and better things for us as restrictions have generally subsided.”

For information on the Great Northern Ontario Roadshow, you can click here.

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