Celebrating Tourism Week With Fun, Fun, Fun

    McGuinty Government Making Summer Fun More Affordable For Families

    TORONTO, June 3 /CNW/ -


    The Ontario government is providing more than 1.4 million elementary
school children with a 2008 Fun Pass this month.
    The pass is valid from July 1 to September 1 and provides one free
child's admission (14 and under) with one paid adult or senior's admission to
participating attractions and includes a discount on the daily parking permit
at Ontario Parks.
    The launch of the 2008 Fun Pass is part of National Tourism Week,
June 2-8. The theme of the week is Potential Worth Exploring.


    "Tourism Week and the Fun Pass give Ontario an excellent opportunity to
celebrate the significant contributions that tourism makes to our economy and
quality of life," said Ontario Minister of Tourism Peter Fonseca. "The Fun
Pass gives families many affordable ways to enjoy our provincial attractions
and stimulates the growth of our tourism industry."


    -   Based on data from Statistics Canada, it is estimated that tourism is
        a $22.8 billion industry in Ontario.
    -   Tourism contributes more to our economy in terms of GDP than
        agriculture, forestry, commercial fishing and hunting and mining
        industries combined.
    -   Ontario draws more than 100 million tourists a year.
    -   The tourism industry is Ontario's single largest youth and seasonal


    Participating attractions include: Sainte-Marie among the Hurons
(http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca/), Discovery Harbour
(http://www.discoveryharbour.on.ca/), Ontario Place
(http://www.ontarioplace.com/), the Royal Ontario Museum
(http://www.rom.on.ca/), the Ontario Science Centre
(http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/), Science North
(http://www.sciencenorth.on.ca/), Fort William Historical Park
(http://www.fwhp.ca/homepage.html), the Royal Botanical Gardens
(http://www.rbg.ca/), the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
(http://www.mcmichael.com/), the Butterfly Conservatory
(http://www.niagaraparks.com/), Old Fort Erie (http://www.niagaraparks.com/),
Upper Canada Village (http://www.parks.on.ca/), Fort Henry
(http://www.parks.on.ca/), Uncle Tom's Cabin (http://www.uncletomscabin.org/),
Fulford Place (http://www.heritagefdn.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_8830_1.html),
Homewood Museum
(http://www.heritagefdn.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_8826_1.html), Elgin and
Winter Garden Theatre
(http://www.heritagefdn.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_8838_1.html) and Barnum
House (http://www.heritagefdn.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_8800_1.html).

    Discover more fun summer activities across Ontario at
    If you would like additional information on the Fun Pass, please call
416-314-1425 or send an email to funpass@ontario.ca

                                                      Disponible en français


                             TOURISM IN ONTARIO

    Tourism is an important economic driver and community builder in Ontario,
and the province is taking action to ensure its long-term viability through
key investments in marketing, festivals and events and a competitiveness study
that will help the industry build for the future.
    More than 100 million people visit Ontario every year, and its profile as
a tourism destination is on the rise - in the first quarter of 2007, user
sessions at ontariotravel.net, the province's official tourism website, grew
by 30 per cent over the same period in 2006.


    According to preliminary estimates for 2007:

    -   Based on data from Statistics Canada, it is estimated that tourism is
        a $22.8 billion industry in Ontario.

    Tourism and related businesses - accommodation, food & beverage,
recreation & entertainment, transportation, tourism-related retail, car
rentals, tour operators and travel agents - stimulate economic activity and
jobs in communities across the province.

    -   Almost 158,000 businesses provide goods and services for tourists,
        representing 19 per cent of the total number of businesses in the
        province. More than 90 per cent are small and medium sized
    -   Tourism supports more than 307,700 jobs throughout Ontario's economy.
    -   Tourism is the largest employer for Ontario's youth and the largest
        seasonal employer.(*)

    (*) Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey


    Ontario recently announced a new competitiveness study that will:

    -   get all Ontarians talking about the future of tourism in the province
    -   raise the profile of the tourism industry and create a platform for
        new initiatives
    -   deliver a focused agenda to support the growth and long-term
        viability of tourism in Ontario as an important element of the
        province's economic development.

    The study is chaired by Vaughan MPP Greg Sorbara.


    Tourism is growing exponentially worldwide.

    -   The United Nation's World Tourism Organization forecasts that
        international arrivals are expected to reach about 1.6 billion by
    -   Ontario's main tourism markets include the U.S., United Kingdom,
        Germany, Japan and France.
    -   Emerging markets include Mexico, China, South Korea, India, Italy and

    (*) Source: World Tourism Organization (WTO)


    Did you know...

    -   Ontario has more than 250,000 lakes including the Great Lakes, which
        hold one-fifth of the world's fresh water. We also have countless
        rivers and streams - 100,000 kilometres of them - and a saltwater
        coastline at Hudson and James Bays.
    -   Ontario also lays claim to the world's longest fresh-water beach at
        Wasaga on Georgian Bay.
    -   Caribana is North America's largest street festival. It draws more
        than one million people to Toronto every year to celebrate Caribbean
    -   With more than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m(3)) of water falling
        over its brink every minute, Niagara Falls is the most powerful
        waterfall in North America and perhaps the most famous in the world,
        attracting millions of visitors a year.
    -   The Greater Toronto Area's golf community is among the top three in
        North America when it comes to active golfers, most rounds per capita
        and number of corporate tournaments. It's also the leading market in
        Canada for golf spending.
    -   Toronto is home to the Royal Ontario Museum's Michael Lee-Chin
        Crystal, one of the "new seven wonders of the world" according to
        Condé Nast Traveler magazine.
    -   The only Chinese Lantern Festival held in North America will be
        hosted by Ontario Place from July 31 to October 2.
    -   Quinte's Isle is home to the world's largest system of freshwater
        sand dunes. And at nearby Lake of the Mountain Provincial Park the
        lake defies geographical and geological theory by having no visible
        water source.
    -   The Rideau Canal waterway, which extends from Kingston to Ottawa, is
        North America's most scenic waterway and was named a UNESCO World
        Heritage Site in 2007, along with Fort Henry and the Kingston
    -   Ottawa's Rideau Canal offers 7.8 kilometres of uninterrupted skating,
        making it the world's longest skating rink.
    -   Ontario has 49,000 kilometres of groomed snowmobile trails, the
        longest network in the world.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Alicia Farrow, Minister's Office, (416)
325-4543; Lisa Robart, Communications Branch, (416) 212-3928

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Ontario Ministry of Tourism

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