Niagara-on-the-Lake is a town of 17,500 people and has been reported to welcome as many as 3.5 million visitors – almost twice as many per capita as Venice.
A large influx of tourists, while economically beneficial to destinations in some ways, can also kill certain aspects of a destination that make it, well, desirable. Too many tourists crowding into one place at a time can damage infrastructure, drive out local businesses and residents, harm historic architecture, dilute local culture and lead to increased pollution.
Tourism is vital to the town of Niagara-On-The-Lake. The purpose of Residents for Sustainable Tourism is to encourage sustainable tourism that brings both cultural and economic benefits to the town and region while ensuring that it improves rather than diminishes the quality of life for residents.
We will promote sustainable tourism by offering positive solutions and making sure that all stakeholders understand:
- Overtourism is detrimental to all stakeholders including residents, responsible retailers, the hospitality industry, wineries and the Shaw Festival and other festivals.
- Resident quality of life should be given the high priority it deserves. If the residents are happy and we avoid overtourism then all stakeholders will benefit.
- Resident voters matter. Residents are the only constituents that vote and are the single largest source of property taxes.
- Sustainable tourism has cultural and economic benefits for all stakeholders while improving rather than diminishing the quality of life for residents.