June 4, 2014

Oakville offers visitors lots to do and see

Oakville offers visitors lots to do and see
submitted photo
Raising the flag for Tourism Oakville are, from left, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Adrian Uracz, an instructor at iFLY Toronto and iFLY Toronto CEO Alain Guerin, Satish Palasseri, chair of Oakville Tourism Partnership and general manager of Quality Suites Oakville — and the RBC Canadian Open trophy on loan from Golf Canada.
Oakville attracts about one million visitors annually according to Oakville Tourism Partnership (OTP), which operates in conjunction with the Town of Oakville to boost those numbers.

The town offers tourists a distinctly different experience than the bright lights of nearby cities like Toronto.

In celebration of Ontario Tourism Week, this week, and National Tourism Week (June 16-20), OTP is reflecting why visitors choose to drop by Oakville.

“Arts and culture, trails and parks, some of the best shopping and dining in the GTA… Oakville has so much to offer our visitors,” said OTP Chair Satish Palasseri, who joined in raising the flag for tourism at Town Hall this week.

“As we recognize tourism during the month of June, I encourage fellow residents to share some of those offerings with friends and family visiting. Before taking off to Toronto or Niagara Falls, take them on a tour right here in town,” said Palasseri.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said he believes it’s the big ticket items that attract visitors.

“The biggest, and the one that really put Oakville on the global map, is the Canadian Open,” said Burton. “For many years, it was a fixture here and when it’s here, it’s huge. We get tens of thousands of visitors, and there’s lots of benefit from that.”

Last year, the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Course attracted about 98,000 people over its seven days.

It was awarded the “Most Fan-Friendly Event” by the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour.

With its return to town in July 2015, Oakville will once again draw international attention.

Other local tourist attractions are found close to home — residents. Almost half of Oakville’s one million visitors each year are visiting friends and family who live here, according to the OTP.

The town’s picturesque waterfront is another draw.

“My favourite thing in Oakville is to go to the top of Tannery Park Hill and sit there on the benches and enjoy the view on a beautiful day,” said Burton. “My wife and I think that’s the prettiest spot in town.”

Shops and restaurants in Bronte Village, Kerr Village and downtown Oakville are also popular attractions for tourists.

Oakville restaurateur Julia Hanna, said she’s witnessed how a restaurant can serve as a great meeting place for visitors, allowing them to feel connected with the community.

And then there are newer attractions, such as iFLY Toronto, which opened last month at Winston Churchill Boulevard and the QEW. The indoor free-fall simulator provides a thrill for everyone ages four and up.

OTP, which is a not-for-profit organization promoting tourism in the town, is encouraging residents to express their favourite way to share Oakville with visiting friends and family through Twitter and Facebook.

Use the hashtag #ShareOakville for a chance to win a two-night stay at one of its local accommodation partners.

For more information about tourism in Oakville, visit Oakville Tourism Partnership at www.visitoakville.com.

Article appeared in the Oakville Beaver: http://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/4558217-oakville-offers-visitors-lots-to-do-and-see/