Media Release

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Enter Stage 2 of Re-opening. Tourists Expected This Summer.

For Immediate Release 

June 10, 2020

(Kingston, Ontario, Canada) – On June 8, 2020, the Ontario Government announced that many regions in Ontario, including Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, will be permitted to enter Stage 2 of reopening. Select businesses may reopen as of June 12, 2020 while following guidelines and recommendations as outlined by the Province. 

Stage 2 allows for the reopening of many businesses that traditionally serve visitors in addition to local residents, including tour and guide services, beaches and water recreational facilities, outdoor recreational facilities, restaurant patios, attractions, and heritage institutions. Many hotels and other accommodation providers remain open or plan to reopen this summer. Accommodation providers are deemed an essential service under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 

“This a good news story – a positive step forward for our members that are tour operators, hoteliers, and restaurateurs,” says Karen Cross, CEO, Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce.

With its strong accommodation and food sector, which accounts for 8.7% of Kingston’s workforce, the city’s economy has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. The Conference Board of Canada reported that Kingston is one of the hardest hit communities in Canada for impact on tourism sector workforce. In 2019, Kingston welcomed 4.5 million visitors and the visitor economy generated an economic impact of $533 million.  

“The tourism sector is a significant driver of the local economy which represents close to a thousand small, independent businesses that employ over 10,000 Kingstonians. As the provinces begin to reopen, we need to remain vigilant on following Public Health recommendations, committed to supporting our local businesses and remember to be patient and kind to each other as we all learn how to navigate these special times,” says Donna Gillespie, CEO, Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

“Hotels, motels, inns and B&Bs continue to welcome visitors to Kingston while implementing safety policies as recommended by KFL&A Public Health in addition to the robust cleaning methods already existing in the sector. Without the group business that the sector relies on, we are ready to welcome leisure travellers from within our region in a safe and conscientious manner," says Krista LeClair, Executive Director, Kingston Accommodation Partners.

With loosened restrictions and the warmer summer months approaching, Kingston can expect to see tourists visiting the city. Currently, there are no restrictions on travel within Ontario or across the Ontario border within Canada. The US-Canada border remains closed to non-essential travel. 

Market research indicates that while many Canadians will choose not to travel over the coming months those that do are likely to travel by car to destinations within a few hours’ drive. Kingston’s businesses are encouraged to follow the Province’s safety guidelines and direction from KFL&A Public Health while providing a welcoming environment for residents and tourists alike.   

“With the City, Downtown BIA and Tourism Kingston leading the way to the creation of a ‘Love Kingston Marketplace’ in the downtown core, our district is poised to be a focal point for these travellers. We want to welcome them – and ensure their safety, and that of staff of downtown businesses. Safety protocols will be top of mind, for all, as we hope to welcome people to downtown and to enjoy these summer months,” says Michele Langlois, General Manager & Director of Marketing, Downtown Kingston! BIA

“We are pleased to see our region move to Stage 2 of reopening, a step that will allow many of our tourism partners to begin the long road to economic recovery. Kingston’s phenomenal reputation for hospitality will ensure both residents and visitors are welcomed by the city’s many attractions, accommodation providers, restaurants, and businesses in an enjoyable and safe way,” says Megan Knott, Executive Director, Tourism Kingston.  

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Media Contact:
Nour Mazloum
Communications & Events Officer
Kingston Economic Development Corporation
613-329-9270
[email protected]

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About Kingston Economic Development Corporation               

Kingston Economic Development Corporation is focused on building a strong community and supporting Kingston’s thriving economy. Its mission is to provide dynamic and collaborative leadership by leveraging Kingston's unique assets to create jobs and investments in order to sustain, grow, and transform Kingston's economy to meet the needs of the 21st century.