Ontario Resort Industry Appears to be Recovering

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After several years of recession, the Ontario resort industry shows signs of recovery, despite new passport regulations and a high Canadian dollar, according to Ontario hospitality industry expert Rick Breckbill, owner of Severn Lodge, a landmark Muskoka resort.

Over the past several years, the Ontario resort industry has been adversely affected by the recession. According to Rick Breckbill, owner of Severn Lodge (http://www.severnlodge.on.ca), a long established family-owned Muskoka lodge, there have also been other external factors that have contributed to the lower levels of resort business and one example of this is the new U.S. passport regulations. “Only about 30% of Americans and Canadians currently hold passports which are now necessary for travel from one country to the other. For those without passports, they are faced with the additional expense of obtaining one. For example, if a passport costs $100, then a family of 4 would have to spend $400 just to cross the border,” says Breckbill.

Border statistics have been down significantly over the past few years, and the Ontario resort industry has suffered because of that. In particular, the northern Ontario resorts and lodges, which have always had a very high percentage of American guests, have been severely affected. Central Ontario has not been affected quite as bad, as most Ontario resorts in this area are able to attract the getaway vacations market from the large population base of Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe area. “I suppose we were lucky,” says Breckbill. “Our Muskoka resort is only 150 km from Toronto and it has allowed us to be able to attract the very short haul getaway market. Unfortunately, our U.S. market business has suffered significantly due to the passport issue, as well as, the move closer to parity for the Canadian dollar.”

“Despite these obstacles, there are reasons for hope. The economy appears to be getting slightly better, although very slowly. Next year will be a crucial year, as there are still economists that feel another recession is coming. Our business through the end of August is up 13% this year, so it looks like we will definitely have some improvement over 2011,” reports Breckbill.

Breckbill has received statistics from http://www.resortsandlodges.com, a leading resort and lodge destination travel site in North America that announced recently its recap of summer 2012 travel based on traffic statistics from Google Analytics and Phonalytics, the travel website’s premier phone analytics platform. He says that, “Their statistics showed very good results for most resorts including ours. The top 4 searches on their website in 2012 were for All Inclusive Vacations, followed by Family Trips, Beach Vacations, and Spa Getaways. This is great news, as most of our Central Ontario resorts cater to one of more of these types of holidays.” Breckbill also noted that, “Recently, several prominent hospitality companies have come out with research that suggests domestic leisure travel is close to pre-recession levels. Resortsandlodges.com reports that Muskoka, Ontario Canada was 7th on their list of the most requested destinations in the world. Add this to the prestigious National Geographic Magazine naming Muskoka the #1 summer destination in the world in 2011, and one of the top 10 destinations in the world in 2012, and you have quite a statement on Ontario’s spectacular cottage country.”

About Severn Lodge: As one of Ontario’s premier waterfront resorts, Severn Lodge has been a favourite Muskoka vacation destination for nearly a century. Its secluded setting and spectacular views provide the ideal environment for a relaxing yet fun-filled holiday. All inclusive packages feature deluxe lake view accommodations, fine country dining, and use of the resorts recreation facilities such as a heated outdoor pool & hot tub, sandy beach and lake water swimming, canoes, pedal boats, stand-up paddleboards, mountain bikes, 100 acres of wooded hiking trails, tennis, fishing, basketball, volleyball, shuffleboard, games room, and more. Summertime features supervised kids activities and evening entertainment. The resort also hosts meetings, conferences, and fabulous resort weddings. Only 90 minutes from the greater Toronto area, just off Hwy 400, Severn Lodge is in the heart of the world famous Muskoka ~ Georgian Bay lake district. For further information, please contact the reservation and information office at info@severnlodge.on.ca or call 1-800-461-5817. Website: http://www.severnlodge.on.ca.

Contact Information:
Rick W Breckbill – Owner
Severn Lodge
116 Gloucester Trail
PO Box 250
Port Severn, Ontario, Canada L0K 1S0
Toll Free (worldwide): 1-800-461-5817
Local: 705-756-2722
E-Mail: rickb(at)severnlodge(dot)on(dot)ca
Web: http://www.severnlodge.on.ca

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