With a few trips on the horizon, our household has been doing a tremendous amount of research to determine the best things to see and do, where to eat, and what tourists need to be prepared for along the way. The ongoing exercise has renewed my appreciation of Kingston’s position and preparedness in terms of the array of services and information that is available to prospective visitors. From the centrally located Kingston Tourism office to the informative Official Visitor Guide and convenient free WiFi in the vicinity of City Hall, I tend to think we stack up pretty well in comparison to other international cities of similar size. Kingston’s historical attractions are traditionally the biggest draw, and key players within the industry have recognized the need to do more than the same old, same old, in order to woo paying customers. Exciting new attractions such as the flexible Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley, the deeply discounted K-Pass and the re-imagined Sunset Ceremony at Fort Henry are perfect examples that underscore evolution within the local tourism industry.
In spite of all that Kingston has to offer, there’s lots of room left for improvement and otherwise potentially lucrative business opportunities for intrepid entrepreneurs. Drawing upon your travels, and your most memorable experiences throughout the world, this week’s poll asks:
What service, amenity or attraction should Kingston add to enhance tourism?
- Cruise Ship Terminal (30%, 42 Votes)
- Waterfront Ferris Wheel or Carousel (28%, 39 Votes)
- Affordable Hostel (19%, 27 Votes)
- Free Shuttle Between Downtown and the Airport/Train Station (13%, 18 Votes)
- Guided Tours on Segways (11%, 15 Votes)
Total Voters: 141
As I think about what Kingston might look like with an eye-catching waterfront Ferris wheel, I’m also cognizant of the balance that must be struck in order to preserve the city’s identity. Kingston appeals to visitors because of its unique history, and while aspects of what we have to offer are comparable to what you’ll find elsewhere, we shouldn’t simply strive to replicate the likes of Paris, Rome, New York, London or Tokyo. With that in mind, the focus becomes moreso on the key services and amenities that enhance the overall travel experience for visitors, or otherwise bring more tourists in. That includes a mix of new services, as well as updating and building upon what we already have to offer (ie expanding free WiFi), which the rest of us naturally benefit from. Just how would you add to the already great lineup of services, amenities and attractions Kingston has to offer prospective tourists?