A Vibrant Oshawa Tourism Practice Boosts Local Business & Community Prosperity

Long considered the urban and industrial core of Durham Region, Oshawa is well-known for its strong automotive, healthcare, and education sectors. Recently, however, we are also finally gaining recognition for our thriving cultural and tourism sector and this emerging focus is making a significant contribution to the local economy and enhancing community well-being.

Today’s launch of the Oshawa Attractions Guide by the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce through our Oshawa Tourism practice underscores a strategic commitment to highlighting and enhancing the city’s cultural footprint and, by extension, its economic vitality. This initiative aligns seamlessly with the Chamber’s mission to build community prosperity and is a cornerstone of our new 3-year strategic plan.

1. Challenging the Status Quo through Cultural Investment

Investing in culture and tourism is no longer just about enhancing the visitor experience; it’s about fundamentally rethinking economic development. Cultural tourism is a substantial economic lever, with the World Bank noting that “investment in cultural heritage can help promote economic diversification and attract valuable tourist revenue that supports local economies.” In Oshawa, by curating over 60 top attractions in the newly released guide, we are not just inviting tourists but also revitalizing local interest and pride in our city’s diverse offerings for its own residents.  This strategic move to enlist our friends, families, colleagues, and neighbours as advocates for our City gives us enormous leverage as we look to further drive success for Oshawa’s numerous tourism and cultural business operators. This initiative also signals a move towards diversifying our economic base beyond traditional industries.

2. Telling Our Story in Bold New Ways

The Oshawa Attractions Guide serves as a narrative device, telling an experiential story of our city through its hidden gems and vibrant music scene. As noted by the U.S. Travel Association, “Travel has a ripple effect that flows through local economies, benefiting a wide diversity of businesses in its wake.” By highlighting unique spots like the Biltmore Theatre and annual events that showcase our status as a musical hub, the guide repositions Oshawa as a dynamic place of discovery. This is crucial, as storytelling is not just an artistic endeavour but a strategic tool that frames Oshawa as a key cultural destination in Ontario.

3. Fostering Prosperity Through Convergence

The strategic convergence of tourism, culture, and business is pivotal. According to Tourism Economics, for every $1 million spent on travel, nearly $1.5 million is generated in total economic impact. The Attractions Guide is more than just a tourist resource; it’s a business development tool that supports local enterprises from cafes to museums, boosting their visibility and customer base. By promoting a cohesive experience where culture, commerce, and community intersect, the Chamber fosters an ecosystem where all sectors benefit from increased tourism.

4. Doing What We Say We Will Do

The release of the Oshawa Attractions Guide is a testament to the Chamber’s commitment to its strategic pillars. It is a concrete example of how we are implementing our plans and promises, ensuring that the potential of our cultural economy is not just recognized but actively nurtured. The guide itself is a practical resource that enables both visitors and residents to explore Oshawa effectively, thereby directly contributing to our local economy’s vibrancy and resilience.

Broadening Economic and Community Impact

The benefits of a strong tourism and cultural sector extend beyond direct economic impacts. According to Deloitte, vibrant cultural sectors enhance liveability, attract a dynamic workforce, and stimulate sustainable development. In Oshawa, this translates into a more attractive city for both current and prospective residents and businesses, enhancing overall quality of life and economic prosperity.  In a very real sense, a community that scores high across the dimensions for measuring liveability makes for a highly desirable location for new business investment because the investing enterprise knows they have access to a healthy, socially well-adjusted, and well-educated workforce.

Moreover, by linking tourism closely with local businesses, we create a symbiotic relationship that helps stabilize and grow the local economy. Small businesses, often the backbone of local economies, thrive when there is a steady influx of visitors, and they benefit from the marketing and exposure provided by resources like the Attractions Guide.

The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce’s focus on building up a robust tourism practice and cultural economy is not just about bringing more visitors to our city. It is about creating a sustainable, vibrant community where business and culture converge for mutual benefit. Through the Oshawa Attractions Guide and our strategic initiatives, we are setting a standard for how cities can integrate cultural richness into their economic fabric, proving that when we elevate our cultural assets, we elevate Oshawa itself.

In embracing this model, we not only adhere to our strategic plan but also contribute to a broader narrative of growth and success that will define Oshawa for generations to come.

Picture of Jason King

Jason King

As the CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, I blend entrepreneurship and B2B tech marketing expertise to bring you essential news and insights. Join me in navigating the business landscape as we work together to foster growth, collaboration, and build community prosperity in the heart of Oshawa.


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