The local tourism industry may be taking off but it isn’t likely to lead to more job openings this year. And the early end to winter isn’t likely to mean staff is hired any earlier, either.
Neil McInnis, executive director with the Sunset Country Travel Association, said winter may be gone but that doesn’t change the other seasons—fishing and hunting.
And the majority of tourism bookings revolve around those seasons, not the weather.
Even if the weather looks like it might be good, Donna Hanson, president of the Northwestern Ontario Tourism Association (NWOTA), noted bookings were done in advance.
“You can’t go and book those times if you don’t know if the ice is going to be gone,” she explained.
But there is good news for those shopping the job market in Rainy River District—the number of positions available is on the rise.
Myron Hawrylak, with the Human Resources office in Fort Frances, noted that from April, 1997 through February, 1998, 478 jobs were listed with the office here. The year before that figure was 417.
“There are more people getting work,” he assured, adding the service sector makes up about 30 percent of the labour force in this area.
Across Northern Ontario, tourism-related industries make up 97,667 of the 374,204 jobs, according to a 1996 report based on Ontario travel information.
But most jobs, he said, were filled through personal knowledge—not listings at the office. For that reason, Human Resources has contracted out two workers, Tannis Drysdale and Jane Gillon, who will be doing face-to-face visits with employers over a four-month period.
With that, the office is hoping to make employers more aware of their services, and hopefully, open up the market to those looking for jobs. Human Resources will hold workshops next week to train the contract workers hired at the Kenora and Fort Frances offices.