The Town of Petrolia is hoping to draw more tourists with a new website.
Laurissa Ellsworth, director of marketing and special events, told council at a recent budget meeting she hopes to establish visitpetrolia.ca which will be geared specifically to tourists.
“It will allow local service clubs and organizations to log in and to promote their events… We will present to possible residents and tourists a video of our town and all the wonderful things we can do here,” she says.
The town already draws a significant amount of tourists. So far, in 2016, over 30,000 people have visited Petrolia Playhouse Petrolia and statistics show over 60 per cent of the visitors are from out of town. Another report to council estimates about 22,500 people came to Petrolia for various events including Pizzafest, Art in the Park and Canada Day.
Officials estimate those people had an economic impact of about $1.9 million this year alone. The town wants to capitalize on those visitors by providing tailored information for them.
Ellsworth says this website will be completely different than the current municipal website. “We’re going to be reaching a completely different audience,” she says.
Ellsworth hopes the website will turn visitors into permanent residents somewhere down the road. “There will be an opportunity there for different tabs on the website to show the available buildings downtown,” she says noting it may entice people to set up shop in the community.
The town has budgeted an extra $7,500 for the development of the site. It is to be approved when council passes the 2017 budget which may occur as soon as Monday.