European for-hire cruise boats on Rideau Canal

Noreen Cartwright, Senior Investment Consultant with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, during the Leeds-Grenville Economic Development Summit Nov. 20, 2015 in Kemptville, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

KEMPTVILLE – Provincial tourism officials are working to bring more tourism boating options to users of the Rideau Canal as early as 2017.

Officials with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport spoke to attendees at the Leeds-Grenville Economic Development Summit Friday in Kemptville.

One of those proposals is TUI le boat – a for-hire cruise boating company – which already operates in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Pollard.

TUI Group is the largest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world.

“If everything goes according to plan, they would like to start in 2017,” said Senior Investment Consultant Noreen Cartwright.

It would also bring jobs to the region – the government estimates around 10 direct jobs and 37 indirect jobs.

“There would be employment along the canal…maid service, housekeeping, mechanics,” Cartwright said.

There are several other potential boat investors including the Luxury Crewed Hotel Barges, a vessel that runs more slowly on the water than a TUI le boat.

“It would be great if you could say Rideau and people would know where we are,” Cartwright said, referring to the worldwide attraction of a TUI cruise boat on the Rideau Canal.

“We need all of you…we can’t do it alone, Parks Canada can’t do it alone,” she said.

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