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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Byland winery gets $90K from feds for tourism growth
Jackson Bai, owner of Byland Estates, gave Chris Bittle, Soraya Martinez Ferrada and Vance Badawey a tour of the property before the announcement on Friday. JULIA SACCO
Vance Badawey, Coun. Wendy Cheropita and Soraya Martinez Ferrada had a chat after the announcement of $90,000 going to Byland Estates. JULIA SACCO
Vance Badawey, Soraya Martinez Ferrada and Chris Bittle perused the award-winning wines at Byland Estates during their visit. JULIA SACCO

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Byland Estate Winery is one of several tourism spots in the Niagara region receiving a slice of a $540,000 pie from the federal government this spring.

Canada’s minister of tourism, Soraya Martinez Ferrada, was at the winery on Line 3 Road on Friday, along with Liberal MPs Vance Badawey and Chris Bittle, to announce the investment from FedDev in the region’s tourism sector.

Byland Estate Winery received a repayable investment of $90,000 to enhance its visitor experience, specifically with a focus on widening the property’s driveway and improving its landscape to attract more visitors.

Martinez Ferrada said while tourism numbers have increased since their historic lows during the COVID-19 pandemic, they haven’t gone back to pre-pandemic levels.

The hope is that investing in these projects will help bring tourists back to Niagara, she said.

“Yes, they will spend more money in the region, but they will have a great experience, an experience that will make them want to come back,” Martinez Ferrada said.

Flat Rock Cellars in Jordan Station was granted $200,000 and the city of Port Colborne was granted $250,000 for the improvement of the Wharf Terminal.

Martinez Ferrada said that the government was selective when choosing which projects to support.

“One of the main objectives is to always make sure that we’re supporting organizations and companies that will actually grow the tourism sector,” she said.

After the pandemic, the government is seeing trends in tourists looking for authenticity, she continued.

“If you come to Byland and you talk to Jackson (the owner), they’re going to leave this place not only with the bottle of wine that they bought, but the story behind it.”

Badawey shared similar feelings about the chosen projects.

“It’s more than just touching something or feeling something or tasting something. It’s a feeling that we can all recall from when we were children, or when we travel now as adults,” he said.

“Some of the destinations we enjoy the most may not be the most traditional, but it’s the destinations that make us feel good.”

juliasacco@niagaranow.com

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