The chamber’s first-ever strategic plan covers 2009-10 and includes reaching out to existing members of the chamber, growing its membership, promoting businesses and services and increasing the member-to-member discount program.
She spoke briefly about enhancing the Apple Route which is now under the chamber’s jurisdiction. “”it needs revamping and revitalization,” commented the presenter. She sees it as a tourism opportunity.
Ms. Robertson is very enthusiastic about the prospects for culinary tourism and thinks it will bring significant benefits to Cramahe and the Municipality of Brighton. All the chambers of commerce in Northumberland County are working collectively on the concept. Culinary tourism falls under one of the chamber’s core competencies.
To emphasize the potential for culinary tourism she noted that ten years ago there was only one B&B, one winery, and one fine dining establishment in Prince Edawrd County.
The Brighton and District Chamber of Commerce website is attracting over 38,000 visitors a year. Brighton Online had over 72,000 in its last 12 month period and the Apple Route tourism site had 78,000 visitors.
Only 714 visitors dropped in at the visitor centre in Brighton last summer, a drop of 25%. Only 13 came from the U.S.Ms. Robertson was concerned about the 22 % drop in Cramahe Township members in the chamber but added that 60% of the decline was the result of businesses ceasing to operate. There is currently no Cramahe member of the chamber’s governing board.
Mayor Marc Coombs offered to try to find someone to fill the role.
At the Brighton Chamber's Country Living Show held in April only one Cramahe-based company had a display. TipTop Realty, which also operates out of Brighton, was the sole Cramahe participant.