Economic Development and Tourism Strategy

Distinct, resilient, and bold, Guelph is a centre for innovation, creation, and community.

2022-2026 Economic Development and Tourism Strategy

At the City we’re working to enhance economic conditions in Guelph, support resilience and help local businesses find innovative solutions to their challenges. The 2022-2026 Economic Development and Tourism Strategy sets the stage to direct our efforts over the next five years and supports the functions of economic development, tourism and the Guelph Junction Railway (GJR). This plan aligns with Guelph’s Community Plan and the City’s Strategic Plan, particularly around the pillar of Powering our Future, and will guide and support COVID-19 economic recovery for the community.

Guiding principles

Cluster-focused:
Pursue opportunities that support industry cluster growth.
Opportunity for all:
Use an equity lens to guide economic development and tourism efforts.
Collaborative spirit:
Engage private and public partners to build Guelph’s marketplace image and address obstacles.
Data-driven:
Effectively and consistently use data to help guide decision-making.
Continuous improvement:
Encourage ongoing training and improvement among City leadership, staff and partners.

Goals and priorities

Goal 1: Expand support for existing businesses

Priority 1.1: Implement a formalized business expansion and support program.
Priority 1.2: Support industry-led tourism product development.
Priority 1.3: Build awareness of industry cluster support in decision making.

Goal 2: Attract targeted investment

Priority 2.1: Proactively target lead generation activities
Priority 2.2: Strategically market Guelph’s industry clusters
Priority 2.3: Leverage the Guelph Junction Railway infrastructure to grow City revenues
Priority 2.4: Develop a sport, group, and conference tourism plan

Goal 3: Champion an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem

Priority 3.1: Partner to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem
Priority 3.2: Define an approach to guide private investment in the Guelph Innovation District
Priority 3.3: Grow a robust “Buy local Guelph” initiative
Priority 3.4: Celebrate the successes of diverse Guelph entrepreneurs

Goal 4: Advance talent attraction and skill development

Priority 4.1: Unify and support workforce development organizations through Grow Guelph
Priority 4.2: Engage private sector, education, and workforce leaders to collaborate and address immediate and long-term workforce needs

Goal 5: Build a must-see visitor destination in Ontario

Priority 5.1: Implement the Municipal Accommodation Tax.
Priority 5.2: Curate destination experiences.
Priority 5.3: Enhance placemaking throughout the city.
Priority 5.4: Enhance wayfinding and visitor services assets.

Goal 6: Enhance Guelph’s unique brand for business, talent and visitors

Priority 6.1: Create a marketing strategy that conveys the “Guelph experience” and value proposition
Priority 6.2: Develop revised destination marketing plan in conjunction with new Destination Marketing Organization

Industry clusters and priority sectors

Industry clusters

Advanced Manufacturing 

Agri-Innovation 

Life Sciences

Priority sectors

Cleantech

Information and Communications Technology

Tourism 

What’s next?

Supporting strategy documentation will undergo a data review in 2022 with the release of the 2021 Census of Population statistics and supporting data sets. We’ll refresh the strategy in 2023, complete a more robust review in 2025 before releasing the next strategy in 2026.

For more information

Christine Chapman, Manager, Economic Development
Economic Development and Tourism
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2823
chri[email protected]