1. Leveraging Your Natural Assets
Moderator: Jennifer Mason (President, JLM Strategic Marketing)
Jennie Elmslie (Co-Owner, Free Spirit Tours)
Jennifer Whitely (Executive Director, Ontario's Lake Country)
Meg Balsillie (Founder, Farm Dog Cycles)
Ontario is full of serene lakes, breathtaking nature and beautiful landscapes; each community boasts its own natural beauty, and its own unique collection of natural tourism assets. The question is: how do you build tourism around those assets? Three tour operators will discuss how they’re leveraging their surroundings to get visitors outside, while simultaneously growing a sustainable tourism business.
2. Kingston Tourism Success Stories
Moderator: Jim Byers (Travel Writer, JimByersTravel.com)
Hugh Mackenzie (General Manager, Kingston Destination Group)
Heather Ford (Owner, Kingston Food Tours)
Geoff Waycik (Manager — Historic Sites, St. Lawrence Parks Commission)
Calling all urbanites, history lovers and foodies — Kingston is the place to be. With a critical mass of attractions such as the Kingston Penitentiary, Kingston Food Tours, iconic trolleys, 1000 Islands Cruises and Winter’s Lumina Borealis, Kingston is quickly becoming a trending destination in Ontario. Hear from these successful attractions on how, collaboratively, they're turning Kingston from a day-trip destination to one worth extended stays.
3. Planting the Seed, Nurturing the Brand and Harvesting the Experience: Destinations Invested in Growing Food Tourism
Moderator: Rebecca Mackenzie (President & CEO, Culinary Tourism Alliance)
Pat Forrest (Senior Coordinator Partnerships and Initiatives, Tourism Northern Ontario)
Philly Markowitz (Economic Development Officer, Grey County)
Kelly Jessup (Marketing & Communications Lead, RTO8)
Learn the ins and outs of developing taste of place. From hosting 7 Forums on Food Tourism across Northern Ontario, to developing the sold out Underwater Dining @ Lock 21 event, to building the Sinners and Saints Trail—tourism experts will provide insights into fundamentals of food tourism development.
4. It's Your Shift — Sexual Violence & Intervention Hospitality Training
Victoria Behune (President & CEO, Ontario Tourism Education Corporation)
Fatima Finnegan (Director of Corporate Marketing & Business Development, Ontario Restaurant, Hotel & Motel Association)