From Tuesday, November 14th to 16th, TIAO had the privilege of participating in the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit in Sault Ste Marie. Dr. Jessica Ng and Carol Greenwood delivered a presentation updating attendees on our advocacy efforts for tourism in Northern Ontario, emphasizing our key focus areas: economic recovery, labour, economic development and regulatory reform, and infrastructure.
During our presentation, we highlighted our objectives to extend the CEBA and RRRF repayment period, allowing for partial loan forgiveness until December 31st, 2025; the labour crisis in Northern Ontario, including the impact of Transport Canada anti-fatigue regulations on exacerbating the pilot shortage; and the need to expand provincial EV charging infrastructure in rural and remote areas. Additionally, we discussed our continued advocacy alongside our Northern partners for tourism revenue tools tailored for Northern and remote regions to amplify tourism marketing and product development in destinations located on crown land, in unorganized townships, or beyond municipal boundaries.
Concluding our session, we delved into upcoming trends and opportunities in the tourism sector – including opportunities to expand outdoor and nature-based tourism and agritourism – and current and upcoming programs and events at TIAO.
In addition, Destination Northern Ontario passed a resolution to provide their utmost support to help alleviate homelessness as well as addiction and mental health challenges across Northern Ontario. The resolution was accompanied with an acknowledgment of the economic impact of homelessness and the need to directly address it for the full recovery and future growth of the tourism sector.
The Northern Ontario Tourism Summit (NOTS) was a great opportunity to reconnect with our partners at NOTO and Destination Northern Ontario, meet many of our Northern tourism stakeholders, and hear the latest issues and updates in Northern Ontario tourism. We look forward to NOTS 2024!
Manager of Policy and Government Affairs
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario