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, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism)
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 Saints and Sinners 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)
Developed in partnership by ORHMA, OTEC and THRC, the It’s Your Shift online training program and manager’s toolkit are being made available to industry on a complimentary basis this fall. This interactive presentation will include background information and videos on the issue of sexual violence and harassment in hospitality related businesses, the impact on those employed in the sector, and the repercussions to businesses that are not paying attention to this issue and Bill 132. Designed to introduce and highlight the components of It’s Your Shift, the session will provide owners, operators and managers with the next steps to access the online training program.