2018 Ontario Tourism Summit

23 Oct 2018 @ 7:00am EDT
24 Oct 2018 @ 10:00pm EDT
Event Details

Join us for the tourism industry event of the year—because tourism matters.

Gather with industry colleagues and tourism leaders for two days at Caesars Windsor to network, gain new insights and explore trending topics.

More details on sessions and conference activities coming soon!

NOTE: Early Bird Pricing ends September 1st.

Group rates are available for TIAO Members—please call the office for more information.

Interested in sponsorship opportunities for this event, or in booking marketplace exhibition space? Contact Carol Greenwood, Director, Membership & Business Development, at cgreenwood@tiaontario.ca or 416-483-1691.

New for 2018, the Ontario Tourism Summit is offering 2 educational pre-conference sessions, the day before regular conference programming.

Attendance at both sessions is covered if you've also purchased tickets for the full Ontario Tourism Summit. In other words, if you've already registered for #OTS18, you DO NOT need to also purchase tickets to pre-conference sessions to participate.

If you've already registered for OTS18, but would like to attend pre-conference sessions, let us know by emailing Donovan Shakespeare at dshakespeare@tiaontario.ca.

Learn More


Tuesday, October 23

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM Registration & Breakfast Buffet
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO

8:30 AM – 9:15 AM TBA
9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Sweden's Freedom to Roam

Johan Uunila Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Country Manager/President USA & Finland, Visit Sweden

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM Break
10:20 AM – 10:30 AM

TechTalk: Automated Learning

Benjamin Bohnenblust Product Performance Manager Canada, Booking.com

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Careers in Tourism Awareness Campaign Overview

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO

Rob Hunter Founder & CEO, HigherMe

10:45 AM – 11:15 AM

Filling the Labour Gap

Rob Hunter Founder & CEO, HigherMe

Philip Mondor President, Tourism HR Canada

Ray Nadeau General Manager, Victoria Inn

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM

Addressing Labour Housing

Andrew Siegwart President, Blue Mountain Village Association (BMVA)

Bryan Plumstead Tourism Manager, Grey County Tourism

11:45 AM – 12:05 PM Break
12:15 PM – 1:20 PM

Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch

Sponsored by Air Canada

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Day One Concurrent Sessions

1. Leveraging Guest WiFi

Harvey Schiller President & Co-Founder, Corporate Kinetics

Barry MacDonald President, Falcon Retail

2. Marketing Your Accessible Tourism Experience

3. Human Trafficking & Implications for Tourism

Janice Matthews Director, Business Development, e=mcevents

Tania Ferlin Corporate Group Sales Manager, Hyatt Regency Toronto

4. Interpreting Statistics: Ontario's Place in the Global Landscape

Fran Hohol Senior Director, Tourism and Leisure Group, CBRE Canada

Rebecca Godfrey Director, Tourism and Leisure Group, CBRE Canada

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM Break
2:50 PM – 3:00 PM

TechTalk: Visual Decision Making Through the Camera in Our Pocket

Lucas Luxton Director, Tourism Partnerships, Crowdriff

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM TBA
3:50 PM – 4:30 PM

Making a Comeback: Revitalizing Detroit as a Destination

Larry Alexander President & CEO, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau

4:30 PM – 4:45 PM Closing Remarks
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Welcome Reception

Hosted by Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island @ Adventure Bay Water Park

Stay tuned for more details!



Wednesday, October 24

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Breakfast Buffet
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Welcome Remarks & Day One Recap

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Down Our Own Path: Lessons Learned Developing a New Tourism Business

Jason Rizzuti Managing Partner, Segway of Ontario

Aaron Binder Chief Experience Officer, Go Tours

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Introducing Le Boat to the Rideau Canal

Richard McKinnell Assistant Deputy Minister, Tourism Division, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Moderator)

Darlene Upton Vice President, Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation, Parks Canada

Robin Jones Mayor of Westport; Warden of United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

Shawn Pankow Mayor of Smiths Falls

Cheryl Brown Managing Director, Le Boat

10:00 AM – 10:10 AM


10:10 AM – 10:30 AM

Tracking Tourism Dollars in Ontario

Chris Baron Senior Vice President, Sales, Global Payments Canada

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Break
10:50 AM – 11:30 AM

Growing Indigenous Tourism Through Partnerships

Keith Henry President & CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)

11:40 AM – 12:20 PM

Day Two Concurrent Sessions

1. Festival Towns: Themes and Takeovers

Bryan Plumstead Tourism Manager, Grey County Tourism (Moderator)

Rae Ierullo Organizer, YetiCon

2. A Closer Look at Kingsville

Kevin Black Owner, Lee & Maria's Market (Moderator)

Henry Noestheden Owner, Dutch Boys Chocolate

Doug Quick General Manager, Kingsville Golf & Country Club

Troy Loop Co-Owner, Jack's Gastropub

Izabela Muzzin Owner, The Butcher of Kingsville

3. Maximize Your Brand's Exposure with Digital Influencers

Marc Smith Founder, Marc My Travels

4. Tall, Dark, Non-Fat, Vanilla, Half-Caf Latte: Storytelling in the Age of Personalization

Mike Armstrong Brand Strategy Lead, Google

12:20 PM – 12:30 PM Break
12:40 PM – 1:50 PM

Mini Masters Tasting Session & Lunch

2:00 PM – 2:10 PM

TechTalk: Gig Economy Apps

Joshua Karam Co-Founder & CEO, Hyr Inc.

2:10 PM – 2:20 PM

MAT: What You Don't Know

Tony Marzotto Director, Tourism Policy and Research Branch, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

2:20 PM – 3:00 PM

MAT Lessons from Early Adopters

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO (Moderator)

Steve Ball President, Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association (OGHA)

Megan Knott Executive Director, Kingston Accommodation Partners

Paul Pepe Tourism Manager, Tourism Thunder Bay

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM Break
3:20 PM – 3:30 PM

Cannabis Legislation and What it Means to You

Allan Rewak Executive Director, Cannabis Council of Canada

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Cannabis in the Workplace

Richard Anderson Executive Director, Smart Serve Ontario

Randy Herman National Sales Representative CannAmm Occupational Testing Services

Larry Masotti Director, Strategic Relationships, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS)

Allan Rewak Executive Director, Cannabis Council of Canada

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM Closing Remarks
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Finalist Reception

By invitation only

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Reception

7:15 PM – 9:30 PM

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner & Ceremony

10:00 PM – 1:00 AM

Club Ontario

Ariius Nightclub


Making a Comeback: Revitalizing Detroit as a Destination

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 3:50 PM – 4:30 PM

Detroit has been dubbed one of America's "comeback cities" for good reason. Rapid revitalization is fueling the regional economy, and welcoming visitors to experience what Detroit has to offer is an important part of the turnaround. Learn about the role tourism plays in the re-imagination of the birthplace of automotive and Motown, in addition to discussion about the value of partnerships with other communities (like Windsor!) that elevate the appeal of the surrounding region as a tourism destination.

Larry Alexander

President & CEO

Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau

Tracking Tourism Dollars in Ontario

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 11:40 AM – 12:20 PM

The payments landscape is fast changing. Being one step ahead is never easy, particularly when consumer behavior differs country by country, province by province and region by region. One thing is certain: everything points towards the importance understanding your consumer, travel patterns and spend patterns. Are you payment ready? This session will provide delegates with an understanding of the origin of spenders and where they dedicate their spending, the variance in digital versus in-person spend, and the allocation of spending by card brand and industry segment.

Chris Baron

Senior Vice President, Sales

Global Payments Canada


Larry Alexander

President & CEO

Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau

Through his leadership of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB), Larry has played an instrumental role in the economic transformation of metro Detroit through tourism over the past 18 years, and has been a driving force for change and advancement in the tourism industry overall. His successful early efforts to elevate the city’s profile include a focus on acquiring at least one national or international sporting event each year, including Super Bowl XL in 2006, and the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

To support this objective, Larry established the Detroit Metro Sports Commission, a wholly owned subsidiary of the DMCVB that also landed the 2003, 2008, 2013 & 2017 AAU Junior Olympic Games; the 2008 Women’s International Bowling Congress; and contributing to the successful bid for the 2005 MLB All-Star Game. While pursuing this targeted strategy, Larry also assumed a leadership role in stewarding the continued growth and development of Detroit’s Cobo Center, the state’s most valuable convention asset.

Designated by then-Governor Jennifer Granholm in 2009 as the state’s appointee to the five-member Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, Larry oversaw completion of a new, world-class facility in 2015, while serving as DRCFA Chairman. His most recent contribution to his adopted hometown involved leading the team that won Detroit’s bid for the 2015 convention of the American Society of Association Executives, considered a gold standard among conventions. Larry also initiated an international marketing partnership with Windsor, Ontario in 2008, while also successfully championing creation of a fund to assist communities bidding for large special events.

Prior to joining the DMCVB, Larry held significant leadership roles within Westin Hotels & Resorts, becoming the organization’s first African American general manager at the age of 29. In addition to managing Westin properties in cities throughout the United States, Larry oversaw major renovation, repositioning, construction and opening efforts at flagship properties.

For his outstanding leadership in civic arenas, Larry received the 2012 Eleanor Josatis Unsung Hero Award, the 2013 ASAE’s Academy of Leaders Award, the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award (State of Michigan) in 2015 and Michigan Meetings + Events magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Mike Armstrong

Brand Strategy Lead


As a Brand Strategy Lead at Google, Mike studies brand building efforts globally and engages with Canadian organizations to help transform and s he’s led global brands within Canada such as: Budweiser, Stella Artois, Dentyne, and Stride gum. Mike has also spent time working on both ad agency and broadcast sides of the business.

Chris Baron

Senior Vice President, Sales

Global Payments Canada

Chris joined Global Payments Canada in business development in February 2004—a time when emerging technologies like EMV, IP and e-commerce were in their infancy. Currently, Chris leads the Canadian bank and referral partner channel, national telesales, business development, third-party independent sales and the worldwide cloud platform enablement of salesforce and sales effectiveness. Prior to joining Global Payments, Chris worked for Accor Hotels in national association and corporate sales and other capacities. A proud husband, father and athlete, Chris has competed at the Canadian national level for cross country running, completed 55 marathons, three ultra-marathons and was a Guinness World Record holder for the fastest marathon.

Aaron Binder

Chief Experience Officer

Go Tours Canada

Aaron’s career as a professional disruptor began as a C-section baby. He’s been involved in a variety of projects since then—from consumer products at Clara Gluten Free Water, to politics with A Strong Canada—but has always called Go Tours Canada home. At Go Tours, Aaron has taken the lead on developing notable branding, strategy, customer service and the best social media posts, mostly on a shoestring budget. Native to the area, Aaron welcomes delegates to Windsor and is happy to show you around…in exchange for Go Tours TripAdvisor reviews!

Keith Henry

President & CEO

Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)

Keith has been instrumental in developing national standards on market readiness and authenticity in Indigenous Tourism in Canada. A Métis person, Keith has also contributed to the assessment of cruise industry opportunities for Indigenous communities, as well as a national research project assessing the economic value of Indigenous cultural tourism. Prior to joining the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), Keith led the Indigenous Tourism Association of British Columbia (ItBC). He has also held consultation positions in communication with provincial and federal government agencies, in addition to roles administering finances for Indigenous non-profits. Currently, Keith is also the President and CEO of the BC Métis Federation, and CEO of KCD Consulting Incorporated.

Randy Herman

National Sales Representative

CannAmm Occupational Testing Services

Randy has an extensive background in service and safety. As a paramedic, he’s supported flight transportation of patients across Northern Ontario. He’s also assisted the United Nations as a site manager in Indonesia and Africa, including coordination of emergency services and overseeing the health and safety of his team. Randy joined CannAmm in 2010 as a National Sales Representative, working with companies in the planning and implementation of their fit for work programs. He also advises and educates companies to ensure their programs follow the most up-to-date best practices and industry standards.

Marc Smith

Travel Writer


A former event professional turned travel writer, Marc began marcmytravels.com after turning to his network of friends and family for “what to do” suggestions. Since then, the site has blossomed into six years and counting of travel, adventure and storytelling. Don’t ask him his favourite place to visit, because the answer is he hasn’t been there yet.

Check back regularly for an updated list of confirmed speakers!








Interested in sponsorship opportunities for this event, or in booking marketplace exhibition space? Contact Carol Greenwood, Director, Membership & Business Development, at cgreenwood@tiaontario.ca or 416-483-1691.


VIA Rail

  • OTS18 delegates are eligible for a 10% fare discount, travelling to Windsor from any VIA Rail station from Oct. 21 to 26, 2018
  • Fare applies to a maximum of 2 passengers per booking
  • One complimentary stopover is allowed, at no additional charge (NOTE: For travel  in Business class, the first stopover is allowed at no additional charge, provided that this stopover takes place in Toronto, Montréal or Ottawa only)
  • Please note that this discount does not apply to Escape or Prestige Class fares
  • Use the code: 13728


Air Canada

  • OTS18 delegates who choose to fly into Windsor (YQG) are eligible for a 10% fair discount
  • Discount applies to travel from Oct. 15 to 31
  • Tickets must be purchased via aircanada.com
  • Use the code: 4RFQJD31


OTS18 delegates can receive a discounted rate at Caesars Windsor provided that booking is complete by Oct. 7. This special conference rate is available two days pre- and post-event.

Book Reservation by Telephone

  • Call the Reservations Department at 1-800-991-8888
  • Identify yourself as a delegate attending the 2018 Ontario Tourism Summit, organized by TIAO
  • Use the code: ATA1022


Book Reservation Online


Additional Details

  • A credit card is required at the time of booking, including a $200 incidental deposit (to be released if no charges incurred)
  • Check in is at 4 p.m., check out is at 11 a.m.
  • Complimentary internet is available in guestrooms
Ticket Name Sale Ends Price Quantity
ADVANCED – Non-Member (Includes Pre-Conference Sessions, Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala) 09 Oct 2018 $749.00
Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala – Non-Member 05 Oct 2018 $175.00
Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch – Non-Member 05 Oct 2018 $125.00
Student (TUESDAY) – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achiement Award Lunch & Networking Welcome Reception) 23 Oct 2018 $225.00
Student (WEDNESDAY) – Non-Member 24 Oct 2018 $175.00
REGULAR – Non-Member (Includes Pre-Conference Sessions, Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
24 Oct 2018
Sale Opens 10 Oct 2018
EARLY BIRD – Non-Member (Includes Pre-Conference Sessions, Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
31 Aug 2018
Sale Ended
Click here to enter your promotional code

23 Oct 2018 @ 7:00am EDT
24 Oct 2018 @ 10:00pm EDT

Google Calendar

  • 377 Riverside Dr E, Windsor, ON N9A 7H7, Canada