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

Spotlight on Sweden

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: Artificial Intelligence

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

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM

Addressing Labour Housing

Andrew Siegwart President, Blue Mountain Village Association (BMVA)

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

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

Rick 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 TBA
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 Sesssions

1. Festival Towns: Themes and Takeovers

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

3. Maximize Your Brand's Exposure with Digital Influencers

Marc Smith Founder, Marc My Travels

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

Kim Rellinger Tourism 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 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

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 Relatioships, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS)

Allan Rewak Executive Director, Cannabis Council of Canada

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM Closing Remarks


Making a Comeback: Revitalizing Detroit as a Destination

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

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.




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
EARLY BIRD – Non-Member 31 Aug 2018 $699.00
Student (TUESDAY) – Non-Member 23 Oct 2018 $225.00
Student (WEDNESDAY) – Non-Member 24 Oct 2018 $175.00
Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch – Non-Member 05 Oct 2018 $125.00
Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala – Non-Member 05 Oct 2018 $175.00
ADVANCED – Non-Member
09 Oct 2018
Sale Opens 01 Sep 2018
REGULAR – Non-Member
24 Oct 2018
Sale Opens 10 Oct 2018
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