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, explore trending topics and celebrate excellence at the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala.


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.


Cancellation Policy

Please be advised that the Ontario Tourism Summit does not offer refunds or cancellations for registration. Substitutions are permitted, however only for full conference registrations and/or gala ticket purchases. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the TIAO office at 416-483-1691.


Social Media Takeover: Let's Discover ON

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

DAY ONE

Tuesday, October 23

7:00 AM

Augustus Foyer

Registration Opens

7:00 AM – 8:15 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Breakfast Buffet

8:15 AM – 8:35 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Welcome & Opening Remarks
State of the Industry

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO

8:35 AM – 8:45 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Message from TIAO Chair

Lorrie McKee Director, Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA); TIAO Board Chair

8:45 AM – 9:00 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Greetings from the Hon. Sylvia Jones, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Sweden's Freedom to Roam

Charlotta Barnden Uddén Head of Partner Insight, Visit Sweden

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM

Augustus Hallway/Marketplace

Break

Sponsored by Environics Analytics

10:20 AM – 10:30 AM

Augustus Ballroom

TechTalk: Personalized Customer Experience Through Automated Learning

Benjamin Bohnenblust Product Performance Manager Canada, Booking.com

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Careers in Tourism Awareness Campaign Overview

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO

Rob Hunter Founder & CEO, HigherMe

10:45 AM – 11:15 AM

Augustus Ballroom

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

Augustus Ballroom

Collaborative Approach to Labour Force Development

Andrew Siegwart President, Blue Mountain Village Association (BMVA)

Bryan Plumstead Tourism Manager, Grey County Tourism

11:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Augustus Hallway/Marketplace

Break

Sponsored by Tourism Toronto

12:15 PM – 1:20 PM

Augustus Ballroom

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

Location: Mercuri/Martis

 

2. Visitor First: Creating Inclusive Experiences for People with Disabilities

Melanie Robert Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Destination Ontario

Kathy McLachlan Manager, Accessibility Information and Referral Unit, Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility

Geoff Waycik Director, Historic Sites, St. Lawrence Parks Commission

Cheryl Peach Storyteller, Cowbell Brewing Company

Location: Solis/Luna

 

3. Human Trafficking & Implications for Tourism

Tania Ferlin Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT)

Location: Augustus III

 

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

Location: Augustus IV

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Augustus Hallway/Marketplace

Break

Sponsored by Société Économique de l'Ontario

2:50 PM – 3:00 PM

Augustus Ballroom

 

TechTalk: Visual Decision Making Through the Camera in Our Pocket

Lucas Luxton Director, Tourism Partnerships, Crowdriff

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Augustus Ballroom

The Power of Partnerships

Lisa LaVecchia President & CEO, Destination Ontario

3:50 PM – 4:30 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Making a Comeback: Revitalizing Detroit as a Destination

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

4:30 PM – 4:45 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Closing Remarks

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Vu

First-Time Attendee Reception

First time at the Ontario Tourism Summit? This reception is for you!

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Welcome Reception

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

Sponsored by Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island in Partnership with the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) and Caesars Windsor

 

DAY TWO

Wednesday, October 24

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Breakfast Buffet

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Welcome Remarks & Day One Recap

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO

Greetings from Blake Richards, MP Banff-Airdrie and Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Tourism

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Doing Business Differently

Jason Rizzuti Managing Partner, Segway of Ontario

Aaron Binder Chief Experience Officer, Go Tours

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Augustus Ballroom

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

Ann Weir Economic Development Manager, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

10:00 AM – 10:10 AM

Augustus Ballroom

TechTalk: Impact of Biometric Scanning on the Travel Industry

Jean-Sebastien Pard Manager, Client Experience and Innovation, Facilitation and IT, Airports Council International

10:10 AM – 10:30 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Tracking Tourism Dollars in Ontario

Chris Baron Senior Vice President, Sales, Global Payments Canada

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Augustus Hallway/Marketplace

Break

10:50 AM – 11:30 AM

Augustus Ballroom

The Path Forward

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

Kevin Eshkawkogan Executive Director, Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)

11:40 AM – 12:20 PM

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Day Two Concurrent Sessions

1. Festival Towns

Bryan Plumstead Tourism Manager, Grey County Tourism (Moderator)

Rae Ierullo Convention Chair, YetiCon

Jennifer Ibrahim Tourism Coordinator, Town of Amherstburg

Dave MacNeil CEO, Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO)

Location: Augustus III

 

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

Location: Augustus IV

 

3. Engaging Influencers: 5 Steps to Maximize Exposure

Marc Smith Founder, Marc My Travels

Location: Mercuri/Martis

 

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

Mike Armstrong Brand Strategy Lead, Google

Location: Solis/Luna

12:20 PM – 12:30 PM

Augustus Hallway/Marketplace

Break

12:30 PM – 1:50 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Mini Masters Tasting Session & Lunch

Magdalena Kaiser Director of Public Relations, Tourism and Marketing, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario (WMAO)

2:00 PM – 2:10 PM

Augustus Ballroom

TechTalk: Gig Economy Apps

Joshua Karam Co-Founder & CEO, Hyr Inc.

2:10 PM – 2:20 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) Overview

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

2:20 PM – 3:00 PM

Augustus Ballroom

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

Vass Bednar Senior Policy Advisory, Airbnb

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Augustus Hallway/Marketplace

Break

Sponsored by Alphabet

3:20 PM – 3:30 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Cannabis Legislation and What it Means to You

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO

Alexandra Rodgers Policy & Research Analyst, TIAO

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Cannabis in the Workplace

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

Richard Anderson Executive Director, Smart Serve Ontario

Randy Herman National Sales Representative CannAmm Occupational Testing Services

Allan Rewak Executive Director, Cannabis Council of Canada

James Lockhart President, Group Lockhart Inc.

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Closing Remarks

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Mezz North

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Finalist Reception

By invitation only

Sponsored by VIA Rail the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario (WMAO) & VQA Ontario

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Augustus Hallway

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Reception

Sponsored by the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario (WMAO) & VQA Ontario

7:15 PM – 9:30 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner & Ceremony

Thank You to Smart Serve Ontario

10:00 PM – 1:00 AM

Ariius Nightclub

Club Ontario

Sponsored by Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island and Caesars Windsor

 

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.

   

Richard Anderson

Executive Director

Smart Serve Ontario

Richard has worked in the non-profit realm for most of his career.  With 25 years of experience at Sheridan College and Mohawk College, he’s managed large student associations with large budgets and staff, was the licensee for the campus pubs, and oversaw bar and restaurant operations as well as board governance. Richard joined Smart Serve Ontario in July 2017 and has since spent time learning the industry and raising its profile in Ontario. In addition to his role at Smart Serve, Richard also sits on the boards of Arrive Alive/DRIVE SOBER®, and Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival. Over the past year, he’s been active in researching cannabis and its role within the Smart Serve program, and as such brings an interesting perspective on cannabis and its impact on impairment.

   

Mike Armstrong

Brand Strategy Lead

Google

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.

   

Steve Ball

President

Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association (OGHA)

Steve has been President of the OGHA since 2014. Previously, he spent 25 years in the consumer publishing business, before leaving in 2006 to become the Vice-President of Media at the Canadian Medical Association. Steve sits on several boards of directors including the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), and co-chaired the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, a not-for-profit focused on Ottawa celebrations for Canada's 150th anniversary.

   

Charlotta Barnden Uddén

Head of Partner Insight

Visit Sweden

Charlotta has been with Visit Sweden at their head office in Stockholm for five years. Prior to joining Visit Sweden, she was Business Area Director at Blendow Group Stockholm, setting up operations in Finland and Norway. Between 1997-2012 Charlotta was employed by the British Council, British Embassy in Stockholm. Charlotta holds a bachelor’s degree of social science in tourism management from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and has also studied marketing communications at RMI Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm.

   

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.

   

Vass Bednar

Senior Policy Advisor

Airbnb

Vass works with legislative bodies and government agencies on fair rules for homesharing. She previously chaired the Expert Panel on Youth Employment for the federal government. Vass earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Toronto, and served as Associate Director of the Rotman School of Management's Martin Prosperity Institute, where she worked with urbanist Richard Florida on a range of economic geography projects. A proud millennial wonk, Vass has also worked as a Senior Advisor at Queen's Park, and has successfully completed the Action Canada and Civic Action DiverseCity fellowships. She was previously the co-host of Detangled, a pop-culture and public-policy radio show. 

   

Victoria Behune

President & CEO

OTEC

Victoria has led OTEC (the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation) for more than 12 years. Passionate about supporting tourism and hospitality businesses in prioritizing their destination and workforce strategies, she has guided OTEC through development of leading edge customer service and leadership programs, in addition to training thousands of professionals. Her extensive expertise includes sales, marketing, destination development and visitor experiences, and she has previously held positions at CAA, Tourism Toronto, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Toronto Tours, Ontario Place and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Victoria currently serves on the Board of Directors of Tourism HR Canada (THRC), and has previously participated on boards for Destination Ontario and other destination marketing organizations.

   

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!

   

Kevin Black

Owner

Lee & Maria's Market

Kevin is part of a family owned farm market and delivery service called Lee & Maria’s that not only caters to Kingsville residents, but also delivers to homes across the region. Lee & Maria’s works to connect local residents, area families, and tourists with farm life experiences. Kevin is also a communications professional, and spent more than 12 years working as a radio newscaster, morning show host. and award-winning documentary producer.

   

Benjamin Bohnenblust

Product Performance Manager

Booking.com

Part of the commercial specialist team for North America, Benjamin oversees product performance for the continent, with a close focus on the Canadian market. Prior to joining the North American team, he managed Booking.com markets and local teams in Switzerland and Norway. In addition to more than seven years at Booking.com, Benjamin brings over 12 years of experience within the travel and tourism industry to his current role. 

   

Cheryl Brown

Managing Director

Le Boat

Cheryl started out as a travel agent at the age of 16, and quickly progressed through the ranks, before being promoted to retail trading director (2001) and then onto managing director (2004) for the First Choice Retail Group, based in the UK. She joined Sunsail in 2007 as managing director, before taking up the position of COO for TUI Marine (The Moorings, Sunsail, Footloose & Le Boat) in 2009, when she relocated to Florida. After a fantastic four years in the sunshine, Cheryl relocated back to the UK to take up the exciting position of managing director of Le Boat, which she loves with a passion. 

   

Kevin Eshkawkogan​​

Executive Director

Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)

Kevin has been a key player in the development of Indigenous cultural tourism in Ontario since 2003. He helped grow the Great Spirit Circle Trail on Manitoulin Island, one of the province’s most renowned Indigenous tourism organizations that provides culturally authentic Indigenous experiences to visitors, along with marketing support to Indigenous operators. Kevin provided leadership to GSCT formally for over 15 years, and has imparted his guidance to countless individuals throughout Manitoulin Island and Ontario. He works tirelessly to unite Indigenous tourism providers, grow market reach and bring meaningful employment opportunities to the region. A key proponent in the development of the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre, which brought together seven different Indigenous investors and seven different financing agreements, Kevin is a mentor and visionary who works closely with his community to ensure sustainable and organic growth within the Indigenous tourism industry. Kevin was named the Tourism Champion of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) in 2015, and he has also been recognized by numerous media outlets for his accomplishments within the industry. He sits on a variety of boards, including Grants for Aboriginal Trail Tourism, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), and Northeastern Ontario Tourism. He also owns his own tourism business and consulting firm. 

   

Tania Ferlin

Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT)

As Corporate Group Sales Manager at the Hyatt Regency Toronto, Tania loves connecting with meeting planners to help them book their groups and meetings at the Hyatt. She studied hotel management at Humber, has been a member of the hotel industry for five years, and is passionate about how the world of meetings, events, hospitality and tourism brings people together. As a member of MPAHT, Tania is committed to raising awareness of human trafficking as it relates to the tourism and hospitality industry. She contributes by developing partnerships, and speaking to meeting planners, industry professionals, and hospitality management students to educate them on the issue.

   

Rebecca Godfrey

Director, Tourism and Leisure Group

CBRE Canada

Rebecca has 13 years of consulting experience in the tourism and hospitality industries, specializing in market and financial feasibility studies, strategic business plans for tourism-based associations, needs assessments, economic impact studies and organizational assessments. A notable example of her work and expertise include determining the market and economic viability of a proposed Outdoor Walk attraction at the CN Tower, now known as the EdgeWalk. Rebecca holds a master’s degree in business administration in hospitality and tourism management, and received her Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation in 2012.

   

Trisha Grant

Vice President, Industry Relations & International Marketing, Destination Ontario

Destination Ontario

Trisha has held the role of Vice President of Industry Relations and International Marketing at Destination Ontario since January of 2015, where she is responsible for partnership, outreach and regional relations with government and private sector stakeholders across the province, as well as leading the development and execution of Destination Ontario’s strategy for overseas markets. Prior to joining Destination Ontario, Trisha spent two years as the director responsible for Ontario’s international marketing centres within Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, where she managed a network of Ontario representatives in key global centres around the world to raise the profile of Ontario abroad, and advance Ontario’s investment attraction, trade promotion and innovation mandate. Trisha began her economic development career at the British Consulate-General in Toronto before joining the Ontario government in 2003. Since that time, she has held progressively senior positions in the areas of policy development, project and program management, export development, investment attraction and partnership development.

   

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.

   

Fran Hohol

Senior Director, Tourism and Leisure Group

CBRE Canada

Fran has been providing advisory services to the hospitality and tourism industry in Canada for more than 30 years, including market and financial feasibility studies, needs assessments, economic impact studies and strategic business plans for investment opportunities and tourism-based associations. She has extensive experience working within both the public and private sector environments, as well as public-private partnership arrangements. She’s also responsible for CBRE Hotels’ extensive national database on the accommodation sector. Fran is a past board director for the Canadian Chapter of the Tourism and Travel Research Association, and has also participated in the Economic Developers Council of Ontario and Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Meet the Investor Dragons event for the past four years. 

   

Rob Hunter

Founder & CEO

HigherMe

Rob has led a unique life, and as a result can frequently win games of “Two Truths and a Lie”. He used to sell Japanese professional wrestling VHS tapes and DVDs on the internet, has owned a small student housing portfolio, and owned seven ice cream stores. He is on a mission to run 50 marathons in 50 states and is a proud husband to Emily and Dad to Maisie "Moo" Hunter. He loves using data and technology to make the lives of operators easier.

   

Jennifer Ibrahim

Tourism Coordinator

Town of Amherstburg

Jen embarked on a career in tourism after being inspired by travel experiences in her youth. She began this adventure at George Brown College in the culinary and hotel programs, and then at Ryerson University for a degree in hospitality and tourism. Out of university, Jen held the role of marketing operations manager at a casino resort. Interested in the revitalization efforts taking place in Detroit, Jen jumped the pond to work for a real estate development company showcasing the advantages of urban living in the up and coming community of Downtown Detroit. As Tourism Coordinator for the quaint and historic Town of Amherstburg, Jen is engaged in all the moving pieces of the department, but is especially fond of the creative process of planning and executing unique events. 

   

Rae Ierullo

Convention Chair

YetiCon

Three years ago Rae helped create YetiCon, a weekend Geekaway at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood. YetiCon is Canada’s only resort convention for gaming and cosplay, and had 750 attendees in its first year, which increased to 2000 in its third year. YetiCon is a weekend that passes in a blur of creative energy, and in he year leading up to it, the event's team follows the concept that “the secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious”.

   

Robin Jones

Mayor of Westport; Warden of United Counties of Leeds & Grenville

Robin Jones was elected as Mayor of Westport in October 2014 after serving as a Councillor in the previous term. As Mayor, Robin is a member of the upper tier Council of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. In this capacity, she was a member of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Board of Health in 2015-16, and since 2015 has been a member of the management boards at Maple View Lodge and St. Lawrence Lodge long term care homes. Mayor Jones was elected Warden of United Counties of Leeds and Grenville for 2017-18, and has enjoyed meeting people throughout the Counties and working on their concerns. The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville is one of 13 counties in Eastern Ontario that belong to the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus; in 2018, Warden Jones was elected its Chair. This role has required frequent meetings with the Premier and other Provincial Party leaders, Ministers and government staff to discuss concerns, and advocate for issues that affect all of Eastern Ontario. Robin remains committed to the Westport Arts Council and serves as its Chair, is a Warden at St. Paul’s Anglican church, spends time in her studio at the pottery wheel, and enjoys the time spent with good friends and her two retrievers.

   

The Hon. Sylvia Jones, MPP Dufferin—Caledon

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Government of Ontario

Sylvia Jones has served as the Member of Provincial Parliament Dufferin Caledon since 2007. Her many critic responsibilities have included serving as the Critic for Community and Social Services; the Critic for Children and Youth Services; the Critic for Government Services; the Critic for Infrastructure and the Opposition Deputy House Leader. Since being elected in 2007, Sylvia has introduced many pieces of legislation that have been adopted into government legislation and have become law, including the Social Assistance Statute Law Amendment Act, the Aggregate Recycling Promotion Act and the Respecting Private Property Act

   

Joshua Karam

Co-Founder & CEO

Hyr Inc.

Josh’s passion and enthusiasm for human resources led him to co-found Hyr in 2015. Raised in Ottawa, Josh’s first job was working housekeeping at the Elgin Business Inn. In high school, he worked cash at grocery chain Loblaw’s; he worked his way through the University of Ottawa by making his way up the ladder at Zack’s Diner, starting as a busboy, and eventually serving as the restaurant manager. Josh is driven by helping people find the right fit in their careers, and is an accomplished entrepreneur and human resources executive with a wealth of experience across multiple sectors. Prior to Hyr, Josh lead teams at Marriott, Starwood, Roots and Sky Service Business Aviation.

   

Megan Knott

Executive Director

Kingston Accommodation Partners

Megan has always called Kingston home. A graduate of Queen's University and Cape Breton University, she has an extensive background in business development and marketing. Megan currently markets Kingston as an all-season destination, executing and managing visitkingston.ca; she also sits on the boards of The Great Waterway and Tourism Kingston. Outside of the office Megan is a proud mom to two beautiful girls, and a community champion for many local charities.

   

Lisa LaVecchia

President & CEO

Destination Ontario

Lisa joined Destination Ontario in 2013, and previously held the role of Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, where she led the organization’s brand management, and consumer and digital marketing. As President and CEO, Lisa is inspired to elevate Ontario as a preferred, four-season tourist destination in a globally competitive tourism market. Her dynamic leadership style motivates excellence in those around her, and is a testament to the “power of team” to achieve success. Her passion and forward-thinking approach to integrated marketing strategies have led to innovative brand campaigns that are progressive, powerful and showcase the best of Ontario, including the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games “Epic Is ON” campaign and most recently, the “Where Am I?” campaign, both of which have won awards. Prior to joining Destination Ontario, Lisa led the development of mass marketing plans and implemented cross-channel integrated marketing for Indigo Books and Music. As Senior Director, Marketing Strategy and Advertising, Lisa played a key role in establishing Indigo as a leading retail destination. Other past roles include Director of Advertising and New Media for the Province of Ontario, and positions with JWT, PEOPLE Magazine (New York), and Ogilvy and Mather (New York).

   

James Lockhart

President

Group Lockhart Inc.

James is a leading employee benefits provider to the hospitality industry in Canada, and is endorsed by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario as a strategic partner. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Jame's credentials represent the gold standard in the benefits field in Canada as a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist through Dalhousie University, and internationally as a Fellow of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialist through the Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania. James was recognized by Hotelier Magazine in 2010 with the prestigious Pinnacle Award as “Supplier of the Year”.

   

Troy Loop

Co-Owner

Jack's Gastropub

Born and raised in beautiful Kingsville, Troy is a Western University graduate with a degree in business. He refined his passion for hospitality in Toronto, then returned to home to Kingsville to venture out on his own. Troy founding member and CMO of Jack’s Group, a hospitality organization founded in 1989 that owns and operates properties in Kingsville, Canada's most southerly town. A family-run business, Troy oversees marketing, finances and business development, while siblings Trevor, Cindy and Tara, along with spouses Kim, Barry and Troy’s husband Jon manage the day-to-day operations of the organization’s properties. Jack’s Group’s original property is Jack’s Gastropub, from which all the group’s other business have been inspired. The gastropub is located in a historical Kingston homestead (circa 1898), and offers guests award winning, FeastON certified farm-to-table cuisine. Jack’s Gastropub is also a founding member of Kingsville EDDK (Eat, Drink, Dine Kingsville). Inndulgence, Distinctive Inns of Kingsville (DIOK) is the umbrella company that galvanizes Troy and his family’s commitment to accommodations and tourism. DIOK captains three unique accommodations properties, and has proudly partnered with Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island to offer a concierge desk and welcome centre for tourism in Kingsville. Troy is intensely proud of his businesses and the town in which they thrive, and firmly believes in the importance of entrepreneurial partnership, and that experience begins and ends with great customer service.

   

Lucas Luxton

Director, Tourism Partnerships

Crowdriff

Lucas enjoys collaborating with digital marketing leaders at destinations of all sizes around the world.  His passions include photography, travelling and all-things Apple. He recently returned from vacation in South Africa, where his photographs were the envy of the office. You can connect with Lucas on Twitter @luc9488.

   

Bary MacDonald

President

Falcon Retail

Barry has over three decades of brand to consumer management in successive roles from brand manager to vice president of sales. Prior to founding Falcon Retail, Barry worked for national CPG companies such as Maple Leaf Foods, Parmalat and Saputo, as well as several boutique agencies. Barry's recent projects surround leading effective consumer engagement in emerging mobile marketing technologies.

   

Dave MacNeil

Chief Executive Officer

Festivals & Events Ontario

Dave joined FEO in 2017, after four years at the helm of one of Canada's premiere festivals: Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest. His career spans 35 years, with an extensive background in programming, operations, production, sales, marketing and promotions in the broadcasting and events industry, including a long tenure at CTV. Other previous positions include teaching event management at Conestoga College, and volunteering in various roles with KW Oktoberfest events over the past 20 years, including past vice president, director of marketing and public relations.

   

Tony Marzotto

Director, Tourism Policy and Research Branch

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Tony and his team work with tourism partners to strengthen and build Ontario’s $34 billion tourism industry and enhance the visitor experience. This includes providing funding to the 13 Regional Tourism Organizations, considering the diverse needs of Ontario’s tourism sector in the policy development process, and providing tourism data and tools to drive decision making. Born and raised in Windsor, Tony has worked and travelled across Ontario and around the world, and now lives with his family in Toronto where he has spent the last 16 years working in various roles for the Province. 

   

Larry Masotti

Director, Strategic Relationships

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS)

With over 20 years of health and safety experience, in addition to his role at WSPS Larry also serves as Secretary/Treasurer for Minerva Safety Management Education, and is an International Review Panelist for the National Safety Council. He is also a member of the judging panel for the prestigious Canada’s Safest Employer Awards. A Canadian Registered Safety Professional who holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Athabasca University, Larry is dedicating this chapter of his professional life to building cultures of safety everywhere by inspiring the leaders of tomorrow.

   

Richard McKinnell

Assistant Deputy Minister, Tourism Division

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

In his current role, Richard is responsible for tourism policy and research, Ontario’s Regional Tourism Organizations, the Celebrate Ontario program, other tourism grant programs and the tourism investment strategy, and oversight of the Ministry’s two historical parks. Richard has over 25 years of experience with the Ontario Public Service. He has been involved in leading a number of transformation and change management projects and has held senior positions in communications, human resources and policy development.

   

Kathy McLachlan

Manager, Accessibility Information and Referral Unit

Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility

Kathy leads projects that increase accessibility awareness, promote a cultural shift, and work towards greater accessibility in Ontario. This includes leading partnerships with organizations that support tourism, youth, inclusive sport and recreation, as well as initiatives that support innovation in accessibility.

   

Ian McMillan

International Marketing Specialist

Destination Northern Ontario

Ian has been an integral representative of Ontario’s tourism industry for over 30 years, specifically in Ontario’s North. His past roles include Executive Director of the Algoma Kinniwabi Travel Association, Brand Manager and Acting Vice-President of the Northern Tourism Marketing Corporation, and, most recently, Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. Currently an International Marketing Specialist for Destination Northern Ontario (formerly Tourism Northern Ontario), Ian also sits on the Board of Directors of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), and the Great Lakes Cruise Coalition.

   

Izabela Muzzin

Owner

The Butcher of Kingsville

Izabela has spent nearly her whole life in the regional wine industry, experiencing firsthand the importance of marketing, tourism and identity. She believes collaboration is one of the easiest, cost effective ways to succeed as a business. 

   

Ray Nadeau

General Manager

Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre

Raymond Nadeau, is the General Manager of the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Thunder Bay Ontario, and a director on the board of Tourism Northern Ontario. As an advocate of Northwestern Ontario, Raymond is committed to the growth of tourism in the region and has developed a culture of northern hospitality within his team. While developing lasting partnerships with surrounding northern communities, the Victoria Inn has adopted an out of the box approach to staff recruitment. A husband and father of five amazing daughters, Raymond is an avid outdoors man, hunter and fisher, who believes there is no better place than Ontario to raise a family.

   

Henry Noestheden

Owner

Dutch Boys Chocolate

Henry opened Dutch Boys Chocolate with business partner and fellow Dutchman Cor Boon in 2017, and the business has gained recognition and raked in awards in rapid fashion. Operating out of Kingsville, Dutch Boys Chocolate is known for its creativity, featuring a delightful blend of old-world and contemporary merchandising. A professional sculptor and fabrication specialist, Henry brought his expertise to chocolate making by way of mold making, casting intricate wood patterns (crafted by Cor Boon) to make unique and beautiful chocolate designs. Henry has a master’s degree in fine arts from Carnegie-Mellon, and was internationally recognized for his highly creative installations in major hotel chains prior to returning to live Canada in 2012, after 27 years in the US. 

   

Shawn Pankow

Mayor of Smiths Falls

Shawn was elected Mayor of the Town of Smiths Falls in October, 2014, after serving a four-year term on town council. In his professional life Shawn is a Certified Financial Planning professional, and continues to operate his practice in Smiths Falls. Shawn is proud to have served as mayor during one of the most transformational times in the history of his community, seeing his town rebound from the economic downturn of 2000 lost jobs between 2008-2015, to one on its way to an unprecedented period of prosperity.

   

Jean-Sébastien Pard

Manager, Client Experience and Innovation, Facilitation and IT

Airports Council International (ACI)

In his current role, Jean-Sébastien provides guidance and support to the airport community, represents airports’ interests with various stakeholders (regulators, airline operators and suppliers), and encourages industry collaboration to identify improvements in passenger processes and an overall seamless travel experience. As part of his responsibilities, Jean-Sébastien is the secretary of the ACI World Facilitation and Services Standing Committee (WFSSC). He is also leading the development of best practices, implementation strategies and initiatives in the areas of passenger process improvement and simplified passenger travel solutions. Jean-Sébastien joined ACI World in August 2016 with 17 years of aviation experience, including eight years with Bombardier Aerospace, five years with Air Transat and Air Canada, and four years with Aéroports de Montréal. During his career, he was involved in several passenger facilitation and innovation projects, requests for proposals and agreements with multiple aviation industry partners. Jean-Sébastien is an advisor to the Facilitation Panel and the Traveller Identification Program (TRIP) at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and is a member of the One ID, Passenger Facilitation and Fast Travel working groups (IATA-led initiatives supported by ACI). 

   

Cheryl Peach

Storyteller

Cowbell Brewing Company

Born and raised in London, Ontario, Cheryl came to Huron County 30 years ago to develop a new program for children with visual impairments for the local Board of Education. This training became invaluable when, years later, her spouse developed low vision and eventual blindness. Over her career in education, Cheryl has served as administrator of several area schools, System Principal of Special Education, and was seconded to the Ministry of Education as a Regional Environmental Education Lead. She has also enjoyed a term chairing the Board’s Accessibility Working Group and Environment Committee. The desire to create Cowbell Brewing as a welcoming, destination facility for everyone, dovetails intrinsically with Cheryl’s belief in inclusion and her current work with the Cowbell Accessibility Advisory Committee.

   

Paul Pepe

Tourism Manager

Tourism Thunder Bay

Paul has held the role of Tourism Manager at Tourism Thunder Bay since 2007.  A graduate of Lakehead University, Paul has spent the last 22 years in the tourism industry in a variety of provincial and municipal public sector roles, as well as business ownership roles in the construction and consulting sectors.  Paul is co-creator or the Ride Lake Superior motorcycle strategy, and enjoys his spare time touring on his motorcycles, or out on the water paddling boarding and kayaking. 

 

   

Bryan Plumstead

Tourism Manager

Grey County Tourism

Bryan has worked with the talented team at Grey County Tourism for the past 15 years in destination development and marketing, helping to grow outdoor experiences such as waterfalls touring, trails and cycling, and pairing this with the amazing transformation of the region’s local food, cider, beer and wine offerings. Bryan is a board director of TIAO, and has served in the past as transition co-chair and then director of Regional Tourism Organization 7 –BruceGreySimcoe and the Georgian Bay Destination Development Partnership.

   

Beth Potter

President & CEO

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Beth Potter has led the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)—the umbrella trade association for Ontario’s tourism industry—as President and CEO since January 2011. A distinguished member of the tourism community with more than 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, Beth serves on several industry boards and committees. A member of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)’s Board of Directors, Beth chairs the organization’s Provincial Territorial Tourism Industry Associations Committee. She’s also a Board Director for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Ontario Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Beth holds seats on the Sector Advisory Committee for the Destination Ontario, and Ryerson University’s advisory council for the Tourism and Hospitality Management Program.

   

Doug Quick

General Manager

Kingsville Golf & Country Club

Doug is a lifelong resident of Kingsville who started golfing at the Kingsville Golf Club at age eight. At 13, he was hired by the Golf Pro Tom Arner, and his lifelong employment at Kingsville Golf Club was officially underway. Having a keen interest in the sport and a knack for playing the game steered Doug towards a golf scholarship at Odessa College in Texas, followed by studying professional golf management at Humber College in Toronto. Doug’s future was set from there, as he joined the PGA of Canada. He became Assistant Professional in 1977, was Head Professional in 1983, advanced to Director of Golf in the year 2000 and has been serving as General Manager since 2004. Aside from the PGA, Doug is a member of the Canadian Society of Club Managers, and serves on the board of the National Golf Course Owners Association for Southwestern Ontario. Doug’s interest lies in the development of golfers of all ages and walks of life, with a special emphasis on introducing young people to the game. He strongly believes in marketing the facility through innovative membership concepts, unique promotions and good old fashion hard work. Doug continues to work collectively with neighbouring golf courses, local businesses and golf, travel and tourism shows to promote the Kingsville area to the benefit of all involved. 

   

Jason Rizzuti

Managing Partner

Segway of Ontario, Go Tours Canada

With responsibilities as vast as his hat collection, Jason is deeply involved in every aspect of running Go Tours/Segway Ontario from business development and marketing, to HR.  As managing partner, he’s spearheaded the launch and growth of all Go Tours locations—Hardwood Ski and Bike, Ontario Place and The Distillery District. A graduate of York University’s economics program with more than 14 years of experience in the tourism industry, Jason has also served as the Toronto Attractions Council’s Treasurer, and is a current Tourism Barrie and Attractions Ontario board member.

   

Melanie Robert

Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Destination Ontario

Melanie leads the Destination Ontario’s strategy, insights and brand marketing team. Since joining the organization, Melanie has created new dynamic elements for tourism marketing in Ontario, including taking advantage of the digital space that tourists rely on for travel inspiration. She has also worked with the team at Destination Ontario to broaden marketing partnerships with stakeholders. Prior to her role at Destination Ontario, Melanie joined the Government of Ontario in 2005 and worked in a variety of progressive communications and marketing positions at Cabinet Office. In her previous role as Director, Marketing and Digital Strategy, Melanie led a number of award-winning campaigns including Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment campaign #WhoWillYouHelp. Before joining the Ontario government, Melanie worked for a non-profit organization and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Melanie holds an honours BA from the University of Guelph, a master of arts from the University of Toronto and a post-graduate certificate in communications from Sheridan College. 

   

Grace Sammut

Managing Director

Resorts of Ontario

Grace has provided leadership and management to the resort and hospitality industry for more than 20 years. Skilled in marketing for leisure travel and international trade marketing, she has participated in several international sales missions to Europe, Asia, Mexico and the US, and is a regular participant at Rendez-Vous Canada, representing the resort sector for business development. Grace has also served on the OTMPC international marketing committee, and is currently a member of the board of directors, serving as Vice Chair. She is also a member of the OTEC board of directors.

   

Andrew Siegwart

President

Blue Mountain Village Association (BMVA)

Andrew has built a reputation as an authentic and focused association leader. Over the past 20 years, he’s worked with some of Canada's most innovative national industry associations to deliver world class member experiences, valuable programming, events and conferences, thought leadership and effective advocacy to ensure that communities, people and industries prosper. In his role as President of the Blue Mountain Village Association (BMVA), Andrew oversees the delivery of the association’s strategic plan, develops valuable programs and services for members, provides innovative and memorable guest experiences, and partners with municipalities and organizations within the South Georgian Bay Region to ensure the growth of the local economy.
   

Marc Smith

Founder, Travel Writer

marcmywords.com

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.

   

Sonya Stevenson

Marketing and Trade Consultant (Latin America)

Destination Ontario

Sonya has been part of the international marketing team at Destination Ontario since May 2000.     Together with her colleagues, she is responsible for the development and execution of Destination Ontario’s consumer and trade strategy for international markets. The team’s work educates international consumers and trade on Ontario’s destinations and experiences through a variety of tactics, including integrated marketing campaigns, partnered Ontario product tours, business-to-business sales programs & marketplaces, and travel trade training programs. Sonya also manages the Ontario presence at Rendezvous Canada, the signature tourism marketplace for international travel trade to connect with Canada’s tourism industry partners. Prior to her role at Destination Ontario, Sonya spent three years on the leisure travel team at Tourism Vancouver.  She also conducted research on the community/regional impacts of tourism development at Simon Fraser University.

   

Darlene Upton

Vice President, Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation

Parks Canada

Darlene has been with Parks Canada for 22 years in various roles. In 2012, she was appointed as the agency’s first Waterways Executive Director. In 2016, this role expanded to also include the five national parks, one national urban park, 31 historic sites and two marine conservation areas in Ontario, in addition to the historic waterways in Quebec and Ontario. In that role, Darlene was responsible for developing innovative approaches to address the unique challenges of managing heritage canals. She works with multiple levels of government, business and hydro, boating and tourism industry partners. In 2015 she was awarded the Gord Blake Visionary Award for leadership in the marine industry in Ontario.

   

Geoff Waycik

Director, Historic Sites

St. Lawrence Parks Commission

Geoff is a long time Kingston resident and has spent much of his career in the world of manufacturing, applying Six Sigma and Lean principles to grow and improve operations by focusing on customer value and stakeholder return.  Geoff joined the tourism industry in 2013 with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission as Manager of Upper Canada Village.  He is currently leads Fort Henry, Upper Canada Village and Kingston Penitentiary Tours, where a half million tourists visit each year.

   

Ann Weir

Economic Development Manager

United Counties of Leeds & Grenville

Ann's role includes managing economic development through a collaborative environment with ten municipalities and four partner communities to positively influence the growth and well-being of the Counties and its communities. Ann has worked collaboratively across the region for years to build the investment opportunities along the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the world-famous 1000 Islands/St. Lawrence waterways. She is currently co-chair of the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail, which was Canada’s only trail to be selected for the coveted “Canada 150th Garden Experience” list in 2017. Ann is also the Interim President of the Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, and led The Great Waterway through its founding years. She has a very strong belief in the importance of relationships, networks and partnerships, and is a visionary with a strong work ethic and passion for results.

   

 

It’s Your Shift — Sexual Violence & Intervention Hospitality Training (Pre-Conference Session)

Monday, Oct. 22, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Solis/Luna

Developed in partnership by ORHMA, OTEC AND THRC, the It's Your Shift online training program and manager's toolkit were made available to industry stakeholders in the fall of 2017. This interactive, introductory session to the program includes background information and videos on the issue of sexual violence and harassment in hospitality-related businesses, the impact on employees in the sector, and repercussions for businesses that aren't paying attention to the issue. Designed to introduce and highlight key components of It's Your Shift, this session also provides owners, operators and managers with next steps for accessing the online training program.

Victoria Behune

President & CEO

OTEC

   

Export Readiness: An Introduction to Working with International Travel Trade (Pre-Conference Session)

Monday, Oct. 22, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Mercuri/Martis

Ontario’s provincial tourism marketing organization, Destination Ontario, is pleased to be hosting an informative introductory session on export readiness. While the international markets account for only 11% of visitation, with longer stays and higher spend than domestic travellers, they contribute 38% of visitor expenditures, providing a strong opportunity for increasing revenue to your business.  This session will offer a preliminary overview of working with international markets, what it means to be export ready and considerations for working with international tour operators and travel agencies, which are key channels for gaining access to the international traveller.

Who should attend? The information to be covered during the session is designed for people who are new to, or have a future interest in, working in international markets and specifically with the travel trade segment.

Tourism stakeholders will:

  • learn about Destination Ontario and the international activities it undertakes
  • understand why destinations/sellers should consider international markets
  • learn about the international markets in which Destination Ontario is active
  • learn the basic guidelines of working with travel trade

Trisha Grant

Vice President, Industry Relations & International Marketing

Destination Ontario

Sonya Stevenson

Marketing and Trade Consultant (Latin America)

Destination Ontario

Ian McMillan

International Marketing Specialist

Destination Northern Ontario

   

Sweden's Freedom to Roam

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Sweden has no Eiffel Towers, Niagara Falls or Big Bens—not even a little Sphinx. But Sweden has something else: the freedom to roam. This combined with a liberal, welcoming society, easy access to beautiful nature and an interesting culture makes it a destination that more and more travellers—especially from North America—are eager to visit. That’s why Visit Sweden decided to list the entire country on Airbnb.

Charlotta Barnden Uddén

Head of Partner Insight

Visit Sweden

   












TechTalk: Personalized Customer Experience Through Automated Learning

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 10:20 AM – 10:30 AM
Augustus Ballroom

Booking.com’s mission is to empower people to experience the world. That’s why we invest in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. This technology includes machine learning and artificial intelligence, and using these two strategies helps us with personalization. More and more we find that customers prefer (and in some cases, expect!) a personalized booking experience. Join us in a discussion about personalization and how it enhances the guest experience, future-proofing business.

Benjamin Bohnenblust

Product Performance Manager

Booking.com

   

Careers in Tourism Awareness Campaign Overview

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 10:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Tourism industry employment is typically characterized as short-term and seasonal, and regarded as unviable for long-term, rewarding careers. How do we change this perception, and attract a young, eager workforce that will fill current labour gaps and groom a new generation of industry leaders?  Join us for this introductory session to find out how TIAO’s Careers in Tourism awareness campaign is attempting to lift the profile of the industry and ensure its continued growth and success.

Beth Potter

President & CEO

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Rob Hunter

Founder & CEO

HigherMe

   

Filling the Labour Gap

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 10:45 AM – 11:15 AM

Augustus Ballroom

Tourism industry employment is typically characterized as short-term and seasonal, and regarded as unviable for long-term, rewarding careers. How do we change this perception, and attract a young, eager workforce that will fill current labour gaps and groom a new generation of industry leaders?  Join us for this introductory session to find out how TIAO’s Careers in Tourism awareness campaign is attempting to lift the profile of the industry and ensure its continued growth and success.paign is attempting to lift the profile of the industry and ensure its continued growth and success.

Beth Potter

President & CEO

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Rob Hunter

Founder & CEO

HigherMe

Grace Sammut

Managing Director

Resorts of Ontario

Ray Nadeau

General Manager

Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre

   

Collaborative Approach to Labour Force Development

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 11:15 AM – 11:45 AM

Augustus Ballroom

The South Georgian Bay Region has grown to become a top tier tourism destination in Ontario, fuelled by its natural assets as well as a successful approach to building four season amenities and experiences. Along with this growth has come challenges such as intensification, infrastructure gaps and a growing labour shortage due to rapidly rising real estate values. Another significant challenge is that the region is made up of multiple upper and lower tier municipalities, each with distinct flavours, needs and priorities. Enter a multi-stakeholder Tourism Labour Supply Task Force, comprising all local municipalities and key stakeholder groups to tackle the issue head on. This case study will outline the steps taken to mobilize action on increasing local education programs, transit expansion and attainable housing.

Andrew Siegwart

President

Blue Mountain Village Association (BMVA)

Bryan Plumstead

Tourism Manager

Grey County Tourism

   

Visitor First: Creating Inclusive Experiences for People with Disabilities

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Solis/Luna

One in seven people in Ontario has a disability. That’s almost two million people who face barriers in their everyday life. But what does that mean for the tourism industry? One of the opportunities for accessible tourism is to make information for accessible options more readily available. Gain insights about marketing, on-the-ground service and training and the value of customer service. Join an engaging discussion on inclusive marketing: successes, learnings and opportunities. 

Melanie Roberts

Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Destination Ontario

Kathy McLachlan

Manager, Accessibility Information and Referral Unit

Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility

Geoff Waycik

Director, Historic Sites

St. Lawrence Parks Commission

Cheryl Peach

Storyteller

Cowbell Brewing Company

   

Human Trafficking & Implications for Tourism

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
August III

Human trafficking is a serious violation of human rights that affects almost every country in the world, and Canada is not exempt. Two-thirds of human trafficking cases come from Ontario, and the tourism and hospitality industry is often dragged into the crime. What is human trafficking, what does it look like in Ontario, and how does it relate to the tourism and hospitality Industry? What can we do as industry professionals to help end human trafficking? Find out in this educational and eye-opening session. 

Tania Ferlin

Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT)

   

Interpreting Statistics: Ontario’s Place in the Global Landscape 

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Augustus III

How is Ontario tracking in comparison to some of its key target markets from a tourism growth perspective? How can stakeholders plan ahead with such a competitive and rapidly changing tourism landscape? Gain insight into how visitor statistics are collected, the status of data collection by Statistics Canada and the importance of developing common measures at the national, provincial and regional level. Whether you’re tracking your own operational growth, or you’re representing the tourism sector in your region, statistical tools can give you an edge for demonstrating value against the competition with consistency and collaboration. 

Fran Hohol

Senior Director, Tourism and Leisure Group

CBRE Canada 

Rebecca Godfrey

Director, Tourism and Leisure Group

CBRE Canada 

   

TechTalk: Visual Decision Making Through the Camera in Our Pocket

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2:50 PM – 3:00 PM
Augustus Ballroom

The future of destination marketing will require a mix of creative storytelling skills and technological mastery. Hear Crowdriff’s take on how modern day travellers make decisions, what’s new with platforms like Instagram and Google, and how technologies like AI and VR are helping marketers.

Lucas Luxton

Director, Tourism Partnerships

Crowdriff

   

The Power of Partnerships 

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Augustus Ballroom

The power of a partnership is undeniably one of the most effective ways to achieve better results. The success of working together can drive stronger marketing campaigns, reaching more audiences and delivering a higher return on investment. Join Destination Ontario as they take you through some of their most successful and exciting partnerships with tourism stakeholders domestically and internationally. Learn about the benefits, best practices and ideas for how you can implement DO’s partnerships into your own programs. Find out how Destination Ontario incorporates partnerships to deliver a strong economic impact for tourism in Ontario.

Lisa LaVecchia

President & CEO

Destination Ontario

   

Making a Comeback: Revitalizing Detroit as a Destination

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 3:50 PM – 4:30 PM

Augustus Ballroom

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

   

Doing Business Differently

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 9:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Augustus Ballroom

In 2009, Segway of Ontario was faced with a huge decision: become a glorified gift shop with tours, or dive head-first into becoming a full-scale tour company. Partners Jason Rizzuti and Aaron Binder decided to take the challenge and haven’t worn a single pair of Crocs since. The story of Segway of Ontario / Go Tours Canada is one that defies convention. Their business is defined by adaptability, partnerships and punching far above its weight while offering incentives for employees and cultivating a culture of excellence. Find out how they did it through innovation, tenacity and learning from failures—all while operating a globally renowned Segway operation in a jurisdiction that 14 years later, still considers the machines illegal. 

Aaron Binder

Chief Experience Officer

Go Tours Canada

 

Jason Rizzuti

Managing Partner

Segway of Ontario

   

Introducing Le Boat to the Rideau Canal

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Augustus Ballroom

After opening its North American headquarters in Smiths Falls, Le Boat launched operations on the Rideau Canal in May 2018. The world’s largest European canal boat operator, Le Boat’s investment in Ontario will create jobs, attract further investment and showcase the province as an attractive destination. Furthermore, the introduction of Le Boat has sparked new product offerings from surrounding businesses, connecting the experience with activities both on and off the water. Listen to how three levels of government collaborated to bring a popular overseas experience to Ontario and generate new economic activity for the region and the province.

Richard McKinnell (Moderator)

Assistant Deputy Minister, Tourism Division

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

 

Darlene Upton

Vice President, Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation

Parks Canada

Robin Jones

Mayor of Westport; Warden of United Counties of Leeds & Grenville

Shawn Pankow

Mayor of Smiths Falls

Cheryl Brown

Managing Director

Le Boat

Ann Weir

Economic Development Manager

United Counties of Leeds & Grenville

   

Tracking Tourism Dollars in Ontario

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 10:10 AM – 10:30 AM

Augustus Ballroom

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

 

 

The Path Forward 

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 10:50 AM – 11:30 AM

Augustus Ballroom

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is in the middle of its five-year plan to overcome barriers and maximize opportunities for the Indigenous tourism sector in Canada. Guided by four pillars of leadership, partnership, development and marketing, strategic steps are being taken to support Indigenous tourism development across the country. Learn how ITAC is helping to grow the sector in Ontario through alignment with its provincial body. 

Keith Henry

President & CEO

Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)

 

 

Kevin Eshkawkogan​​

Executive Director

Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)

   

Festival Towns

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

Whether it’s cosplay, steampunk, pets or food, people will venture off the beaten path for festivals, events and conventions featuring activities that they love. An influx of visitors can have great benefits for small towns and communities, but like any event, pulling it all together is not without its challenges. Hear from a panel of niche event organizers, including best practices on executing small town takeovers.

Bryan Plumstead (Moderator)

Tourism Manager

Grey County Tourism

 

Rae Ierullo

Convention Chair

YetiCon

Jennifer Ibrahim

Tourism Coordinator

Town of Amherstburg

Dave MacNeil

Chief Executive Officer

Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO)

   

A Closer Look at Kingsville

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

A butcher, a golf course, a pub and a chocolate maker: not exactly what comes to mind when thinking of a partnership focussed on growing business through tourism, but that is exactly what innovative entrepreneurs in Kingsville have collaborated to achieve. Learn how this small community has worked together to develop a unique product offering for their town, and leveraged neighbouring areas to bring business and visitors their way.

Kevin Black

Owner

Lee & Maria's Market

Troy Loop

Co-Owner

Jack's Gastropub

Henry Noestheden

Owner

Dutch Boys Chocolate

Doug Quick

General Manager

Kingsville Golf & Country Club

Izabela Muzzin

Owner

The Butcher of Kingsville

   

Engaging Influencers: 5 Steps to Maximize Exposure

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

Learn 5 guaranteed-to-succeed steps that will ensure your next campaign engages with your audience, including how to source the right influencer, how to track engagement and planning the right experience.

Marc Smith

Founder, Travel Writer

marcmywords.com

   

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

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

Technology-aided personalization is a trend we’re seeing more and more of, and it’s dramatically changing consumer behaviour. As we grow accustomed to these personalized experiences, we start to expect it and (most importantly) reward brands that tailor their communication to us. Knowing this, how can we move away from a mass communication model to a personalized one? This session will explore examples of brands this well, and share some strategies that can help you make the pivot—a great mix of tech inspiration and simpler actionable solutions for today. 

Mike Armstrong

Brand Strategy Lead

Google

   

TechTalk: Gig Economy Apps

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2:00 PM – 2:10 PM

Augustus Ballroom

Having experienced the challenge of labor shortages first-hand—both early in his life as an hourly paid restaurant worker—and then throughout his career as an HR executive within the hospitality industry, Joshua Karam was confident there could be a better way to access hospitality talent fast, when needed most, at a fair price. With that, in he co-founded Hyr in 2016. Today, Hyr has emerged as a market leader in HR tech, transforming the way we work and improving efficiencies in the hospitality workplace. Joshua will discuss recruitment and retention in today’s changing work environment, new ways to access great talent, and how embracing technology can enable your company to win. 

Joshua Karam

Co-Founder & CEO

Hyr Inc.

 

   

Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) Overview

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2:10 PM – 2:20 PM
Augustus Ballroom

Almost one year ago in December 2017, legislation and regulations came into effect that allow municipalities to implement a tax on transient accommodation (“municipal accommodation tax”). This presentation will provide a brief overview of this new authority.  

Tony Marzotto

Director, Tourism Policy and Research Branch

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

   

MAT Lessons from Early Adopters

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2:20 PM – 3:00 PM
Augustus Ballroom

Many municipalities across the province are exploring potential implementation of a MAT, and others have already established one. The process can be complicated, and there are myriad questions about charging, collecting and remitting a tax, in addition to determining how the proceeds can be used to benefit tourism activities. Listen to representatives from both municipalities and accommodations share their experiences navigating this multi-faceted issue. 

Beth Potter (Moderator)

President & CEO

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Steve Ball

President

Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association (OGHA)

Megan Knott

Executive Director

Kingston Accommodation Partners

Paul Pepe

Tourism Manager

Tourism Thunder Bay

Vass Bednar

Senior Policy Advisor

Airbnb

   

Cannabis in the Workplace 

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM
Augustus Ballroom

Medical use of cannabis in the workplace is a rapidly emerging and highly contentious issue. The topic of marijuana access and its use with regards to health and safety is sensitive, complex and highly polarized. Employers have questions about how to respond to this new landscape. This session focuses on helping employers to understand the changes and implications for health and safety, as well as guidance on how to manage these challenges in safety-sensitive industries. 

Larry Masotti
(Moderator)

Director, Strategic Relationships

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS)

Richard Anderson

Executive Director

Smart Serve Ontario

Allan Rewak

Executive Director

Cannabis Council of Canada

Randy Herman

National Sales Representative

CannAmm Occupational Testing Services

James Lockhart

President

Group Lockhart Inc.

 

 

PRESENTING PARTNER

PLATINUM



 

 


  GOLD


SILVER


BRONZE

 

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.

Travel

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

Accommodation

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
REGULAR – Non-Member (Includes Pre-Conference Sessions, Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
24 Oct 2018
$899.00
Sale Ended
Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala – Non-Member
24 Oct 2018
$175.00
Sale Ended
Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch – Non-Member
23 Oct 2018
$125.00
Sale Ended
Student (TUESDAY) – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achiement Award Lunch & Networking Welcome Reception)
23 Oct 2018
$225.00
Sale Ended
Student (WEDNESDAY) – Non-Member
24 Oct 2018
$175.00
Sale Ended
ADVANCED – Non-Member (Includes Pre-Conference Sessions, Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
09 Oct 2018
$749.00
Sale Ended
EARLY BIRD – Non-Member (Includes Pre-Conference Sessions, Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
31 Aug 2018
$699.00
Sale Ended
Click here to enter your promotional code

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

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