2019 Ontario Tourism Summit

28 Oct 2019 @ 8:00am EDT
30 Oct 2019 @ 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 the Blue Mountain Resort to network, gain new insights, explore trending topics and celebrate excellence at the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala.

Group Rate - Members Only 

A group rate price for TIAO Members is available from May 21-August 5. For more information, please contact Carol Greenwood, Director, Membership & Business Development, at cgreenwood@tiaontario.ca or 416-483-1691.

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.


Check back regularly for program updates or subscribe to TIAO updates to stay up-to-date on all things OTS19 related.


Tuesday, October 29


Welcome & Opening Remarks - State of the Industry

Beth Potter, President & CEO, TIAO


Message from TIAO Chair

Minto Schneider, President & CEO, Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation; TIAO Board Chair


How Tourism Helped Rebuild Greece’s Economy

Victor Maligoudis, Consul General, Consulate General of Greece

The power of tourism is undeniably one of the most effective ways to drive growth in the economy. Learn how Greece used tourism as an economic driver to rebuild their country and rejuvenate their community. Join the Consulate General of Greece as they discuss sustainable tourism and the challenges, complexities, and risk management of dealing with wild fires. This session will provide delegates with insights on how these lessons from Greece can be applied to the Ontario tourism industry.


Take 5! – Your Labour Shortage Has a Housing Problem

Presenter TBD

What is the solution? Is housing a right? Or a commodity? Find out how YOU can influence the growth of affordable housing at the municipal level.


Sustainable Tourism – Changes in the Canadian Tourism Landscape

Deirdre Campbell, Managing Director- Canada, Beattie Tartan

Stay tuned for a session description.


Sustainable Tourism – Who is Looking for it?

Rachel Dodds, Professor, Ted Rodgers School of Hospitality

Stay tuned for a session description.


Sustainable Tourism – An Ontario Case Study


  • Meredith Maywood, Tourism Specialist, Oxford County
  • Other Panelists TBD

Stay tuned for a session description.


Indigenous Tourism – The Path Forward

Presenter TBD

Stay tuned for a session description.


Social Media and Tourism - A Match Made In Digital Heaven

Kate Monk, Senior Director, Strategy & Communications, Explorers’ Edge (RTO 12)

Social media has fundamentally altered the way that organizations communicate with and market to their target demographics. Are you using social media effectively and strategically? Discover how to leverage social media platforms and capture the most from your online presence.


Lifetime Achievement Lunch


Bon Voyage – The Importance of Francophone Tourism

Isabelle de Bruyn, Project Manager, Tourism, Société Économique de l’Ontario (SÉO)

Stay tuned for a session description.


Travel Agents vs. OTAs – Which is Better for your Business?

Benjamin Bohenblust, Product Performance Manager, North America, Booking.com

Stay tuned for a session description.


Take 5! – MAT: Good Governance Makes Best Practices

Presenter TBD

Find out what you don’t know and need to know about getting the most out of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).


Destination Ontario

Lisa LaVecchia, President & CEO, Destination Ontario

Stay tuned for a session description.


Summit First Timers Reception


Welcome Reception

Hosted by Blue Mountain Village Association


Wednesday, October 30


Welcome & Day 1 Recap

Beth Potter, President & CEO, TIAO


How to Fill the Labour Gap

Presenters TBD

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 to learn more about attempting to overcome stigmas of the stigma and ensure its continued growth and success. 


Keeping Great Staff in a Seasonal Business 

Presenters TBD

Stay tuned for a session description.


Take 5!

New this year, OTS19 is featuring 5 minute sessions to highlight key policy issues that impact the Ontario tourism industry. These sessions will include examples of case studies and best practices.

Stay tuned for a session description.


Trending in Spending – Where and How Is the International Market Looking

Chris Baron, Senior Vice President – Sales, Global Payments

Stay tuned for a session description.


There's a Crisis With Your Name On It 


  • James Henry, Vice-President of Hospitality, Blue Mountain Resorts
  • Rod Raycroft, Executive Director, Northeastern Ontario Tourism
  • Alexandra Rodgers, Director Research & Policy, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) 
  • Warren Weeks, Media Trainer, Weeks Media


  • Andrew Siegwart, President, Blue Mountain Village Association

Hear from leading experts on preparing for the unknown crisis; strategies for before, during, and after. This panel will cover everything from innovative ways to deal with a crisis, high-level media training, government relations, and regulatory reform. Come prepared with your questions as there will be a live, 20 minute Q&A as part of the session.


Power & Pride - LGBTQ2S+ Tourism


  • Darrell Schuurman, CEO, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
  • Other Panelists TBD

This session not only features tourism and business leaders who are paving the way with diversity and inclusion training, but looks at the dynamic and powerful ways that LGBTQ2S+ tourism grows the economy in Ontario. Learn how your organization can be poised to benefit from this innovative and changing landscape of equality.


Bringing the Lens Closer to Understand Your Buyer’s Behaviour

Larry Filler, Senior Vice President & Practice Leader, Environics Analytics

Stay tuned for a session description.


Maximizing Ontario's Tourism Potential - Winter & Shoulder Season Tourism

Presenter TBD

This session includes business case examples from regions across Ontario to highlight both the power and the complexities of delivering top-notch winter and shoulder season tourism. 


Making Your Destination Trend Online

Presenters TBD

Stay tuned for a session description.


Take 5! – The Only Response to Climate Anxiety is Climate Action

Natalia Moudrak, Director of Climate Resilience, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation

Find out how to strategically prepare for the inevitable impacts of climate change, extreme weather, flooding, and discover the impacts on Ontario tourism businesses.


Explore the Bruce – Understanding Your Visitor: Economic Impact of Tourism in Bruce County

Jill Roote, Manager of Economic Development, Corporation of the County of Bruce

Vicky Ly, Economic Development Officer, Bruce County Tourism

Don’t miss out on this case study presentation that explains the methodology and application of Bruce County’s Economic Impact of Tourism Report, made available to local stakeholders so that they have a better understanding of who their visitors are.


Canada’s AI Imperative – Overcoming Risks & Building Trust

Presenter from Deloitte Canada TBD

Stay tuned for a session description.


Don’t Build a Hotel and Anticipate Travellers Will Come – Understanding Investment

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

Rebecca Godfrey, Director, Tourism and Leisure Group, CBRE Canada

Stay tuned for a session description.


Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Finalist Reception

By Invitation Only


Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Reception


Gala Dinner and Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Presentation


Club Ontario


Keynote Speaker 

Victor Maligoudis

Consul General

Consulate General of Greece

Victor Maligoudis is a career diplomat working for the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Maligoudis served, since November 2016, in the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, responsible for Greeks Abroad.

Mr. Maligoudis entered the Diplomatic Academy in 2004 and has since held the following positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

  • 2005 – 2006: Attaché at the Protocol Department
  • 2006 – 2009: Second Secretary at the Embassy of Greece in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2009 – 2011: Deputy Head at the Information and Public Diplomacy Department
  • 2011 – 2016: Consul and Deputy Head at the Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul

Consul General Maligoudis holds a Master’s degree in Law (LL.M.) from the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Germany, and a BA degree from the School of Law of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He is a graduate of the German School of Thessaloniki.


Deirdre Campbell

Managing Director - Canada 

Beattie Tartan

As managing director of Canadian-based Beattie Tartan, Deirdre has been entrenched in the global tourism market for more than 20 years. What began as a west-coast based boutique PR agency called Tartan in 2001, with a handful of Canadian signature experiences quickly expanded internationally, with a range of luxury eco resorts and destinations across North, Central and South America. This was also the beginning of Deirdre’s passion for sustainable tourism, and she is a founding member of the Global Ecotourism Network and the IMPACT Sustainable Travel and Tourism conference held annually in Victoria, BC. IMPACT’s goal is to begin the important dialogue around tourism’s legacy across Canada. In 2017, Tartan merged with the Beattie Group, a UK based PR agency with over 34 years of experience and 12 offices. This allowed Deirdre to expand her team’s digital expertise and build a substantial client base in tourism, real estate, technology, retail, food, beverage and wellness across Canada. With offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary, and associates in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montreal and New York, today Beattie Tartan counts Destination Canada, Indigenous Tourism Canada  and the Jordan Tourism Board among its tourism clients. In 2019, Deirdre was awarded Destination Greater Victoria’s Miracle Award for her work in tourism.  

Rachel Dodds 


Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Dr. Rachel Dodds has worked in the tourism industry for over 20 years. Known globally as an expert on sustainable tourism, she has worked to address tourism issues in multiple countries and focuses on marketing, tourism planning and development. In December, 2018,  she was appointed to Canada's Federal Tourism Council: Jobs and the Visitor Economy. Rachel is a Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University in Toronto as well as the Director of a tourism consultancy: Sustaining Tourism. She recently published a book: Overtourism: issues, realities and solutions.

Benjamin Bohnenblust

Product Performance Manager


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. 

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 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit and tourism sectors, Beth has worked with a variety of boards, committees and volunteers across the tourism industry and from all walks of life. She currently serves on the boards for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Ryerson University.

Minto Schneider


Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation

Before joining the Waterloo Region Tourism Marketing Corporation, Minto began her career with Hilton International in Vancouver after graduating from the Hotel program at BCIT. After a few moves with Hilton in Sales and Marketing positions – from Vancouver to Saint John,Toronto and Halifax, she left the hotel business to join Tourism Nova Scotia. She spent over a decade with the PMO before trying her hand as a tour operator and moving south of the border to Westport, Connecticut where she joined Tauck World Discovery as a Product Manager initially and eventually moving to sales.



James Henry 

Vice President of Hospitality 

Blue Mountain Resorts 

As Vice President of Hospitality for Blue Mountain Resorts, James oversees the Lodging, Food & Beverage, Maintenance, Security and Sales operations for the resort. With nearly 1,000 lodging units and 90,000 square feet of meeting and function space, Blue Mountain is Ontario’s largest four season resort destination that sees upwards of 2.5 million visitors annually. James began his career at Blue Mountain as part of the opening team for the Westin Trillium House in 2005, after spending five years as Director of Operations with Clublink and Delta Hotels & Resorts in Muskoka. His life in hospitality spans 30 years, working in hotels across Ontario with properties including the Westin, Delta, Radisson, Holiday Inn and Choice Hotel flags. Additionally James holds the position of Chairman of the Blue Mountain Village Association 2008 - present, Vice-Chair of the Simcoe County arm of ORHMA from 2008 – 2010, and has been a part-time hospitality educator with Georgian College in Barrie. A graduate of the University of Windsor, James holds a Bachelors of Commerce and an Environmental Resource Management Degree.

Alexandra Rodgers

Director, Policy & Research 

Tourism Industry Assocation of Ontario (TIAO)

Alexandra is the Director of Policy & Research at TIAO. Prior to her work with TIAO she authored the first comprehensive report on Migrant Workers Legal Needs in British Columbia, Envisioning Justice for Migrant Workers: A Legal Needs Assessment (2018); funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia.  Her Social Science and Humanities Research Council funded Master’s thesis examined the regulation of labour migration and employment agents who recruit Temporary Foreign Workers, Temporary Foreign Workers in British Columbia: Unfree Labour & the Rise of Unscrupulous Recruitment Practice (2017). Alexandra also co-founded a coalition to enhance BC government regulation of employment agents who recruit Temporary Foreign Workers. The campaigns regulatory amendments were successfully adopted on November 8th, 2018 when the Temporary Foreign Worker Act, Bill 48 received Royal Assent.

Warren Weeks 

Media Trainer 

Weeks Media 

For the past 16 years, Warren Weeks has run his own media relations company, working with organizations like Shopify, Gymshark, Manulife and hundreds of others. Over the past two decades, Warren has become one of Canada’s most popular and trusted media trainers. Thousands of spokespeople from a wide range of industries have called upon Warren to learn how to take greater control over their media interviews and to improve their media relations outcomes. Throughout his 25-year career, he’s also worked on numerous crisis situations, including the infamous Walkerton E. coli crisis.

Ryan Eickmeier


Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC)

Ryan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), a volunteer led not-for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in the Province of Ontario. The mission of the OFSC is to provide leadership to member organizations in our commitment to enable exceptional snowmobile trails and rider experiences throughout the province. 

Before the OFSC, Ryan held the following positions:

  • Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy with the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), the recognized authority on franchising in Canada
  • Senior Director, Public Affairs at GS1 Canada, the world’s leading supply chain standards organization
  • Director, Government Relations & Policy at the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac)
  • Associate at the political consulting firm Greener and Hook
  • Research Assistant at The Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS)

Academically, Ryan has earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in political science from New England College, a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from The American University School of Public Affairs, a Master of Law (LL.M) at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and an Executive Master of Business Administration (E.M.B.A) at the University of Fredericton’s Sandermoen School of Business.


Andrew Siegwart 


Blue Mountain Village Association

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.

Awards Dinner Emcee

Kevin Forget 

Media Relations Coordinator

Destination Ontario

Kevin Forget is the Ontario Media Relations Coordinator for Destination Ontario. In his role he works with broadcast media across Ontario to promote events, attractions and resorts year-round. Kevin also regularly appears on CTV, Citytv, The Weather Network and other stations to promote tourism in Ontario. His weekly radio promotional segments include interviews with CBC Fresh Air, Corus Radio and Bell Media. Before working at Destination Ontario Kevin was the Executive Producer of Citytv’s Breakfast Television in Toronto.


OTS' Marketplace is a B2B traditional trade show format. It is networking-focused and includes a more intimate setting for the businesses and operators serving Ontario’s tourism industry. 

Learn More

For any questions about sponsorship opportunities or marketplace bookings, contact Carol Greenwood, Director, Membership & Business Development, at cgreenwood@tiaontario.ca or 416-483-1691.


OTS19 delegates can receive a discounted rate at Blue Mountain Resort. This special conference rate is available three days pre- and post-event.

Book Reservation by Telephone

  • Call the Reservations Department at  1-877-445-0231
  • Quote group name - TIAO Summit Oct 2019
  • Use the code: GRP127980


Book Reservation Online


Additional Details

  • All reservations must be guaranteed by a credit card number with a first night deposit processed on 30 days of arrival and final payment due on departure by cash, credit card, certified cheque or money order
  • Complimentary outdoor parking is available on resort. Secured underground parking is available for guests staying in the Village or Mosaic Suites at a rate of $15.00 plus HST per day, per vehicle
  • Check in is at 4 p.m., check out is at 11 a.m.
Ticket Name Sale Ends Price Quantity
EARLY BIRD – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala) 05 Aug 2019 $709.00
ADVANCED – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
30 Oct 2019
Sale Opens 06 Aug 2019
REGULAR – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
30 Oct 2019
Sale Opens 14 Sep 2019
Student (TUESDAY) – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achiement Award Lunch & Networking Welcome Reception) 30 Oct 2019 $229.00
Student (WEDNESDAY) – Non-Member 30 Oct 2019 $179.00
Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch – Non-Member 11 Oct 2019 $129.00
Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala – Non-Member 21 Oct 2019 $179.00
Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala - AWARD FINALIST - Non-Member
11 Oct 2019
Sale Opens 01 Aug 2019

28 Oct 2019 @ 8:00am EDT
30 Oct 2019 @ 10:00pm EDT

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