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Event Details

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

Join us for OTS21 - whether in person or virtual - we are excited to share that we will be hosting, as many *fully vaccinated people as safe to do so at this year's summit at the award-winning 4 Diamond Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa.

We will be welcoming tourism professionals from around the province to gather, share, and collaborate as we rebuild Ontario's tourism industry. This year's summit is about RESPECT, COLLABORATION and REBUILDING our future. Join us as we recognize all the innovation, re-embrace the foundation and collaborate together - Google, Deloitte, Canadian Live Music Association, Global Payments are just some highlights of speakers lined up for this year's event.

If you or part of your team would like to join virtually - this option is also available. This year the Summit is back to normal programming with full day but interactive for the in person and virtual audience to network together. Whatever you choose, we are ready - Come.....Join us..... Together.

*TIAO will now require in-person Summit attendees to be fully vaccinated (2 doses plus 14 days)unless they have a medical exemption.

This new requirement in compliance with provincial proof of vaccination regulations for indoor conference, meeting, and event spaces, effective September 22, 2021. In-person attendees will be required to present their digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate (not the vaccine receipt) along with photo ID at Summit premises. The digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate contains a unique QR code that displays your vaccination status when scanned—these will be issued by the Government of Ontario for use from October 22 onwards, in time for Summit. Digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates in paper format or on a mobile device will be accepted. COVID-19 vaccine receipts and negative COVID-19 tests will not be accepted. 






Cancellation Policy

We are following all Public Health & Hygiene Protocols at the Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa for OTS21. However, should you feel the need to change your mind and cancel your in person ticket. Please be advised that we will be refunding you the difference between the price paid and the Virtual Ticket price of $250.00 plus hst. You will still be able to attend the conference virtually. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at





7:00 am


8:00 am

Opening Remarks

Chris Bloore, President & CEO, TIAO

8:15 am

Greetings from the Premier of Ontario

Premier Doug Ford

8:25 am

Greetings from the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries

Honourable Lisa MacLeod

8:35 am

Greetings from the Host, Ottawa Tourism

Michael Crockatt, President & CEO, Ottawa Tourism

8:45 am

Emcee Greetings & Housekeeping Rules

Kevin Forget, Broadcast Media Specialist, Destination Ontario

8:50 am

Greetings from the TIAO Chair

Andrew Weir, TIAO Board Chair, Executive Vice President, Destination Development, Destination Toronto

9:00 am

Difficult Decisions. Conservative Approach. Purposeful Strategy.

Sarah Handley, General Manager, Tourism New Zealand

The last 18 months have turned the global tourism industry on its head. The New Zealand government took an elimination strategy to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep its people safe. For tourism, it resulted in international visitation that previously delivered $17.5 billion (NZD) per annum being turned off overnight as borders closed. To help support the country’s tourism sector and the wider economy, Tourism New Zealand, the country’s national tourism body was given responsibility for encouraging domestic tourism. At the same time the organisation has taken the time alongside the wider tourism sector to focus on a purposeful strategy to ensure a sustainable future for tourism and the return of international visitors - one that gives back more than it takes to maximise the contribution of visitors across four well beings capitals – nature, society, culture and the economy.

9::40 am

Protecting and Promoting: Destination Management During a Pandemic

Megan Knott, Executive Director, Tourism Kingston, Alison Migneault, Director of Marketing and Communications , Tourism Kingston, Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario (former Medical Officer of Health, KFL&A Public Health), Mayor Bryan Paterson, Mayor of Kingston

Identified early in the pandemic as one of the cities in Canada most at risk due to COVID-19’s impact on the tourism sector, Kingston faced a dire economic outlook alongside the public health crisis. This panel discussion examines how the City of Kingston, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health, and Tourism Kingston collaborated to protect and promote the city, driving economic impact to local businesses and stewarding the destination’s brand while mitigating risk to the community.

10:10 am

Be Inspired: Tourism Innovation Lab

10:20 am

BREAK: Check In on Your Colleague

10:35 am

Everything stopped - Now What?  What can we Learn?

Chris Baron, Senior Vice President, Global Payments

The payments landscape is fast changing and emerging from the pandemic.  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 of understanding your consumer, travel patterns and spend patterns. Are you payment ready?





At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

-Understand the origin of spenders and where they dedicate spend

-Understand the variance in digital versus in-person spend

-Understand the allocation of spend by card brand and by industry segment

11:05 am

The NHL Face Off:  A Country's Passion, Being Under the Spotlight, and Leading the Way

Hear from the Brookstreet Hotel how by taking a proactive approach to health and safety protocols while working collaboratively with the city, the operators, and the destination to come up with a winning solution that resulted in high visibility, ultimately winning them the title of the official hotel and resort of the Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre. 

11:35 am

BREAK: Check in on Your Colleague

12:05 pm

Briefing on Exit Polls of Canadians Post Federal Election

Mike Van Soelen, Principal, Navigator Limited

12:40 pm

Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch

Chris Bloore, President & CEO, TIAO, Air Canada, James Murphy, Executive Director, Explorers Edge

1:45 pm

CONCURRENT #1: Case Study: AGORA - the Path of Light that Supported a Village

Andrew Siegwart, President, Blue Mountain Village Association, Stacy Manning, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Blue Mountain Resorts, Patti Kendall, Director Marketing and Events, Blue Mountain Village Association

Hear from the team at Blue Mountain Village Association and Blue Mountain Resorts on how they collaborated and got creative to bring to life an incredibly unique tourism experience that was able to continue to attract visitors in the middle of a pandemic.

1:45 pm

CONCURRENT #2: The Missing Ingredient in Hospitality and Tourism?

Hassel Aviles, Executive Director, Not 9 to 5, Andrew McCartney, Senior Director Client Management, Inkblot Therapy

Join Not 9 to 5 and Inkblot Therapy to learn about the state of mental health in the hospitality industry and what you can do to support your team. This session has been designed for industry leaders, decision makers, and owner/managers, and will teach a practical approach to discussing workplace mental health with the goal of ensuring workshop attendees feeling better equipped to address it.

1:45 pm

CONCURRENT #3: Live on Stage when the Stage is Dark:

Erin Benjamin, President & CEO, Canadian Live Music Association

As the voice of Canada's live music industry, CLMA led multiple advocacy efforts, as well as fundraising campaigns in an attempt to support this sector that represents live music from the smallest venue to multiple night stadium presence. CLMA’s President & CEO, Erin Benjamin, shares the rigorous effort it took to put together a live concert series that featured 30 concerts live streamed from stages across Canada.

1:45 pm

CONCURRENT #4: Contact Tracing - Leveraging Location Data to Inform a Main Street Recovery

Asif Khan, President, GroundLevel Insights

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit every sector of our economy hard and making decisions on everything from where to focus economic stimulus to how to better allocate limited resources for vaccines and testing are the just some of the challenges facing our governments today.  Leveraging the power of location data can help inform these decisions by providing insights on where people live, how far they travel, whether or not they are following “stay at home” orders, and which industries sectors have been hit the hardest.  This session will share data gathered by GroundLevel Insights anonymous mobility platform and through its CANATRACE COVID screening tool, on the movement patterns of Canadians and what this may signal for our near future.

2:25 pm

BREAK: Check In on Your Colleague

2:40 pm

Be Inspired: Tourism Innovation Lab

2:50 pm

Cannabis Tourism: An Alternate/Additional Revenue Source

Jennifer Mason, Founder, New Heights, Sean Webster, Head, Government and Stakeholder Relations – Canada, Canopy Growth Corporation, Mayor Shawn Pankow, Mayor of Smiths Falls, Michael Wilson, Partner, Goodmans LLP

This panel of experts will discuss additional revenue opportunities created by cannabis tourism, including best practice examples implemented by Smiths Falls, while also delving into the business potential of the creation of venues for the consumption of cannabis infused foods and beverages.

3:20 pm

Release of Gender Balance Study of Tourism Industry by Deloitte, Summer 2021

Leslie Peterson, Canadian Tourism Strategist, Deloitte Inc., Lorrie King, Partner, Deloitte Private Audit & Advisory, Deloitte Inc.

In 2021 TIAO and Deloitte collaborated on the development and administration of a survey on diversity, equity, inclusion, and gender balance in the Canadian hospitality and tourism industry, designed to provide a benchmark of the reality of our industry, understanding challenges, and areas of opportunity. The first of its kind, the intent was to capture a range of diverse perspectives, covering staff, travellers, safety, new offerings, innovation, indigenous perspectives, accessibility, and more.

Deloitte will be releasing the results of the survey and expanding on the sobering viewpoints and attitudes on DE&I throughout the hospitality and tourism industry in this country. The discussion will include a dialogue on how to improve DE&I outcomes moving forward.

4:10 pm

Finding the Common Narrative to Leverage Impact

Chris Bloore, President & CEO, TIAO, Daniel Safayen, Vice President, Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Heather Lalonde, CEO, Economic Developers Council of Ontario.

Tourism is an economic driver, but often most were unaware.  The pandemic provided an opportunity for collaboration and a common objective allowing sectors to work together.  Understanding each organizations objectives and leveraging each other’s reach, has allowed for strength, success and appreciation for each sectors role within the business economy impacting Ontario.

4:50 pm

Closing Remarks

Chris Bloore, President & CEO, TIAO, Kevin Forget, Broadcast Media Specialist, Destination Ontario

5:15 pm

First-Time Attendees Reception

If this is your first time attending the Ontario Tourism Summit, we look forward to hosting you at this reception.

6:30 pm

Welcome Reception


7:15 am


8:00 am

Opening Remarks, Day 1 Recap, and Highlight of Tourism Industry Positioning Paper (TIPP)

Chris Bloore, President & CEO, TIAO, Dr. Jessica Ng, 'Manager of Policy & Government Affairs, TIAO 


8:20 am

The Honourable Minister Lisa MacLeod: Ontario's 5 Year Plan Fireside Chat 

Honourable Minister Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries, Tim Hudak, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Real Estate Association

9:00 am

Greetings, Housekeeping Rules & OTS22 Location Announcement              

Kevin Forget, Broadcast Media Specialist, Destination Ontario


9:15 am

Lessons From the Digital Crystal Ball: What Google’s unique and powerful data tells us about the Tourism recovery

Jon Bromstein, Head of Industry, Google

What can the world's most powerful database of intent tell us about the state of the tourism industry in Ontario and around the world? Google Canada's Head of Government and Tourism advertising will discuss the way people are searching, the destinations they care about, and how the digital traveler has changed in 2021.

9:45 am

Head, Heart and Hands: Pivot, recover, or break-free to the next visitor economy

Dianne Dredge, Owner, The Tourism CoLab, Australia

The next economy is coming. While the focus has been on pandemic pivots and post-Covid recovery, massive structural changes in how we live, work, move and play are underway. We cannot afford to ignore the signs or to assume that ‘normal’ will return. Drawing from the Tourism CoLab’s global engagement across sectors and from local to global scales, this presentation identifies and explores regenerative tourism and the big shifts that are coming that we may have overlooked given the short-term focus on pivots and recovery.

If we get it right, and lean into the changes unfolding, our visitor economies can be positioned for the emerging future. Will you be ready?  


10:15 am

BREAK: Check in on Your Colleague - brought to you by Alphabet Creative            


10:30 am

Leveraging The Great Taste of Ontario                                                                 

Agatha Podgorski, Director of Communications, Culinary Tourism Alliance

Learn about Great Taste of Ontario's tourism program and how to leverage it's efforts in your community. A project made possible by +80 partners including government, destination marketing organizations, sector organizations, charities and media, The Great Taste of Ontario is proof that partnership is the way forward for Ontario's resilient tourism industry.

11:00 am

Be Inspired - Tourism Innovation Lab  


11:10 am

Greetings from the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development                                                                                        

Honourable Monte McNaughton

11:20 am

The Battle for Talent: A Playbook for Workforce Recovery

Adam Morrison, President & CEO, OTEC, David Enriquez, Director, Workforce Strategies, OTEC

Drawing from research, data and best practices developed in the trenches of the pandemic, this session will break down the underlying issues and realities faced by tourism stakeholders across Ontario. It will outline a playbook that emerged to guide recovery strategies from different perspectives and will touch on addressing the core barriers to achieve tangible outcomes. It will provide tangible next steps for businesses and destinations to start building their recovery plans and directions on how to get started.

12:00 pm

CONCURRENT #1: Introducing OTEC's Economic Impact Model: A new approach to recovery                                                        

Kelly Brintnell, Industry and Community Liaison, East and North Eastern Ontario, Kieren Wells, Industry & Community Liaison, Central, West, and Northwest Ontario, OTEC  

Using examples from across Ontario, we will take a deep dive into the regional data and explore how this forecasting model can be used in destination-based recovery, and how it will help to inform Tourism SkillsNet Ontario’s (TSNO) workforce solutions at the local level.

12:00 pm

CONCURRENT #2: From visitor to employee: Inspiring new Francophone Canadians through innovative tourism experiences.

Isabelle deBruyn, Project Manager for the Tourism Sector, Société économique de l'Ontario (SÉO), Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab

As soon as they arrive in Ontario and start to settle, new francophone Canadians are eager to explore and discover their new country and meet with the various communities across Ontario. From being a simple visitor to your region to becoming a resident and an employee, how do you get ready to attract and welcome these new Canadians to your destination?

De visiteur à employé : Inspirer les nouveaux Canadiens francophones grâce à des expériences touristiques innovantes

Dès qu'ils arrivent en Ontario et commencent à s'installer, les nouveaux Canadiens francophones sont impatients d'explorer et de découvrir leur nouveau pays et de rencontrer les différentes communautés de l'Ontario. Qu'il s'agisse d'être un simple visiteur dans votre région ou de devenir un résident et un employé, comment vous préparer à attirer et à accueillir ces nouveaux Canadiens vers votre destination ?

12:00 pm

CONCURRENT #3: Using Storytelling to Set Your Brand Apart

Jessica Robinson, Content Strategist, Globe Content Studio

To successfully rebuild and draw a crowd in the off-season and beyond, travel and tourism brands need to know how to tell the right stories. This 40-minute presentation will look at content marketing for travel through a journalistic storytelling lens. Using case studies from successful campaigns The Globe and Mail’s Content Studio has produced in partnership with tourism brands across the country, attendees will walk away knowing:

-What content marketing is and how it fits into your rebuilding brand strategy

-How telling the right story will help your brand stand out against competitors

-Examples of travel content marketing that moved the needle

12:40 pm

Safe Travels Stamp Awards Lunch

Chris Bloore, President & CEO, TIAO, Maxine Morrell-West, Stakeholder Relations Manager, TIAO

Will be livestreamed on Facebook for public viewing

1:45 pm

Respect:  Understanding and Appreciating the Original Guides of our Land - A Virtual Reality Experience                                                           

Kevin Eshkawkogan, President & CEO, Indigenous Tourism Ontario, Michelle Savoie, Owner, Voyageur Wilderness   

Experience something new with Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)... Indigenous tourism Virtual Reality (VR)! ITO and Voyageur Wilderness invite you to connect to the land and the heart and song of its peoples. Step into the world of Indigenous and Voyageur heritage on the exclusive Voyageur Island on Nym Lake where Michelle Savoie and her family offer cultural, educational and interpretive tours as well as nature based eco-adventures.

The preview of the Indigenous tourism Virtual Reality experience was supported by A Three Fires Collaborative Quest - a program designed to fill critical gaps within the industry and encourage recovery and growth of the province’s tourism workforce by bringing awareness of opportunities to potential Indigenous employees.

To be eligible for the program as a potential employee, you must self-identify as Indigenous. After being accepted into the program, you will have the opportunity to participate in frontline training workshops facilitated by OTEC. After completing the training program, you will be invited to participate in the Employee to Employer Matching event, taking place in Winter 2021.


2:15 pm

Destination Ontario Presents: Yours to Rediscover                                                         

Lisa LaVecchia, President & CEO, Destination Ontario

Ontario has always been about discovering something new, special and unexpected. But today, as we begin to emerge from the impact of the biggest event in our industry’s history, that discovery has taken on new meaning. Destination Ontario is ready to collaborate with our partners, to help our visitors rediscover everything that Ontario has to offer – and we have a plan to get us there, and guide us on that journey.

2:55 pm

We are Ready?  Are you Ready?  Looking at the latest consumer sentiment results   

David Colletto, Founding Partner & CEO, Abacus Data  

David has more than a decade of experience working in the marketing research industry and is an industry leader in online research methodologies, public affairs research, corporate and organizational reputation studies, and youth research.  Consumer sentiment data has been essential to the tourism industry understanding those questions that impact someone choosing to or not to travel.  David is here to present the most recent findings.


3:25 pm

BREAK: Check In on Your Colleague  


3:40 pm

Preparing our Consumers for Travel - Vaccine Passports, Border Crossings, Travel                                     

Director General Calvin Christiansen of the Canada Border Services Agency COVID -19 Border Task Force, Dr. Jessica Ng, 'Manager of Policy & Government Affairs, TIAO, Anton Vidgen, Director of Brand Experience, Air Canada, Wendy Nixon, Transport Canada, moderated by Chris Bloore, President & CEO, TIAO

This panel discussion will provide insight into what travel will look like moving forward and how to prepare and support consumers in the new world of tourism.

4:10 pm

The Future of Hospitality…and setting seats at the Table                                                           

Trevor Lui, Cookbook Author, Restauranteur, Chef, Storyteller, and Co-founder, Quell, moderated by Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President, Destination Development at Destination Toronto

Founded by industry veterans, Trevor Lui and Stephanie Lui-Valentim, Quell look to tackle systemic inequities found in today's hospitality industry. The food, drink and hospitality industry in Canada is facing a serious problem. Systemic inequities and invisible but ever-present barriers have impacted the faces we see representing the hospitality industry - which are not reflective of this country's diverse and richly multicultural population. Siblings Trevor Lui and Stephanie Lui-Valentim experienced this first-hand and decided to inspire change. The result? Quell, a new talent agency aimed at fostering meaningful opportunities and inclusive work for its diverse talent.

4:40 pm

Greetings from the Assistant Deputy Minister, Sport, Recreation and Recognition                                                                                             

Honourable Tyler Currie

4:45 pm

GAME ON British Columbia                                                          

Angela Nagy, President & CEO, GreenStep Solutions, Greg Elmhirst, General Manager, Elmhirst’s Resort, Kelly Haussler, Director, Destination Development.

Which province has the most sustainable tourism industry in Canada? Join Angela Nagy, President and CEO of GreenStep Solutions, who earlier this year launched the Sustainable Tourism 2030 Pledge in partnership with the Tourism Industry of Canada. Angela will share how the Pledge is measuring the sustainability performance of the Canadian tourism industry, and how Ontario aims to take the lead on becoming the most committed, and eventually the most sustainable, tourism destination in out British Columbia!

We will then hear from two panelists about their diverse approaches to sustainability, their goals and their achievements thus far; Greg Elmhirst who has achieved Sustainable Tourism Gold Certification for Elmhirst’s Resort and Kelly Haussler from Ottawa Tourism who led the initiative to undertake a destination level Sustainable Tourism diagnosis and action plan.

After several years working together to advance the sustainability of Ontario’s tourism industry, GreenStep and TIAO are calling on all Ontario tourism businesses and destinations to take the Sustainable Tourism 2030 Pledge - are you ready to join us?

5:15 pm

Closing Remarks                                                              

Chris Bloore, President & CEO, TIAO, Kevin Forget, Broadcast Media Specialist, Destination Ontario


5:45 pm

Ontario Resiliency Awards Finalist Reception

6:15 pm

Ontario Resiliency Awards GALA Reception  


7:15 pm

Ontario Resiliency Awards GALA Dinner & Ceremony                                                                                   

10:00 pm

Club Ontario   




The OTS21 speakers will be updated regularly leading up to the event. Please keep checking our social media outlets for updates.


OTS21 in-person delegates can receive a preferred rate at Brookstreet Hotel. This special conference rate is available pre and post OTS21 to ensure you can extend your time to enjoy the beautiful city of Ottawa and surrounding areas.

Book reservation directly through the reservation team

Book Reservation Online


Ticket Name Sale Ends Price
Virtual - up to 5 attendees
26 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
Virtual - small business - up to 5 attendees
26 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
Virtual - Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala ONLY
26 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
Virtual: Support Local Experience for 2 People - Celebrate the Ontario Tourism Awards Gala with us and have a Feasting Board for two delivered to you from a local Feast On® restaurant, just in time for the Gala festivities to begin! Your ticket includes your choice of two made-in-Ontario alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages and Smart Serve accredited delivery.
15 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
SPECIAL OFFER - Virtual: 2 tickets to Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala PLUS Support Local Experience for 2 People - Celebrate the Ontario Tourism Awards Gala with us and have a Feasting Board for two delivered to you from a local Feast On® restaurant, just in time for the Gala festivities to begin! Your ticket includes your choice of two made-in-Ontario alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages and Smart Serve accredited delivery.
15 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
Student (TUESDAY only) – Includes Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Networking Welcome Reception
07 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
Student (WEDNESDAY only)
07 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch ONLY
23 Sep 2021
Sale Ended
Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala ONLY
23 Sep 2021
Sale Ended
REGULAR – Includes Lifetime Achievement Lunch & Awards Gala) * In person numbers are limited due to COVID-19 protocols, upon reaching capacity - we will begin a waiting list to contact in the event we are able to host larger gatherings as we near October 2021.*
07 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
ADVANCED –(Includes Lifetime Achievement Lunch & Awards Gala) * In person numbers are limited due to COVID-19 protocols, upon reaching capacity - we will begin a waiting list to contact in the event we are able to host larger gatherings as we near October 2021.*
12 Sep 2021
Sale Ended
GROUP RATE - Minimum 3 full registations, 1st registration must be at full rate. (Group rates only applicable during Early Bird sale time frame) * In person numbers are limited due to COVID-19 protocols, upon reaching capacity - we will begin a waiting list to contact in the event we are able to host larger gatherings as we near October 2021.*
08 Aug 2021
Sale Ended
EARLY BIRD – In-Person - Includes Lifetime Achievement Lunch & Awards Gala. * In person numbers are limited due to COVID-19 protocols, upon reaching capacity - we will begin a waiting list to contact in the event we are able to host larger gatherings as we near October 2021.*
08 Aug 2021
Sale Ended
Ticket Name Sale Ends Price
REGULAR - Virtual - up to 5 attendees
25 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
REGULAR - Virtual - individual
25 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
STUDENT (19+) - Virtual - up to 5 attendees
25 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
STUDENT (19+) - Virtual - individual
25 Oct 2021
Sale Ended
ADVANCE - Virtual - up to 5 attendees
12 Sep 2021
Sale Ended
ADVANCE - Virtual - individual
12 Sep 2021
Sale Ended
EARLY BIRD - Virtual - up to 5 attendees
08 Aug 2021
Sale Ended
EARLY BIRD - Virtual - individual
08 Aug 2021
Sale Ended

26 Oct 2021 @ 7:00am EDT
27 Oct 2021 @ 10:00pm EDT

  • 525 Legget Dr, Kanata, ON K2K 2W2