Canada is an international tourism destination that is seeing tremendous growth from overseas markets. Destination Canada’s Northstar initiative, supported by Destination Ontario, is looking to increase the number of international visitors to Canada to 25 million by 2025. Northern Ontario, with its iconic natural assets and robust tourism industry, has not achieved its full potential in overseas visitation. In 2016 (the recent statistics available), visits from overseas markets represented only 0.1% of all visits to Northern Ontario yet also represented 2% of the overall visitor spending. By growing the region’s overseas visits to 2% of overall visits (the current Ontario average), we would experience an additional $500 million in added tourism revenues for Northern Ontario.
A tremendous opportunity has presented itself in the form of Rendez-vous Canada 2019 in Toronto, Ontario. As host province, Ontario has the chance to showcase the best of the best to international buyers from across the globe. Destination Northern Ontario is gearing up to have a tremendous presence at the event, ensuring that Northern Ontario market-ready product is at the forefront of buyers’ minds. Destination Northern Ontario will be working with industry partners to create a meaningful impact at RVC by hosting a Northern Ontario Lunch; creating a Northern Ontario “hub” on the marketplace floor; and investing in significant marketing assets that are curated to our most important international buyers.
RVC 2019 will play a pivotal role in Destination Northern Ontario’s long term international marketing efforts. There is a natural affinity for Northern Ontario and by working with Destination Canada, Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Destination Ontario, Northern Ontario’s urban and regional DMO partners and tourism operators, Destination Northern Ontario will work towards achieving its goal of increasing tourism visitation and spend from the overseas market as priority in 2019-20.
Looking at our tourism products and experiences through this lens is an opportunity to further improve and grow our tourism industry with programming in all mandated pillar areas; product development, investment attraction, workforce and industry training, marketing and partnership.
Destination Northern Ontario will continue to invest in programming geared towards our traditional markets both here at home and in the USA.