Destination Northern Ontario wins EDCO’S Award Of Excellence For Tourism

The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) is the leading provincial organization providing support and leadership for economic development in Ontario.  Each year they provide an award to select members that develop key initiatives that are extraordinarily successful and contribute to the economic growth and well-being of the province. 

Announced at the annual EDCO conference this month, Destination Northern Ontario (DNO), in partnership with the Town of Blind River, won the “EDCO Award of Excellence – Tourism Attraction and Tourism Product Development – Rural.”

This award was for the “Destination Northern Ontario/Blind River Tourism & Recreation CED Initiative”.  The key objective of this community economic development (CED) initiative was the development of community infrastructure and its integration with the regional natural outdoor resources with the goal to support local activities, businesses, jobs and a sustainable outdoor tourism product.  

This multi-faceted $3.8 million product development initiative included a major marina refurbishment, Tourist Information Centre upgrades (which also acts as a tourism staging centre), Trans Canada Trail & Great Lakes Waterfront Trail cycling expansion and connections, green energy upgrade to the Community Event Centre, beachfront and pavilion development, downtown riverfront walkway, and waterfront outdoor tourism & recreation facilities. 

This initiative has upgraded Blind River as an attractive tourism destination.  Furthermore, DNO, Blind River and partners are working together to market special events and activities such as the Lake Huron Bass Tour Fishing Derby, regional artisan shows, sporting tournaments, regional business activity, cycling events, farmers market, event staging, Mississauga First Nation Pow-Wows and other activities.

This is the second year in a row that DNO has won the “EDCO Award of Excellence for Tourist Attraction & Tourism Product Development.”  Last year it was for the “Northern Ontario Cycling Route/Trail Expansion Initiative.”  This is a clear demonstration of DNO’s ability to directly drive investment and development tourist attractions and tourism product development.  These two initiatives demonstrate significant economic impact of approximately $16.809 million resulting in investment, job creation and generating $4.7 million taxes to all three levels of government.

Receiving EDCO awards clearly demonstrates that DNO’s efforts in Northern Ontario is not only good for tourism but good for economic development in Ontario as well.

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