Aligned with provincial and federal priorities to support and foster growth within Northern Ontario’s tourism sector, Tourism Northern Ontario’s Experience Fishing program is aimed at increasing visitation from emerging markets to angling tourism operations in the French River area. The program has been developed to support operator capacity, develop and enhance product offerings and access new markets, particularly women, children and new Canadians.
The components of the program include operator training in addressing the needs of these new markets, product development and marketing.
Following the pilot phase now underway in the French River region, the idea is for the Experience Fishing program to become a pan-northern initiative involving as many operators, communities and regions as would like to be involved. The pilot phase will serve as an effective way to gather feedback from operators and guests during implementation.
Following the end of the 2017 season, a survey of participating operators will be undertaken to gain their insights. Those who took part in the program will also be consulted.
David MacLachlan, Executive Director of Tourism Northern Ontario said that this input gathering phase is a critical component of the success of the program.
“Gathering feedback from program participants to ensure the Experience Fishing program has met their expectations and to gain recommendations on how to improve the program is critical as is learning from the operators”, he said.
Following any necessary revisions to the program, the program will be offered as a potential partnership across the north. Drawing on partnerships with stakeholders and business support agencies, the program will be ready for expansion.