Tourism Northern Ontario with its partners at FedNor worked with eight communities to develop bilingual tourism wayfinding signage to help to ensure an enjoyable visitor experience. This is a three-year initiative that offers partners 2/3rds of the funding they need to undertake their wayfinding signage programs. This past year saw 185 new signs created and work is underway to identify new partners for this year.
Two groundbreaking food tourism strategies got underway in Sudbury and Algoma with the launch of Sudbury’s plan taking place in early May. Where does food tourism development fit with Tourism Northern Ontario’s product development priorities? Everywhere! Tourists eat at least once a day but more likely three, four or five times a day. What’s more, over 1/3 of tourist spending worldwide is devoted to food and an amazing 77% of U.S. leisure travelers (131 million tourists) are classified as food tourists. With Algoma’s plan now nearing completion,Tourism Northern Ontario has begun working with Temiskaming Shores and the Culinary Tourism Alliance on what promises to be yet another exciting and innovative food tourism strategy.
In total 159 signs were developed for Tourism Northern Ontario’s trails partners including Cochrane, Manitoulin Island, Mattawa, Nipigon and the Casque Isles Trail that runs from Rossport to Terrace Bay. Outreach to existing and new trails partners is ongoing.
Tourism Northern Ontario also worked with partners on strategic tourism planning, supporting business and marketing plan development for Superior Country and Algoma and a strategic tourism plan for Lake Superior’s North Shore communities.
A variety of strong marketing partnerships also took place, resulting in over 50 partners (private and public) leveraging upwards of $1.3 million dollars in cash and in-kind investments. These initiatives included a digital marketing campaign with Porter Airlines and the large Northern urban communities; a new angling TV series “The Ontario Experience”, and the widely celebrated “Where Am I?” Agawa Canyon Tour Train marketing campaign done in partnership with Destination Ontario.
“Last year’s partnership outcomes have been really gratifying and we’re looking forward to even more successes this coming year”, said David MacLachlan, Executive Director of Tourism Northern Ontario.