Niagara Falls welcomes the Ontario Tourism Summit— is the premier provincial, industry-wide business conference for members of Ontario’s tourism industry to learn the latest trends, share new ideas and best practices, network with colleagues, and recognize industry leaders at the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence.
Ontario Tourism Summit 2017
Day One Agenda - Monday, Nov 6
Agenda adjusted. For current agenda download the Fluid Events App:
|9:00-9:15am||Welcome & Opening Remarks|
Mayor Jim Diodati
|9:15-10:15am||Balancing Tourism Growth & Local Expectations in Iceland|
Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir (Director General, Icelandic Tourist Board)
How do you keep your citizens happy when five times the size of the population visit your country each year? How do you protect your natural resources when they are becoming the key attraction to 2.3 million annual visitors? These are some of the challenges facing Iceland as its tourism economy has skyrocketed in the past few years. Director General Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir of the Icelandic Tourism Board will share her insights into managing these challenges and opportunities of Iceland’s new tourism economy, and discuss whether they are of a local nature – or common challenges that call for global responses and cooperation.
|10:15-11:00am||One Stitch at a Time: An Indigenous Tourism Partnership|
Waneek Horn-Miller (Director, Storyboot Project, Manitobah Mukluks)
Learn how collaboration between the Bata Shoe Museum, Aboriginal-owned Manitobah Mukluks and the TreadRight Foundation led to a semi-permanent Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School at the Bata Shoe Museum, where Indigenous youth learn the traditional art of mukluk and moccasin-making. The unexpected result? Indigenous and non-Indigenous adults clamouring to participate, contributing to cultural understanding and reconciliation, one stitch at a time.
Sponsored by Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Sponsored by Tourism Toronto
1. How to Pitch Your Destination to New Media
Marc Smith (Chief Adventurer, 30 Day Adventures)
Is your new release falling on deaf ears? Not getting the story pickup you want or believe your destination deserves? Learn what gets Marc’s attention as a digital storyteller, and how you can successfully pitch your destination as the next trip worth taking. Epic failures and soaring success stories will be shared. One Ontario destination will be highlighted as a case study of how to pitch your destination to new media.
2. Inclusive Tourism Begins With Us
John Draper (Founder, Together We Rock!)
Tourism destinations, products and services that are accessible to and inclusive of travellers of all abilities create a competitive edge. To capitalize on the large and growing market of travellers with disabilities, the tourism industry will need to embrace a more customized approach. The business case for inclusive tourism is compelling. Making it happen begins with each of us.
3. Cheers: Elevating Product Through Tourism
Moderator: David Adames (Chief Operating Officer, Niagara Parks Commission)
Itineraries for beer, wine and cider tours are exploding across Ontario, and breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries are all tapping in. Operators are effectively leveraging tourism audiences to increase brand awareness and grow their business, while simultaneously helping to build an identity for their respective destinations. Learn how they transform local products into tourist treasure.
4. Sharing Economy: Alternative Applications
Moderator: Gordon Orr (CEO, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island)
In a short time, the sharing economy has moved beyond simply home or ride sharing. Sharing models are being explored to fill gaps in the local economy, provide services previously unavailable, and connect people and business in new, innovative ways. Delving into these alternative applications, panelists will discuss how the sharing economy can be harnessed for different goals and outcomes.
|12:15-1:15pm||LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD LUNCH|
Sponsored by Air Canada
|1:15-2:00pm||Secrets of Success|
Moderator: Greg Berti (Vice President, International Sales, Government & Industry Relations, Andrew Peller Limited);
What does it take to be an Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence winner? You’re about to find out. Explore the paths that led two past winners to their claim to fame at last year’s Ontario Tourism Summit, and what’s changed for them since being officially declared a winner.
|2:00-2:45pm||Elevating Tourism in Ontario with a Bold New Strategy|
Lisa LaVecchia – President & CEO, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC)OTMPC is about to embark on a new three-year strategic plan. Lisa will be providing a ‘sneak peek’ into the new bold and modern strategy that OTMPC will officially release in early 2018. As identified in the Strategic Framework for Tourism in Ontario – Growing Tourism Together, alignment will be a key part of the new strategic plan. Collaborating with industry, to lead the marketing of Ontario as a travel destination nationally and internationally, is essential to generating increased visitation and tourism expenditures. The presentation will include details on how the organization will evolve to become more dynamic and results driven to further deliver on making Ontario a preferred global destination.
Sponsored by Environics Analytics
Moderator: Del Rollo (Senior Director, Industry Relations & Estates, Arterra Wines Canada);
They say, ‘two is better than one’. This is especially true when it comes to tourism marketing; when partners come together to reach a larger audience, everyone benefits. How do you develop a successful tourism marketing partnership in Ontario? What does a profitable partnership look like? Two sets of tourism marketing team-ups will share their stories.
|4:00-5:00pm||It’s Greener in Costa Rica|
Roberto C. Dormond Cantú (Ambassador for Costa Rica in Canada)
Costa Rica is thriving thanks to its natural resources, attracting nearly three million international visitors in 2016—an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year. Realizing the importance of its biodiversity, Costa Rica is working towards being one of the world’s first carbon neutral countries. But how can this be done while encouraging an increase in visitation? Sustainable tourism is the answer.
Day Two Agenda
Agenda adjusted. For current agenda download the Fluid Events App:
|7:30-8:30am||Breakfast of Champions|
Sponsored by JLM Strategic Marketing
First Time Attendee Breakfast with TIAO Board of Directors
|8:45-9:15am||Driving the Data|
Sarah Martin (Vice President, Public Sector, MasterCard Advisors)
Tourists are relying on a multitude of online tools to plan their journeys. With travellers visiting an average of 38 travel sites leading up to a trip, reaching them can be difficult. Capturing timely, accurate, and meaningful marketing data on visitors is a major challenge. Mastercard will share some data insights into who Ontario’s key visitors are, and where they’re spending their money during their stay. By providing a 360° view of the traveller’s experience, Mastercard aims to help tourism providers improve marketing investments to attract their most valuable traveller segments. This approach often leads to more and repeat visits, greater revenue, and higher ROI within limited budget constraints.
|9:15-10:00am||Driving Local Engagement|
Moderator: Kathrine Christensen (Executive Director, 1000 Islands Accommodation Partners)
Tourism drives the economy. But how do you educate local communities on this to ensure a province-wide understanding of the benefits that tourism brings? Hear from counties that are working alongside their communities to grow local tourism for economic prosperity, including challenges such as combating the NIMBY phenomenon.
|10:00-10:30am||The Honourable Eleanor McMahon|
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Sponsored by SÉO
1. Leveraging Your Natural Assets
Moderator: Jennifer Mason (President, JLM Strategic Marketing);
Ontario is full of serene lakes, breathtaking nature and beautiful landscapes; each community boasts its own natural beauty, and its own unique collection of natural tourism assets. The question is: how do you build tourism around those assets? Three tour operators will discuss how they’re leveraging their surroundings to get visitors outside, while simultaneously growing a sustainable tourism business.
2. Kingston Tourism Success Stories
Moderator: Jim Byers (Travel Writer, JimByersTravel.com);
Calling all urbanites, history lovers and foodies — Kingston is the place to be. With a critical mass of attractions such as the Kingston Penitentiary, Kingston Food Tours, iconic trolleys, 1000 Islands Cruises and Winter’s Lumina Borealis, Kingston is quickly becoming a trending destination in Ontario. Hear from these successful attractions on how, collaboratively, they’re turning Kingston from a day-trip destination to one worth extended stays.
3. Planting the Seed, Nurturing the Brand and Harvesting the Experience: Destinations Invested in Growing Food Tourism
Moderator: Rebecca Mackenzie (President & CEO, Culinary Tourism Alliance);
Learn the ins and outs of developing taste of place. From hosting 7 Forums on Food Tourism across Northern Ontario, to developing the sold out Underwater Dining @ Lock 21 event, to building the Saints and Sinners Trail—tourism experts will provide insights into fundamentals of food tourism development.
4. It’s Your Shift — Sexual Violence & Intervention Hospitality Training
Victoria Behune (President & CEO, Ontario Tourism Education Corporation);
Developed in partnership by ORHMA, OTEC and THRC, the It’s Your Shift online training program and manager’s toolkit are being made available to industry on a complimentary basis this fall. This interactive presentation will include background information and videos on the issue of sexual violence and harassment in hospitality related businesses, the impact on those employed in the sector, and the repercussions to businesses that are not paying attention to this issue and Bill 132. Designed to introduce and highlight the components of It’s Your Shift, the session will provide owners, operators and managers with the next steps to access the online training program.
|11:30am-1:00pm||Lunch with Mini-Masterclass Tasting of Local Wine|
Magdalena Kaiser (Director of Public Relations, Marketing & Tourism, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario)
Discover Wine Country Ontario: Learn why international critics are calling Ontario “One of the most exciting wine regions in the world”.
|1:00-1:30pm||Selling Canada: Growing Markets, New Approaches|
David Robinson (Vice President, Strategy & Stakeholder Relations, Destination Canada)
It’s shaping up to be another record-breaking year for international tourism, but there’s no time to rest; Destination Canada is building on past success and preparing for the future. Listen to insider information from our national tourism marketing body that will set the stage for afternoon session topics. Special attention will be paid to two specific tourism markets— Chinese travellers and millennials— as well as how Canada can leverage its cultural heritage to welcome visitors from around the world.
|1:30-2:15pm||Mosaic Magic: Cultural Tourism in Ontario|
Moderator: Darlene Upton (Executive Director, Ontario and Waterways, Parks Canada)
People travel for many reasons, one of them being to experience different cultures. In Canada, we often refer to ourselves as a mosaic rather than a melting pot, due to the inclusion and celebration of all cultures that make us one. In Ontario, we celebrate and recognize our cultural assets in many ways—but how do we drive tourism around these assets and our celebrations of them? Learn how Ontario’s unique culture can be leveraged to attract visitors, and teach them about who we are and where we come from.
|2:15-3:00pm||Ready for the Chinese Travel Market|
Moderator: Grace Sammut (Executive Director, Resorts of Ontario)
China is quickly becoming one of our most important inbound tourism markets, with arrivals to Canada at an all-time high of 610,130 in 2016 (up 24 per cent from 2015). Important for tourism businesses to consider about tourists from China—as compared to other segments—is the way these travellers spend abroad. Learn from the experts about how to entice Chinese visitors to bring their dollars to your community, understanding differences in how they spend their money.
Sponsored by Prescott-Russell Tourism
|3:30-4:30pm||Innovation & Technology in Tourism: Targeting the Millennial Traveller|
Moderator: Kristy Adams (Program Coordinator/Professor, Hospitality Management – Hotel & Restaurant Program, Humber College)
Canada’s millennial population is one of the country’s fastest growing age demographics, considering newcomers to the country typically fall within the 18-35 age range. Understanding this generation is the first step in capturing their attention, but how do you set yourself apart from all the noise millennials are confronted with every day? Learn from those who have been successful in capitalizing on the evolving needs of this experience-focused, cost-conscious and socially-responsible cohort.
By invitation only
|6:00-7:00pm||Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Reception|
|7:00-10:00pm||Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner|
Sponsored by Niagara Falls Tourism
Welcome Reception Monday, Nov. 6 @ 6 p.m
Experience flavours of Niagara and Ontario while taking in the majesty of a natural world wonder. Sponsored by Niagara Falls Tourism and Niagara Parks, OTS17 delegates are invited to Table Rock Welcome Centre for a certified Feast On reception, featuring local Ontario cuisine, a selection of Niagara craft beer and VQA wines and live entertainment.
Guests will also be able to participate in the Journey Behind the Falls (a Canadian Signature Experience), and Niagara’s Fury—a 4D, 360° multi-sensory theatre.
Make sure you bring your OTS17 delegate badge, it’s also your ticket to all of the awesome activities!
To top off the evening, get ready for the new Falls illumination program, and fireworks over the Niagara gorge. BEST. WELCOME RECEPTION. EVER!
Things to Do in Niagara Falls
Walking Distance Map by Pete Kirby
Things to Do within a 10 minute walk of the Scotiabank Convention Centre…
Galleria Shops @ Fallsview Casino