In November of 2015, Tourism Northern Ontario announced Tourism Excellence North (TEN) at the 2015 Northern Ontario Tourism Summit. TEN is a tourism development program that answers the Quality Shift recommendations in the Northern Ontario Tourism Product Development Strategy and is designed to help operators, organizations and communities make significant, quality investments in their business or operation, guiding them to increase the quality of their product, and ultimately increasing positive visitor experience in the region.
TEN is the result of a FedNor orientation to VISIT, an east coast program of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Tourism Atlantic, which took place in Sudbury in 2014. The Northern Ontario program, TEN, has been in development for the past two years by Tourism Northern Ontario and Explorer’s Edge with funding support from FedNor, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM). “We have been fortunate to work with like-minded partners as we move forward with this initiative,” said Marty Kalagian, President of Tourism Northern Ontario. “It is obvious that product development in the North is a priority for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and we are excited to begin initial assessments with operators. After seeing the tremendous success a similar project had on the East Coast of Canada, I am encouraged to see TEN get off the ground with help from our provincial and federal partners.”
In the fall of 2015, Tourism Northern Ontario and Explorer’s Edge hired an executive coordinator to further develop Tourism Excellence North. Karen Peacock has been working on the launch of this program over the past several months. To date, an interim web portal has been developed with available on-line self-assessment tools for operators, organizations and communities and in both official languages. Attention is now turning to developing a network of brokers and trainers to connect all aspects of the program with industry. Peacock plans to have the first participants in the program before spring. The first two years of the program will be considered a pilot with a full roll-out in 2018.
If you are interested in Tourism Excellence North, or to find out more information, please visit www.tourismexcellencenorth.ca.