In November of 2015, Tourism Northern Ontario (RTO13) announced Tourism Excellence North (TEN), a tourism development program created by Tourism Northern Ontario (TNO) and Explorer’s Edge (EE/RTO12) with support from FedNor, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS), and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM). TEN addresses recommendations in the Northern Ontario Tourism Product Development Strategy and is designed to help operators, communities and destinations 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.
In order to share TEN with operators, communities and destinations across the North, orientation sessions were held in Thunder Bay, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie to educate key economic development and tourism professionals on the program. 75 brokers were successfully trained to assist tourism operators, communities or destinations to fill out self-assessment forms and potentially, recommend them to continued learning and training through the program. Brokers gave positive feedback on the orientation saying, “the session was great – provided a perfect jumping off point for my community”, and “For a pilot I felt that there was a great amount of information. I feel very confident to deliver these tools to my community.” A fourth orientation session will be held Monday, November 14th concurrently with the 2016 Northern Ontario Tourism Summit.
Since the program rolled out in the fall of 2015, almost 90 operators (lodge operators, tourism service providers, etc.), and approximately 70 communities and destinations have been engaged through the program.
For operators that were able to move forward in a timely manner with their TEN training, “Fast Track to Success” was suggested to help improve the quality of their offer, enhance their visitor’s experience and contribute to a healthy bottom line. When asked what they enjoyed most about their experience in Fast Track to Success, participants said, “[the program provided] a fresh set of eyes and an unbiased report,” and “[the TEN Specialist] really cared about the business and was authentic. He spent more time with us than I expected and his feedback was relevant.”
“TEN is now rolling out group learning workshops to help operators, communities and destinations extend their visitors stay and create tourism products and services unique to their businesses and to Northern Ontario. These workshops are being offered at no cost in Sudbury, Killarney and Temiskaming Shores but have limited seating so it’s important to register today,” said Karen Peacock, Coordinator for TEN.
Tourism Northern Ontario is one of 13 not-for-profit regional tourism organizations funded by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. We are the largest tourism region in geography, the second largest in expenditure and the only region that includes sub-regions.
Tourism Northern Ontario coordinates, aligns and invests in sub-regional programs and leads in identified pan-northern management functions; co-ordination of marketing, product development, workforce and industry training, and investment attraction with the ultimate goal to significantly increase tourism revenues in Northern Ontario.
Increased visitation and yield are achieved by delivering programs designed to enhance existing tourism products and developing new tourism opportunities for the North.
For more information on Tourism Northern Ontario, please visit www.tourismnorthernontario.com.