Pembroke, ON (July 5, 2011) – The Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) has announced the winner of the iPad 2 in their Tourism Starts with You contest, part of their grassroots effort to increase tourism to this region. Recognizing that most people who live in the area may not consider it as a tourist destination, the OHTO set out to to change this attitude and to inform the local population that Tourism Starts with You. People were encouraged to share the attractions and experiences that they love about Ontario’s Highlands at www.tourismstartswithyou.com, and every submission counted as an entry into the contest. The winning entry was selected at random from over 570 submissions received throughout the contest period, which ran from the end of March to June, 2011.
Lynda Larsen-Baldry from Kanata won the contest by submitting one of her favourite experiences in the Ontario’s Highlands region: whitewater rafting on the Ottawa River. Larsen-Baldry chose whitewater rafting because “it is fun and you can get all your friends and family together for a day or a weekend and see what they are made of. You can let it all hang out and after it is over you can relax and have fun talking about how it went.” Whitewater rafting has a strong association with the region, as the Ottawa River was recently named the number two rafting destination worldwide by travel website www.cheapflights.com. The region is also home to the Ottawa Valley, the Whitewater Capital of Canada.
“This is a great winning submission to highlight some of the amazing world-class experiences and attractions that Ontario’s Highlands has to offer,” explains Leah Piltz, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the OHTO. “We as a community need to promote these kinds of assets. Tourism has a significant part to play in the local economy; one that can create jobs and brining in new financial resources to the area. As a large amount of visitors to the region are those visiting their friends and family, local residents become de facto tourism experts and need to be informed about all the things we have to offer. ”
The contest for the iPad 2 may be over, but submissions of favourite experiences and attractions are still encouraged at the Tourism Starts with You website. Past entries can also be viewed, which include everything from Movies Under the Stars in Smiths Falls to the Marmora Mine in Marmora and the Forest Festival in Haliburton. Submissions will be featured on the Ontario’s Highlands Facebook page and at the upcoming Ontario’s Highlands visitor information website at www.ontarioshighlands.ca.
The OHTO is a not-for-profit organization mandated by the Province of Ontario to increase tourism within the counties of Haliburton, Lanark, and Renfrew and portions of Frontenac, Hastings, and Lennox and Addington. The OHTO works in collaboration with eight DMOs, tourism agencies and authorities including: Algonquin Nation, Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce, ComfortCountry.ca, Haliburton Highlands, Lanark County Tourism, Land O’ Lakes Tourist Association, Ottawa Valley Tourist Association, and the Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association. Find out more about the OHTO at http://www.ohto.ca
For more information, please contact Leah Piltz, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, at 613-629-6486 or ac.otho]ta[ztlip.hael