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Accommodation Sector Research Study

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The Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) has undertaken a research project in an effort to better understand the needs of its accommodation sector stakeholders.  In order to conduct this research, the OHTO has contracted Pollara Inc., a leading national public opinion research firm, to execute the two-phase study.  Over the course of the next few weeks, accommodators within the Ontario’s Highlands region will be contacted to confirm their business profile and then subsequently, to complete a 15-minute online survey.  If you offer accommodations in Ontario’s Highlands your participation in this research process is encouraged, as it will assist the OHTO in understanding your needs and your opinions on the mandate of OHTO towards increasing tourism to Ontario’s Highlands.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this research project – we look forward to your contributions!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the OHTO?

The Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) is one of 13 Regional Tourism Organizations created by the Ontario government to increase tourism to the province. The OHTO covers a large region in eastern Ontario which includes the counties of Haliburton, Lanark, and Renfrew and portions of Frontenac, Hastings, and Lennox and Addington.

The OHTO’s mandate is to build and support a competitive tourism region through marketing and product development. The OHTO functions in partnership with established and recognized tourism organizations, municipalities and entities within the region to move forward in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration.

The OHTO operates as a membership based, not-for-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors and was founded in October 2010.

Why are you conducting this research?

The accommodation sector plays a pivotal role in the tourism industry.  The OHTO will gain valuable insight towards identifying opportunities to support and increase tourism to the region by understanding the regional accommodation offerings and the specific needs of this stakeholder group.  Research of this nature has not been conducted previously in the region and therefore the project will also provide current benchmarking measures to begin to track future performance. 

How will the research be conducted?

In Phase 1, Pollara will be contacting accommodation sector businesses and stakeholders to complete a very short contact profile (about five minutes).  This information will provide the OHTO with a regional scan of the accommodation offerings in the region and provide participating businesses the opportunity to become more informed of OHTO programming by updating relevant contact information.  Pollara will also seek permission to use this information for phase 2, and to transmit the information you provide back to OHTO for future contact use.

In Phase 2, Pollara will issue a survey invitation to you via email, if you have provided us with a contact email address.  Should you decline to be contacted via email, you will have the option to complete the survey through the ohto.ca website.  The survey should take approximately 15-minutes of your time, and will seek your opinions on a variety of topics pertaining to the mandate, programs, services, and events offered by the OHTO.  Your responses to this survey will remain confidential and reported in aggregate only.

What happens to the information you collect?

At the conclusion of the research process, the Phase 1 Contact Database will be turned over to the OHTO; Pollara does not sell or store this information, and in order to protect your anonymity when completing the online survey, does not append it to survey results.  Phase 2 survey results will be provided to the OHTO and distributed to respondents.  

Why me, and why now?

The OHTO was recently established by the Ontario government to grow tourism in Ontario’s Highlands.  The accommodation sector places a pivotal role in the tourism equation as tourists from out of town need a place to stay when they’re here – accommodations can offer packages, promotions, and services to help increase their length of stay.  Understanding the needs of this sector is critical towards increasing visitation to the region. 

There are two main reasons the OHTO is conducting this research right now.  First, Ontario’s Highlands is a new region and therefore tourism research pertaining to this specific area does not exist.  Secondly, the research that has been conducted for certain areas within the region is out of date and qualitative rather than quantitative in nature.  The OHTO recognizes the need to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research to determine the best strategies to increase tourism to the region.  On-going feedback from our stakeholders is always encouraged, but collecting information in this way will help us prioritize what programs and services are most important to offer today, tomorrow, and into the future.

Do I have to participate?

No, participation in the research study is voluntary.  We encourage your feedback and engagement in this process, as it will help us to serve you better – however we will not compel you to take part.

What’s in it for me?

Your participation will assist the OHTO in program development efforts that address your needs as an accommodator and ultimately towards increasing tourism to the region.  Telling us what is most important – or not important – to you as stakeholders will help us prioritize what actions we are best to take now, and down the road.

Additionally, summary reports of the Phase 2 survey results will be made available to all participating stakeholders for your information and reference.

Who is Pollara?

Pollara is a leading national public opinion research firm, based in Ontario.  For almost a quarter century, Pollara has provided strategic advice to corporations, governments, associations and other organizations based on strong, accurate measurement of opinions, attitudes, and perceptions – bringing core values of creativity, curiosity and expertise together to create success for their clients. Pollara is a Gold-Seal Member of the Marketing Research Intelligence Association (MRIA) and complies with all applicable privacy legislation in the conduct of its research studies.  To learn more about Pollara visit www.pollara.com.

How safe is the information that I provide?

The information collected by Pollara is stored and transmitted using secure servers and processes.  In Phase 1, the contact information you provide is used for two purposes: to contact you for the Phase 2 research, and to provide the OHTO with your business profile to better communicate with you about programs, services, and initiatives most relevant to you.  If you do not wish to be contacted for these purposes, your information will be removed from our systems and you will not be contacted for Phase 2 or by the OHTO.

The contact information that you provide is not attached to your responses in the Phase 2 survey; your individual responses remain anonymous and will be combined with those of others to be reported in aggregate only.

Following the completion of Phase 2 research, Pollara will transmit the Phase 1 contact information to the OHTO and separately, distribute the report of survey results to those who have participated.  Contact information of participating organizations will then be removed from all research systems.  Pollara does not store or sell your contact information.

What if I have more questions?

If you have questions about this research project, please feel free to contact Nicole Whiting at 613-629-6486 or ac.otho]ta[gnitihw.elocin.

If you wish to contact Pollara directly, please feel free to contact Katherine Valiquette at moc.arallop]ta[etteuqilavenirehtak

 Thank you in advance for your participation in this research project – we look forward to your contributions!

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About Us

The Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) is one of 13 Regional Tourism Organizations created by the Ontario government to increase tourism to the province. The OHTO covers a large region in eastern Ontario which includes the counties of Frontenac, Haliburton, Hastings, Lanark, Lennox and Addington, and Renfrew.

Government of Ontario

Get In Touch

Our office hours are 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization
9 International Drive, Suite 129
Pembroke, ON K8A 6W5

Phone: 613-629-6486

Toll Free: 855-629-6486

Fax: 613-629-6488

Email: ac.otho]ta[ofni

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