Pembroke, ON (March 13, 2012) – Ontario’s Highlands, a newly established tourism region encompassing the Counties of Haliburton, Lanark, and Renfrew, and parts of Frontenac, Hastings, and Lennox & Addington, is quickly becoming a renown travel destination for geology enthusiasts. There is a wealth of diverse geological assets throughout the entire region, which most notably is home to both the Mineral and Ordovician Fossil Capitals of Canada. With consumers increasingly demanding unique and adventurous travel experiences, there is significant potential of developing these geological assets as tourist attractors, which lead to one of the first product development initiatives of the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO). Over the past year, the OHTO, in collaboration with communities across the region, has contributed to significant improvements to what is now known as the Recreational Geology tourism experience, with many more developments to come.
“There are many exciting initiatives that have begun over the past year to improve our geological assets from a tourism perspective,” says Michael Bainbridge, Recreational Geology Project Coordinator for the OHTO. “From restoring the famed Dr. Wilson Collection at the Perth Museum, to securing the rights to public mineral collecting sites, to participating in the geology-themed documentary The Land Between, Ontario’s Highlands is becoming the premiere destination for uncovering Canada’s most profound hidden geological treasures.”
To support the development of this tourism experience, the OHTO recognizes the importance of raising awareness amongst the tourism industry about how this experience could potentially drive visitation to local communities. The OHTO invites tourism stakeholders, EDOs, accommodators, attraction operators and anyone with a keen interest in the geology of Ontario’s Highlands to attend one of three information sessions offered between April 10 and 12. These information sessions will run from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm and will be held on Tuesday, April 10 at the River’s Edge Golf & Country Club in Bancroft; on Wednesday, April 11 at the Eagle’s Nest Community Hall in Eganville; and on Thursday, April 12 at the Codes Mill Inn & Spa in Perth. Attendance is free of charge, and lunch is provided.
The sessions will include a presentation by Michael Bainbridge who will speak about what makes Recreational Geology a truly unique offering for Ontario’s Highlands, present the development progress to date, outline plans for the future, and answer questions about how you can benefit from, and build on, the initiative. After lunch, there will be a brief regional update by Stephanie Hessel, the OHTO’s Tourism Development and Industry Relations Coordinator, followed by a special presentation by Leora Berman, Executive Director of The Land Between. She will give an engaging talk about the special ecotone that covers much of the region, and how everything is linked to geology – flora, fauna, heritage and culture – giving you food for thought about how to find, package, and present opportunities for Recreational Geology in ways you might never have considered.
Space is limited. If you wish to attend one of the information sessions in Bancroft, Eganville, or Perth, please RSVP to ac.otho]ta[ygoloeg by March 29th.
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 sub-regional marketing organizations, 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 Michael Bainbridge, Recreational Geology Project Coordinator, at ac.otho]ta[ygoloeg