Working in the tourism industry can be tough during the busy summer season. The visitors are arriving in droves, lodges are booked to capacity, museum exhibits must be prepared, marketing schemes arranged, and you’re beginning to feel like you’re the one who needs the vacation. It’s during these moments when the exertion, due to a pile-up of logistics, accounting, networking events and more, can make you forget about why you ended up in this industry in the first place. Your passion for the tourism product you promote, and belief that others just have to experience it too, is what makes you put in those early mornings and late nights.
So, I’m here to remind you that it’s time to take a breather. A great big one too! Full of fresh and pure Ontario’s Highland air. It’s time to get out and explore.
Whether you represent a tourism region for a Destination Marketing Organization, or a single attraction such as a theatre or restaurant, remembering what it feels like to truly experience the activity(s) first hand, like a tourist does, is important to staying energized and motivated. It might be enjoying a day at the lodge you work at, or returning to a museum you haven’t visited in years. But whatever it is, it will remind you of all the great attributes that make it an experience worth having.
I recently had the chance to spend a few Saturdays road-tripping through various sub-regions across Ontario’s Highlands. One of said road-trips went a little like this:
With nothing holding me back from playing “tourist” in my own backyard for a day, I filled the tank with gas, grabbed a few snacks, threw CBC on the radio and hit the road. My destination: Pakenham and Almonte in the charming Ottawa Valley. I visited antique stores (Almonte is full of them!), had coffee in quaint country cafes, visited the famed Pakenham Five-Span Stone Bridge for some fun photography shots, walked the trails of Mill of Kintail Conservation Area and visited their great museum, and stopped in at the Mississippi Mills Textile Museum to see their exhibit of original fibre art by artist Juanita Suavé. I ended the day lapping up the sun on a patio adorning the Mississippi river that runs through Almonte.
Taking the time to remove myself from the office and remind my senses of why the Ontario’s Highlands region truly is a sight to be seen, is exactly what I needed to push through the next half of the busy summer tourism season. Readers of this blog are encouraged to follow suit. Relax and recharge by returning to your tourism roots!
Yours in tourism,
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization