Home » Industry » You Are Invited to OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM!

You Are Invited to OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM!

You Are Invited to OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM!

OHTO's 2013 Tourism Conference & AGM
OHTO's 2013 Tourism Conference & AGM

The Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) invites all members, tourism operators and partners in Ontario’s Highlands to our 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM at the Pinestone Resort and Conference Centre in Haliburton on October 27-28, 2014.

With a theme of “Making the Shift: Realizing the Potential of Rural Tourism”, the two-day conference is expected to draw a crowd of tourism supporters interested in strengthening our region’s identity as a memorable travel destination by embracing our unique rural experiences and placing visitors at the heart of all destination development and promotional activities.

The conference will launch with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the morning of October 27, followed by a day of engaging keynote sessions:

  • Dorothy Payne, Chair and President of Synergy Louisburg, will present the visitor-centric strategies that helped a destination faced with similar challenges as Ontario’s Highlands, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, to activate community support for tourism and keep the momentum going. 
  • Fred Sheppard, Park Interpreter for Gros Morne National Park, will share his expertise in successfully creating compelling visitor experiences through the incorporation of storytelling into the travel offer.
  • Marc Whitehead of Karo Group, an award winning marketing agency and  experts in experiential tourism, will share the stage with Nicole Whiting, OHTO‘s Executive Director, to present the organization’s new brand platform and vision for the future.

The OHTO has released descriptions of 11 workshops that will be held on the second day of the conference, October 28. Workshops will provide attendees with an opportunity to hone their skills and learn from some of the leading names in the tourism industry and equip members with greater ability to partner and implement experience-based tactics. Topics will include: enhancing your travel offer through storytelling, maximizing on digital opportunities to cost effectively connect with consumers, tapping into the power of TripAdvisor,  successfully applying for financial assistance,  tips for getting free exposure from travel media and identifying a target market based on the new Ontario travel profiles.

A full workshop schedule, along with descriptions and presenter bios, can be found on the OHTO’s website.

Workshop registration is now open and available on a first come, first serve basis

OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM will also offer attendees opportunities to network around tourism ideas and attend an OHTO-hosted networking reception at the Pinestone Resort following Day 1 activities. 

Registration for the two day conference is $80.  There is no fee to attend the AGM portion of the conference (October 27th from 10-11 a.m.)


Click Here for More Information & Registration!




Day 1 – AGM & Keynote Sessions

 9:30                 Registration
10:00                AGM Presentations and Voting
11:00                AGM Closes
11:00                Networking Break
11:30                OHTO Recap – “Successful Destinations & Current Challenges
11:35                Keynote Speaker – Dorothy Payne, President and Chair, Synergy Louisbourg
                        “Synergy Louisbourg: A Community Engagement Case Study
12:30                Lunch
1:30                  Keynote Speaker – Fred Sheppard, Park Interpreter, Gros Morne National Park
                        “Speaking with an Authentic Voice: Sharing Stories that Connect Hearts and Minds
2:30                  Networking Break 
3:00                  Keynote Speaker – Marc Whitehead, Karo Group and Nicole Whiting, OHTO
                        “Making the Shift: Realizing Our Potential
4:00                  Closing Remarks and Draw Prizes
4:30                  Networking Reception 

Click here for a full Day 1 Agenda, including keynote descriptions

Day 2 – Workshops

8:30                    Refreshments & Networking

9:00 – 12:00     Morning Workshops

Animating the Experience: The Path to Cultural Connections
Fred Sheppard, Park Interpreter, Gros Morne National Park

We are Storytellers: Connecting with Travel Media”
Hélèna Katz,Travel Journalist and Tourism Copywriter

Ontario’s Highlands Success Stories: Industry Panel
Various Industry Stakeholders & Business Owners
(9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)

Engaging Employees: It’s Easier Than You Think!
Barry Chapman, Senior Partner, TwoGreySuits
(9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)

Need Financial Assistance?: Ontario Ministry Funders Panel
Various Representatives from Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
(10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

Score Five Stars with Your Visitors: Direct from TripAdvisor
Andrew Wiens, TripAdvisor
(10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

12:00 – 1:00        Lunch & Networking

1:00 – 4:00         Afternoon Workshops

Animating the Experience: The Story of Our Earth
Fred Sheppard, Park Interpreter, Gros Morne National Park

The Perfect Pitch: One-on-One Sessions
Hélèna Katz, Travel Journalist and Tourism Copywriter

Master Digital Without a PhD: Simple Strategies for Connecting With Your Visitors
Gaylene MacDonald, Karo Group

Reach Your Best Customers: A Deep Look at Your Target Visitor
Kathryn Forgacs, OTMPC

Take Off with Travel Trade: An Introduction to Engaging with Domestic & International Travel Trade
Holly Blefgen, Ontario Outdoor Adventures

4:00                  Closing & Departure

Click here for a full Day 2 Agenda, including workshop descriptions and presenter bios.


Other Ways You Can Get Involved 

Help us make this year’s event the best in our four-year history by getting involved in the following ways:

  • Are you an OHTO member? The Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization is looking for energetic, positive and collaborative strategic thinkers to contribute to the growth of tourism in the region by volunteering to serve as a Director of the Board.  Opportunities to fill vacancies are available for those residing in Haliburton Highlands, North Hastings, Tweed, Madoc, Marmora, Stirling, Addington Highlands, North and Central Frontenac or First Nations. Deadline for submissions is September 15th. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the OHTO.
  • VOLUNTEER! – There is no better way to get to know your tourism peers than by assisting us with attendee services during the conference. We are seeking volunteers for both days of the event – October 27 and October 28.
  • Promote your business as part of our guest incentive package. If you operate in the #MyHaliburtonHighlands region, send us your special coupons and promotional items from your company to be included as part of our conference incentive package.

 For more information about the OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM, please contact us via email or by calling 1-855-629-6486. 

We look forward to welcoming you at this year’s event!

This entry was posted in Industry, News.

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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