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FAQ (About RTOs)

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture answers to the most common questions about Regional Tourism Organizations.

How do I ensure that the interests of tourism businesses in my area are represented in the RTO?

To get involved in developing the RTO for your region, please contact:

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

Telephone: 613-629-6486
Toll Free: 855-629-6486
Fax: 613.629.6488

Click here for more information on Regional Tourism Organizations and the Ministry of Tourism.

If accommodation providers currently collect a destination marketing fee (DMF), will they get more representation on an RTO’s board?

It will be up to each RTO to determine its own board structure and membership.

Who will make decisions about RTO board structure and membership?

It will be up to each RTO to determine its own board structure and membership.

How are existing DMOs going to stay intact if they could potentially be competing with RTOs for funding?

The ministry's expectation is that the RTO will work with all tourism partners in the region to enhance and grow that region's tourism products and marketing activities.

Will RTOs work collaboratively with current DMOs in the region?

The ministry's expectation is that the RTO will work with all tourism partners in the region to enhance and grow that region's tourism products and marketing activities.

There may be variation among regions in how the RTOs and existing DMOs decide to work together.

What role will existing DMOs and sectoral organizations have once RTOs for each region are established?

RTOs will be responsible for working with tourism partners to enhance and grow that region's tourism products and marketing activities. As independent, industry-led organizations, RTOs will operate differently in different parts of the province. RTOs will, however, be accountable for growing tourism business, including working with existing marketing organizations and others involved in tourism.

How will regions benefit from an RTO versus existing Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs)?

During consultations conducted for the Tourism Competitiveness Study, stakeholders observed that:

  • There are multiple organizations involved in marketing at the regional level, reducing the efficiency of marketing resources and effectiveness of any single DMO;
  • Most Ontario DMOs focus on marketing but not on the management of whole regions as tourism destinations;
  • Organizations involved in marketing and management of a region need to come together as an industry to have better success; and
  • The size and diversity of the province dictate the need for a regional approach to tourism marketing (within an overall provincial strategy).

By providing regional leadership and coordination, RTOs will help build and support competitive and sustainable tourism regions that are better able to attract more visitors, generate more economic activity, and create more jobs across the province.

The ministry's expectation is that the RTO will work with all tourism partners in the region to enhance and grow that region's tourism products and marketing activities.

Why are RTOs needed? How will RTOs benefit the tourism industry?

RTOs will help ensure a more coordinated approach is applied to tourism marketing and management across the province. By providing regional leadership and coordination, RTOs will help build competitive and sustainable tourism regions that are better able to attract more visitors, generate more economic activity, and create more jobs across the province.

What is an RTO? What is an RTO’s expected role?

RTOs will be independent, industry-led, not-for-profit organizations responsible for working with tourism partners to enhance and grow each region's tourism products and marketing activities. By providing regional leadership and coordination, RTOs will help build and support competitive and sustainable tourism regions that are better able to attract more visitors, generate more economic activity and create more jobs across the province.

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.

Address:
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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You may also call 1-855-629-6486 in order to register your business directly with OHTO.

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