Did you know that the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) offers marketing partnership opportunities for tourism operators located within Ontario’s Highlands? Partnering with OHTO allows operators and OHTO to pool resources to generate more buzz about tourism offerings and ultimately bring more success to operators.

OHTO by the Numbers

Each year, OHTO’s website ComeWander.ca generates more than 550,000 page views to stories highlighting tourism experiences within the region, and generates more than 35,000 direct clicks to tourism operators. Being featured in an OHTO story is a good opportunity to build brand awareness for experiences and generate more sales.  

OHTO’s social media channels on Facebook and Instagram have an engaged audience of more than 30,000 followers located throughout Ontario, but mostly centred in the urban areas of Ottawa, Kingston, and the Greater Toronto Area. Engagement on OHTO’s social channels is strong, with millions of views each year.  

Why Partner with OHTO?

Partnering with OHTO is a win-win for both OHTO and the tourism operator. It gives OHTO a chance to create more engaging and trend-worthy content on social media, build digital asset databases for photo and video, and generate more awareness of tourism offerings for the operator and in the region.

Partnership assists the operator by expanding the business reach into a new and wider market, and develop a stronger understanding of the experience within the OHTO team. It is a good way to put some “skin in the game” for both OHTO and the operator, for the mutual success of both.  

How to Partner

Partnership with OHTO can be as simple as hosting a Local Wanderer, assisting with the development of a photo shoot at your location, or welcoming an OHTO team member to get a better sense of your offerings. Below are a few examples of how you can partner with OHTO:

Host a Local Wanderer

Each year OHTO assigns “Local Wanderers” to take part in an experience in Ontario’s Highlands and then write about it in a story, capture imagery, and produce a reel. The story, images, and reel are then used by OHTO to post on social media channels (with 30,000 following), as well as shared on the Local Wanderer’s social platforms as a collaborator.  

Hosting a Local Wanderer is a great opportunity to gain more exposure for your business and one of the easiest ways to get featured in an OHTO story. OHTO pays the Local Wanderer and businesses can offer either a reduced rate (often 50% reduction) or no cost for the experience. All Local Wanderer stories are shared on social media and accompanied by a paid marketing campaign, paid for by OHTO. 

Partner through a Photo Shoot

Aggregating digital assets through photo shoots is time consuming and expensive for OHTO – it means paying the operator who is hosting the experience, the photographer who is capturing the experience, as well as the models. When an operator offers to partner for a photo shoot, they are being part of the process that will ultimately lead to more exposure for their business.  

Photos featured on the ComeWander.ca website are tagged with their business name whenever possible, with a direct link for visitors to access, and the business can also access the photos to use on their website or social media. They get all the benefits of a photo shoot without having to worry about the coordination or cost involved in booking a photographer and models. 

Partner through Booker

Booker is a digital booking pathway to enhance the online booking process for both consumers and operators, to help businesses turn “just looking” into actual bookings. Booker can assist operators in increasing revenue generation and targeting new markets. Operators who opt into Booker will have a direct booking button added to any content relating to their experience on the ComeWander.ca website. This will give consumers an option to skip a step and go straight to booking an experience or accommodation.  

The Booker online booking platform is offered at a comparable cost to other booking platforms, only OHTO receives a small percentage of the booking fee which can then be used to fund additional marketing of the region and operators. This is a partnership in the truest sense!  

Partnership Success Stories

OHTO has partnered with several businesses over the last year, with some notable results for both the participating operator and for OHTO.  

Booker and Dimensions Retreats

Dimensions Retreats was the very first business to give live with Booker, and the results for this operator have been highly positive, leading to bookings within the first month for all three of their wellness programs.  https://ohto.ca/news-events/booker-bringing-bookings-dimensions-retreats

What Dimensions Received: Dimensions’ Booker button was featured on the ComeWander.ca website in all stories where their business was mentioned, with a direct booking option for website visitors.  

What OHTO Received: A small percentage of the booking fee and content for social channels

A screenshot of a webpage is shown here
The screenshot above demonstrates Dimensions Algonquin Highlands' Booker and its elegant integration on the Come Wander website. 

Photo Shoot at Old Mill Manor

Almonte Old Mill Manor connected with OHTO for ideas on how to promote their business. They were happy to host a Local Wanderer and to assist with a photo shoot to capture imagery that could be used by OHTO for other stories where their business could also be featured.  

In April 2024, the Old Mill Manor hosted a group of five guests from the Hastings County theatrical production company, Tweed & Co. for a creative retreat for that group.

What Old Mill Manor Received: Access to more than 100 high quality professional photos of their accommodation and the experience there. A story written by Tweed & Co. will be shared on OHTO’s social channels in late May about their overnight experience for their creative retreat during the shoot.

What OHTO Received: Content for use on ComeWander.ca and social channels and access to high quality professional photographs that can be used for future stories.  

Cathy from Catwood Photography takes a photo of the group from Tweed & Co. at Almonte Old Mill Manor.

Local Wanderer Visit to Calabogie Peaks

In 2024 a Local Wanderer wrote a story that was part of the Locally Inspired campaign, featuring Laurent Coolibaly and downhill skiing at Calabogie Peaks. OHTO connected with Calabogie Peaks about a partnership in which they would donate free passes to the ski hill for the photographer and models for the video to accompany the story, and also for the Local Wanderer and guest.  

As a result of this partnership, Calabogie Peaks was featured in three stories – an itinerary, a list of winter experiences, and the Local Wanderer story. They were also featured in the video.  

What Calabogie Peaks Received: Total exposure through OHTO’s social channels of 250,000 impressions, 150,000 reach, 9,000 engagement, 4,800 video plays and 177 reel interactions.  

What OHTO Received: Content for use on ComeWander.ca and social channels, access to high quality professional photographs, video, and reel. 

Local Wanderer, Rachael Harding, is shown here at Calabogie Peaks where she visited as part of Calabogie Peaks' partnership with OHTO. 

Local Wanderer Visit to Dimensions Retreats

In late 2023 Dimensions Retreats reached out to OHTO to inform them of a new wellness retreat experience they were offering. This coincided with a planned story for January 2024 about wellness retreats as a post-holiday de-stressing option, and sourcing additional imagery had already been identified as a need for that story’s success.

In January 2024, Dimensions Retreats hosted a Local Wanderer who produced a story, photos, and a reel that was shared on OHTO’s social channels. In addition, the Local Wanderer (who was also a professional photographer) provided both OHTO and Dimensions with high quality images that could be used by both.  

What Dimensions Received: High quality imagery of their accommodation and experience, including their new wellness retreat. Exposure on social media through OHTO’s social channels. Exposure for their new Booker link on ComeWander.ca which was featured in both the wellness retreats story as well as the Local Wanderer story. 

What OHTO Received: Content for use on ComeWander.ca and social channels, access to high quality professional photographs that can be used for future stories.

Local Wanderer Danielle Meredith is also a professional photographer. Danielle stayed at Dimensions Retreats for their winter wellness retreat and wrote an article about it, took more than 50 professional photos and produced a reel. 

I Want to Partner!

If you are an active OHTO member you are eligible to partner with OHTO one a marketing project like those described above. Claim your member listing and profile with OHTO (it’s free!) by clicking here.  

If you are interested in entering into a partnership with OHTO for any of the above partnership ideas, please complete the following form:  

Host a Local Wanderer

Host a Photo Shoot

Learn More About Booker