National Tourism Week is coming up fast and here in Ontario’s Highlands we know first-hand how important tourism is to our communities. As home to more than one thousand tourism-based businesses – from accommodations to eateries, retail shops, and experience providers – our communities depend on tourism to support the regional attractions they cherish and which draw nearly 4 million visitors each year.  

This year OHTO is encouraging tourism operators and stakeholders to recognize National Tourism Week in an effort generate more understanding and public awareness of why tourism is so important to our region.  

Now in its 14th year, National Tourism Week (NTW) is a dynamic, weeklong national social media campaign orchestrated by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).  In 2024, the theme is “Canada: Powered by Tourism,” a message which echoes the undeniable truth that tourism is a cornerstone of Canada’s prosperity.  

Tourism is a key driver to Canada’s prosperity, creating 1 in 15 jobs in Canada today and contributing over $100 billion in spending to the economy. In Ontario, tourism generates over $66 billion revenue and employs 622,000 people within its sub-industries.

More than just an economic driver, tourism weaves its impact through the cultural tapestry of Canada, reflecting the diverse ideals, people and communities that form the heart of our nation.

Ontario’s Highlands: Powered by Tourism

It is Ontario’s Highlands’ remote spaces, biological diversity, and collection of small, vibrant communities that makes it such a coveted travel destination for hikers, paddlers, cyclists, cottage goers, fisher people, and small-town lovers.  

Each year our region attracts millions of visitors of all backgrounds and interests, from intrepid adventurers to those seeking quiet and contemplation as a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Tourism to our region leads to more residents and financial investment, while also fostering a sense of local pride and community that inevitably deepens the culture here. Tourism increases the quality of life in our rural areas and creates a true sense of place for those who live and work here.  

This is, after all, why we have chosen to call this destination home.  

Of course, part of supporting and recognizing tourism in Ontario’s Highlands necessarily involves supporting the conservation and preservation of the very natural spaces that are such a contributor for visitation.  

Through its Wander Sustainably approach, the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) has created a framework to support and grow the community and culture while protecting the environment and its ecosystems. The key is to conserve what’s here so we can all continue to enjoy the vast stretches of untouched forest, plentiful lakes, and diversity of flora and fauna for generations to come.

We are committed to growing the sustainable footprint in our tourism operators and stakeholders for the benefit of all.

How OHTO is Supporting Tourism Week

In support of Tourism Week in 2024, we have created a diversified approach to support our members, spread the word to a broader audience, and support TIAC’s endeavors.  

Over the course of the week, we will be:  

  • Sharing relevant and supporting messaging on our industry social channels on Facebook (RTO11 – Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization) and on Twitter (OHTO Industry)
  • Sharing tourism statistics that demonstrate the tangible and quantitative impact tourism has on our region
  • Turning green for #GoGreen to support TIAC’s messaging
  • Sharing the message behind OHTO’s Wander Sustainably approach
  • Sharing videos of OHTO’s members as they share their own stories and tourism journeys
  • Distributing a media release to raise awareness of the significance of tourism for communities

How You Can Participate in Tourism Week

Are you convinced of the impact tourism has for your business and community and want to get involved in supporting Tourism Week? Here are two easy ways operators and stakeholders can join forces with OHTO and TiAC:

Go Green on Social - As part of the #GoGreen social media campaign during Tourism Week, going green raises awareness of the industry’s economic, social, and cultural importance. Operators and stakeholders are encouraged to share photos to tell the story of tourism on social media and use the hashtags #TourismWeekCanada2024, #GoGreen, and #WanderSustainably. Don’t forget to tag TIAC and Ontario’s Highlands on:

  • Facebook (@TIACAITC)  
  • LinkedIn (tourism-industry-association-canada)
  • X (formerly Twitter) (@@tiac_aitc)  
  • Instagram (tiac_aitc)

Spread the Word with OHTO – During the campaign OHTO will be posting a video on Facebook (@OHTOInsider) and Twitter (@OHTOInsider) featuring tourism stakeholders sharing why tourism is important to them. Operators and stakeholders are invited to:

  • Share a short 15-20 second video answering the question of: "Describe what you like most about living and/or working in your community."  
  • Upload the video to OHTO and help us spread the word on how Ontario’s Highlands is powered by tourism. To upload to OHTO, click here and follow the instructions on that page. Videos must be received by  end of day, Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

*Remember to use the appropriate hashtags when sharing your Tourism Week content - #TourismWeekCanada2024, #GoGreen, and #WanderSustainably.

For more information please visit the TIAC website where you can also access additional resources to share on social media, and their toolkit.  

Thank you for supporting tourism in Ontario's Highlands!