Day One — Monday, November 6

Networking Breakfast

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Mayor Jim

Balancing Tourism Growth & Local Expectations in Iceland

Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir (Director, Icelandic Tourist Board)

How do you keep your citizens happy when five times the size of the population visit your country each year? How do you protect your natural resources when they are becoming the key attraction to 2.3 million annual visitors? These are some of the challenges facing Iceland as its tourism economy has skyrocketed in the past few years. Director General

Topic: Indigenous Tourism

Speaker TBA


Concurrent Sessions

1.    How to Pitch your Destination to New Media

Marc Smith (30 Day Adventures)

Is your new release falling on deaf ears? Not getting the story pickup you want or believe your destination deserves? Learn from a digital storyteller what gets his attention, and how you can successfully pitch your destination as the next trip worth taking. Epic failures and soaring success stories will be shared. One Ontario destination will be highlighted as a case study of how to pitch your destination to new media.


2.    Topic: Accessibility within the Tourism Industry

Speaker TBA

3.    Cheers: Elevating Product Through Tourism

Speakers TBA

Itineraries for beer, wine and cider tours are exploding across Ontario, and breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries are all tapping in. Operators are effectively leveraging tourism audiences to increase brand awareness and grow their business, while simultaneously helping to build an identity for their respective destinations. Learn how they transform local products into tourist treasure.

Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch

Concurrent Sessions

1. Leveraging Your Natural Assets

Jennie Elmslie (Co-Owner, Free Spirit Tours)

Jennifer Whitely (Executive Director, Ontario's Lake Country)

+ more TBA


2. Kingston Tourism Success Stories

Hugh Mackenzie (General Manager, Kingston Destination Group)

Daniel Barrett (Co-Owner, Kingston Food Tours)

Geoff Waycik (Manager — Historic Sites, St. Lawrence Parks Commission)

Calling all urbanites, history lovers and foodies — Kingston is the place to be. With the success of attractions such as the Kingston Penitentiary, Kingston Food Tours, 1000 Islands Cruises and Lumina Borealis, Kingston is quickly becoming a trending destination in Ontario. Hear from these successful attractions on how they're turning Kingston from a day-trip destination to a full weekend of activities.  


3.  Topic: Culinary Tourism Destinations

Speakers TBA


4. It's Your Shift — Sexual Violence & Intervention Hospitality Training

Ontario Tourism Education Corporation

Ontario Restaurants, Hotels & Motels Association

Tourism HR Canada


OTMPC Update

Lisa LaVecchia (CEO, OTMPC)

Profitable Partnerships

Andrew Weir (Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Tourism Toronto)

Rebecca Lamb (Destination Development & Marketing Coordinator, The Corporation of the County of Prince Edward)

It's Greener in Costa Rica

Roberto C. Dormond Cantú (Ambassador for Costa Rica in Canada)

First Time Attendees Networking Reception

Welcome Reception

Presented by Niagara Falls Tourism & Niagara Parks Commission 

Day Two — Tuesday, November 7

Breakfast of Champions

Opening Remarks

Driving Local Engagement

Bryan Plumstead (Tourism Manager, Grey County Tourism)

John Winston (General Manager, Tourism London)

+ more TBA

Secrets of Success

Michelle Harris (Executive Director, Headwaters Tourism)
Glen Shackleton (Owner/Founder, Haunted Walks)

What does it take to be an Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence winner? You’re about to find out. Explore the paths that led two past winners to their claim to fame at last year's Ontario Tourism Summit, and what's changed for them since being officially declared a winner.

Topic: Destination Canada

David Goldstein (President & CEO, Destination Canada)

Mini Wine Masters Session

Magdalena Kaiser (Director of Public Relations - Marketing & Tourism, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario)


Topic: Cultural Tourism

Nancy Lang (Researcher and Co-Producer, Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven)

Karen Carter (Executive Director, Myseum of Toronto)

+ more TBA

Topic: Chinese Tourist Market

Jason Gonsalves (Senior Advisor, Strategy & Business Development, OTT Financial Group)

Lesley Boughen (Tourism & Guest Experience Manager, Yorkdale Shopping Centre) 

Elaine Xie (Business Development Manager, Epoch Times)

Scott Davidson (Site Manager, Norman Bethune House/Parks Canada)


Innovation & Technology in Tourism: Targeting the Millennial Traveller

Kristy Adams (Program Coordinator/Professor, Hospitality Management - Hotel & Restaurant Program, Humber College)

Jenni Berg (National Business Development Executive, Contiki Holidays)

Jason Dunkel (Consultant, Travel and Tourism, Environics Analytics)

+ more TBA


Finalist Reception

By invitation only

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Reception
Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner

Check back regularly for updates!