Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries … and Ontario’s tourism industry wants a piece of the action!
Last month, I attended the two-day Ontario Tourism Summit at the Blue Mountain Village Conference Centre. Hundreds of tourism professionals from across the province gathered to learn about the latest industry trends and forecasts, share best practices, network with colleagues, and recognize industry leaders.
One of the most valuable messages was the importance of packaging awesome experiences to attract consumer attention. Experiential travel expert, Celes Davar explained that today’s “travellers are looking to engage, discover, and enjoy a deeper connection with all things local, and know that you are a leader in sustainability practices.” Something Greenbelt experiences can deliver!
From trail cycling, to local food and wine tours, to nature and garden walks - there's lots for both tourists and residents alike to experience in the Greenbelt. You can immerse yourself in nature, enjoy a leisurely walk among the flora and fauna, feel the fresh breeze while cycling, and enjoy a “taste of place” by savouring Ontario’s delicious local food and wine.
Local communities, farmers, artisan producers, wineries, and restaurants can work together to create packages that animate their destination with signature experiences. The Friends of the Greenbelt team is working with its partners to facilitate the development of unique Greenbelt experiences through programs like Greenbelt Walks and the Greenbelt Cycling Route launching this August.
Food and nature experiences are a great way to attract tourists and to create memorable place-based experiences. For proof, just look a this year's Ontario Tourism Summit Award winners - the 37-stop Apple Pie Trail winding through the Niagara Escarpment, the Kawartha Northumberland Butter Tart Tour, and the Ontario Parks Learn to Camp program which helps children discover the wonders of nature.
Tourism brings economic benefits to communities and creates jobs for local residents. Protecting Ontario’s Greenbelt helps ensure we have the green space and agricultural land available to contribute to our economic, social, and ecological wellbeing.
The Greenbelt is growing with possibilities.
--Regional Director, Niagara Office