Struggling tourism group makes cuts to survive
Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario executive to step down in 2013
Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario is tightening its belt, because of tough times in the industry — and the cuts will start at the top with the departure of long-time executive director Doug Reynolds.
A cut to government funding has also meant the end for the group's annual travel and tourism guide.
Northwestern Ontario tourist outfitter and NOTO vice-president Brenda Baughman said a drop in membership has contributed to the problems.
"The downturn had affected the organization because there are people that can't afford their NOTO dues anymore," she said.
"There are people that would like to participate in NOTO and for a variety of reasons aren't able to do that."
Baughman remarked the outdoor tourism industry in northern Ontario has been struggling for years. The high cost of insurance, increasing government regulation, and a high Canadian dollar are just some of the problems they face.
However, the leaner NOTO will still work to educate outdoor businesses, and lobby the province for more support.
"We still do our very best to provide benefits to our members [and] help businesses work in a more efficient way," Baughman said.
"So we are working on ways to do that."
One of those ways was to look at its own administration.
"It came time to look … [at] what looked like the best fit for us, and for Doug Reynolds too," she said.
"It seemed as if making the administration of NOTO a leaner, more efficient organization would suit all of us."
Reynolds will step down in the new year.