Tourism industry in northwestern Ontario has another new resource

Businesses in northwestern Ontario's tourism sector can now benefit from new tools to help the industry grow, thanks to a new program that was introduced to Thunder Bay today.

"It's about learning by doing," program head says tools encourage a hands-on approach

Tourism Excellence North is a suite of programs that have been set up to offer training and guidance to those who make up the tourism industry. (Tourism Excellence North)
Businesses in northwestern Ontario's tourism sector can now benefit from new tools to help the industry grow, thanks to a new program that was introduced to Thunder Bay Tuesday.
Karen Peacock is co-ordinator at Tourism Excellence North, a development program for people and organizations involved in the tourism industry. (CBC)

Karen Peacock, a co-ordinator with Tourism Excellence North, said the online tools — which are slated to consist of self-assessment programs, as well as opportunities for group and individual training — are designed to better the industry.

"It's really designed to help the operators and the communities and destinations to improve the quality of their offer," she said.

"It's meant to enhance the visitor experience and really contribute to that healthy bottom line."

The program is modelled after similar efforts in Atlantic Canada aimed at boosting their tourism sector, Peacock said. "We all know those wonderful Newfoundland and Labrador commercials that really want to entice us to go and visit," she said.

"They've had remarkable success with their training and development opportunities that they provide."

Peacock said she's in Thunder Bay to meet with business owners, as well as community and government representatives.

Tourism Excellence North is a partnership between tourism sectors in northern Ontario and the Parry Sound and Muskoka area, Peacock said.

To get started with the online tools and training, operators are encouraged to register here.

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