Some of the key people in promoting tourism partnerships across Ontario have been meeting in Timmins for the past two days.
They say they’re impressed with what they have seen.
Attractions Ontario (AO), a tourism organization whose function in part is promotion and marketing of tourism across the province, was meeting in Timmins this week. A reception for the group was held at the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre on Thursday. The group has been meeting at Cedar Meadows Resort and the museum building.
Kathrine Christensen, the chairwoman of the Attractions Ontario board, said bringing 13 of the board members to Timmins will let them bring back to their parts of Ontario memories and fresh information on what this region offers.
“Our having a chance to come to see what Timmins and what the North has to offer not only brings that information back to Attractions Ontario, but it brings it back to our own regions and gives us opportunities to actually know what’s here and know who we can partner with,” said Christensen.
She said she was pleased to see that Timmins has a municipally-supported tourism bureau, something that a lot of communities do not have.
“You guys are extremely lucky to have a municipal tourism office,” she said, in reference to Tourism Timmins, which has three staff members.
She said the approach for tourism has to be on a provincial level but it requires strong partnerships from every small part of the province.
“Not even the big, big boys like Toronto and Ottawa can do it on their own. We all have to work together,” she said. “Working together we can bring the message that the attractions in Ontario are world class.”
As for the critics who claim there is nothing to see or do in smaller or remote communities, Christensen disagreed.
She said just the fact that the newly renovated museum can hold receptions that displays accomplished artwork, featuring locally prepared speciality foods and locally brewed craft beers is a testament to what is being done to showcase the city and the region.
“You guys have got so much going on here. You already understand about culture. You’ve got the outdoors thing going on. Who can touch you on that?” she said.
Christensen added that the Timmins area is strong on experiential tourism. Instead of somebody sitting on a sightseeing bus, they are out in the wilderness in a kayak or on a snowmobile and having a true experience.
“You know if I go with a fishing guide, I don’t sit there being careful that my nails done get chipped. I am in it. I am doing it,” she said.
Christensen said the outdoors market has special appeal for visitors from the United Kingdom and Western Europe, usually older than 50 or slightly younger adventure seekers.
“These folks are the sweet spot in tourism and they are starting to know about you and they are starting to come here,” she explained.
Tourism Timmins manager Guy Lamarche said he was pleased to be able to invite the AO board to hold its first-ever board meeting in Timmins, since the group was formed back in 1983.
“This is probably the first time that Attractions Ontario has come to Timmins and I am very happy to be hosting this meeting here this week,” Lamarche told the reception crowd.
“It won’t stop there. I will continue in my pursuit to get attractions Ontario to come back here to discover the winter wonderland, something most of you will find to be surreal,” he said.
Timmins Museum director/curator Karen Bachmann, who hosted the reception at the museum, revealed that the board of directors of the Canadian Museums Association has been invited to come to Timmins for a meeting in October. Bachmann said this would bring in representatives from across the country who will get a chance to enjoy some of the “Northern flavour” of Timmins.
She said she was glad to see Attractions Ontario paving the way for hosting tourism oriented organization meetings in Timmins.
From Timmins Press | September 23, 2017