2018-2019 Marketing

RTO9 Regional Tourism Organization (RTO9) will no longer be in market as a brand “The Great Waterway” but rather working with each destination within the RTO9 to get its messages out. Prince Edward County, the 1000 Islands region and the Rideau Canal are world renown brands and are well known in places outside Ontario and the rest of Canada.

Concurrently, RTO9 is working with key stakeholders and partners within the Tourism Industy in the region to collectivelly market South Eastern Ontario as a top destination of choice for visitors to Ontario from the rest of Canada and the world. Kingston, Belleville, Cornwall, Brockville and Gananoque are 5 populous destinations within South Eastrn Ontario that offer unique and  engaging experiences.

RTO9-Regional Tourism Organization Consumer marketing is designed to put the emphasis back on these destinations and to support these destinations through joint marketing campaigns. These marketing initiatives include existing products or services or new tourism products that enhance the region’s diversity of tourism attractions.

The following is a list of Destination Marketing Organizations that we will be supporting and promoting key messages and brands in 2018-19:

Prince Edward County

Bay of Quinte

Land O’ Lakes (County of Frontenac and Lennox and Addington)

Kingston 1000 Islands

Gananoque 1000 Islands

Brockville 1000 Islands

Cornwall and the Counties( United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry)

Rideau Heritage Route


Our overall objectives for the fiscal year is to build recognition on all destinations by assisting in sharing their message amongst our audience. How this will look, will be to promote events, blogs, and to engage with our audience. We will continue to build a strong and consistent online identity tailored toward our target audience and our partners within the industry. This will involve maintaining a consistent brand tone and messaging on all platforms, increasing awareness around the South Eastern Ontario brand through scheduled and regular posts, and engaging with our audience. This will involve continuous analysis of our efforts, progressing based on our findings to evolve our online identity and position.

Performance on these channels and our website will be evaluated at the end of each month to assist in reporting on milestones.

Sector Campaigns

Along with supporting our DMOs and DMPs in RTO9, we will be in market with 2 sector campaigns; Spring 1000 Islands Cruise Campaign and Fall South Eastern Ontario Theatre Campaign

Spring -1000 Islands Cruise Campaign; to bring together cruise operators within RTO9 for a joint marketing campaign, that would highlight the cruising product in the region and initiate a collaborative marketing campaign to build partnerships amongst the cruise lines in the 1000 Islands and to sell cruise packages.

Fall - South Eastern Ontario Theatre Campaign; to bring together Theaters within RTO9 for a joint marketing campaign, that would highlight performing arts products in the region and initiate a collaborative marketing campaign to build partnerships amongst the Theaters in South Eastern Ontario and to help direct theatre ticket sales.

RTO9 has identified Quebec and Northern New York state, as two markets that have potential for growth in the region based on a steady increase we have seen in our analytics. Through a collaborative effort between RTO9 and industry partners, out of Province markets are attainable, whereas no one entity could reach these markets on their own. Cruise operators within RTO9’s region cater to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year during the peak season, this campaign will help drive traffic to the shoulder seasons. This holds true for our accommodation partners, who are also looking to grow their off-season visitation. Additionally, theaters will help push shoulder season traffic in the fall.

Along with families, this campaign is also designed to attract the 35-44-year-old with no children and a higher disposable income, as well as the 45-54 years old that are empty nesters and again have a higher disposable income and enjoy travel outside of the busy summer season. They are looking for 2 or 3-night getaways, within a 3-hour drive. This campaign is designed to raise the awareness of the Ontario brand along with boat cruising in the 1000 Islands destinations as well showcasing the performing arts in various theaters in South Eastern Ontario. RTO9’s close proximity to both the USA and Quebec provides an advantage for the region to target both of these markets. With the Canadian dollar averaging between 31-35% to the US dollar, Ontario is an affordable destination for our US visitors.

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