2020-2021 Partnership Programs to Enhance Tourism in South Eastern Ontario

2020-2021 Partnership Programs to Enhance Tourism in South Eastern Ontario

Each year, RTO 9 works with a selected group of tourism operators in a Partnership Funding program. We are pleased to continue in this program, designed to enhance experiential tourism across South Eastern Ontario. These partnerships further our collective success in attracting tourists, (visitors that are travelling more than 40 km) to the South Eastern Ontario region, grow revenue for businesses, and foster strategic alliances. 

The Partnership Fund is not a grant or sponsorship, it is a partnership! 

The process starts with the announcement of the intake of applications for projects that will be occurring in our next fiscal year. If the project aligns with our upcoming business plan, then it may be considered for matching funding.

Partners who are awarded funding through the 50/50 Partnership Funding program, will receive more than just money to help them in their project goals. In addition to funding, RTO 9 provides partnership building, experiential tourism development, and guidance in Digital Marketing.

Here is a list of the awarded partnership funding programs we have supported for this fiscal year 2020/2021: 

Bay of Quinte Tourist Council

Project Name: Experiential Tourism Development Strategy

This RTO 9 Partnership Funded project will play an important role in supporting the creation of new tourism products and initiatives. Project milestones include mapping tourism assets, developing a multi-year experiential tourism strategy, Facilitate SPARK Bay of Quinte, and develop a toolkit with industry consultants and regional partners.

Travel Media Shows/Fam Tours

The Travel Media Partnership will help fund region-wide and multi-destination itineraries, to increase the economic tourism value to the region. The funding will also facilitate working with an expanded number of partners in the region on a coordinated approach that aligns planning and product development. Increased emphasis will be made on driving traffic and awareness during shoulder season.

Corporation of the County of Prince Edward

Project Name: Experience The County

Experience The County is a product and service development program that focuses on innovation and growth through enhanced visitor services and experiential tourism product design and development. The RTO 9 Partnership Funding contributes to hiring consultants to train local businesses in experiential tourism.

Tourism Kingston

Project Name: Love Kingston Marketplace 

The Love Kingston Marketplace is a key asset for Kingston’s hyperlocal tourism focus for the Summer. This campaign is a way to support the local community, protect jobs, start economic recovery safely – extension of “shop local”. It will also leverage the “Love Kingston” campaign recently launched in support of food and retail businesses. RTO 9 Partnership Funding were utilized for the design and project management of the campaign.

Travel Media Shows/Fam Tours

Partnership Funding awarded to Tourism Kingston will assist in engaging social media influencers as part of the media mix providing an authentic and compelling way to raise awareness and the profile of the Kingston area. In 2020-21, Tourism Kingston will undertake a regional earned media strategy to enhance in-house knowledge and engagement techniques; develop and define policies, procedures, analytics; and execute two comprehensive earned media programs for social media influencer engagement alongside planned marketing campaigns in the Quebec and Ontario markets.

Municipality of North Grenville

Project Name: Tourism Strategy

The creation of a tourism strategy will provide guidance on tourism development in North Grenville. At the doorstep of Ottawa, which recently hit 1,000,000 population, they are perfectly situated to welcome visitors to eastern Ontario. The RTO 9 Partnership Funding will contribute to hiring a consultant to create a tourism strategy.

Thousand Islands Boat Museum 

Project Name: Voyageur Canoe Adventure 

The Thousand Islands Boat Museum applied to RT09 for Partnership Funding to help bring The Voyageur Canoe Adventure experience to life. The tours feature a lively exploration of nearby islands and river pathways, with a focus on the historical aspects of river life and travel by Indigenous peoples as well as early European settlers. The adventure is supplemented with a professionally designed interactive exhibit in the Boathouse.

Topsy Farms

Project Name: Headlands Workshops & Event Series  

The Hopes & Harvest Event will be taking place in the Fall of 2020. Plans include kayaking excursions, walking trails, outdoor cooking, farm exploration and general “getting back to nature.”

Belleville Downtown District BIA

Project Name: Downtown at Dusk Festival 

 Al Fresco on Front – Summer in the Downtown District. Locals & visitors are encouraged to enjoy the downtown outdoor space with physical distancing in place. To make downtown an attraction for local tourists, this initiative will be used with the – “Meet Us Here” Campaign by Bay of Quinte Marketing Board. 

Project Name:  Enchanted Night Market -TBA

County of Frontenac

Project Name: Open Farms 

Open Farms educates consumers about small scale agriculture, increases awareness of farms in Frontenac, provides the opportunity for producers to connect directly with consumers, and provides the opportunity for producers to gain new long-term customers while growing Frontenac’s reputation as a region that produces good food.

The Open Farms event which received funding last year was to be expanded upon for 2020. As it became apparent that holding this “live” would not be an option during the pandemic, RTO 9 approved the decision to move to a virtual platform. 

Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour

Project Name: Cataraqui Boatyard Project

The overall goal of the Cataraqui Boatyard Project (sub-group of the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour) is, through living history projects, to educate and excite the public about Canada’s oldes continuous boat building location – Kingston Inner Harbour. Each year, a replica will be made of one of Canada’s historic boats – beginning in 2020 with a community build of an authentic Algonquin Birch Bark Canoe by canoe builder Chuck Commanda, Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper. 

Kingston Theatre Alliance

Project Name: Kick & Push Festival 

COVID-19 has posed some challenges, but festival creators prefer to see them as opportunities! Social distancing has created the need to rethink and recreate the hugely popular festival designed to create an intimate and personal atmosphere for live theatre enthusiasts. Turning to a live digital platform was the only way to go and pivoting mid-stream in the festival production cycle requires a dedicated and resourceful team. RTO 9’s Partnership Funding is helping to cover production, actor and social media marketing costs associated with the festival.

The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival Inc.

Project Name: Comedy Country

Comedy Country is an annual event that typically brings top-notch comedians from Toronto and elsewhere to perform in distinctly rural performance venues. While COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in this year’s events, necessity is the mother of invention and a new plan has been put in place. A series of fun events in unusual places throughout Prince Edward County is planned for this fall.  

Thousand Islands Fdn.for the Performing Arts

Project Name: 2020 Music on the Dock

Always adept at improvising, the Thousand Islands Foundation for the Performing Arts will bring live events to the Gananoque area this fall. The intention of this series is to remind people both of the impact of live music and the breadth of talent that exists in the community. Plans include a series of community events set in open-air spaces throughout Gananoque.

1000 Islands Accommodation Partners (TIAP)

Travel Media Shows/Fam Tours

1000 Islands Accommodation Partners (TIAP) high-level objective is to build on the robust media and travel trade strategy in the 1000 Islands area with increased regional provincial, national and international awareness.  TIAP’s presence at all Destination Canada and OTMPC supported Travel Media events including GoMedia, Rendezvous, International Media Marketplace New York and Travel Media Association of Canada are a vital tool in building tourism. FAM (familiarity) tours are also a key factor in getting the tourism message out to potential visitors and many targeted FAM’s occur throughout the year to capitalize on tourism throughout the year. Partnership Funding assists TIAP in covering costs associated with attending these shows and hosting FAM tours.

If you have any questions or would like to start a conversation around eligibility and project scope, please contact our Operations Manager, Meg Dabros at mdabros@region9tourism.ca.

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