News Archives - RTO 9

RTO 9 Board of Directors – South Eastern Ontario – Call for applications

The application period for the RTO 9 Board of Directors will be April 10 – May 16, 2024!

RTO 9’s Board of Directors has undergone an evolution from being primarily structured to represent select municipalities across the region among key tourism sectors, to being balanced by the experience and skills that Board members bring to the table. We will continue to have broad representation from the geographic regions within South Eastern Ontario while encouraging applications from talented individuals inside and outside of the tourism field, and potentially outside of the region.

We believe that this evolution brings a diversity of perspectives and experiences that provide the organization with a much fuller picture of the future and a more representative Board that reflects who our residents are and who our visitors will be.

The four (4) individual Director positions filled at the 2024 AGM will fulfill a three-year term ending at the 2027 AGM.  Applicants will represent the following regions: One (1) position from the West region, two (2) positions from the East region, and one (1) position from the Central region. Map

While all experience/skillsets will be considered, we are specifically in need of Finance/Accounting & Legal and would welcome applicants with this experience.

Successful applicants will be announced at RTO 9’s AGM on June 14th, 2024.

Registration for RTO 9’s AGM is now open.

Candidates interested in one of these four positions are encouraged to fill out the 2024 RTO 9 Board Application Form. Learn more and apply here!

Please provide all the information requested and respond to all questions on the form. Return the completed form via email no later than Thursday, May 16, 2024, at 4:00 PM to

Celebrating Inclusive Businesses in Prince Edward County and Kingston

It’s essential for businesses to take steps towards creating a welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of their race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The Rainbow Registered Program is an online directory that helps businesses showcase their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Whether you run a restaurant, retail store, or service provider, you can benefit from joining Rainbow Registered. By doing so, you can attract a new customer base, build your brand, and increase your visibility. Plus, displaying the logo on your website or storefront sends a positive message to potential customers that your business is inclusive and welcoming.

The LGBTQ+ community is actively seeking businesses that share their values, and are safe and welcoming. By joining the Rainbow Registry, you can reach this demographic. We’re excited to celebrate the awesome businesses in Prince Edward County and Kingston that have already joined the directory!

  • Adega Wine Bar (PEC)
  • Millefleurs (PEC)
  • The Eddie Hotel & Farm (PEC)
  • Bermuda PEC (PEC)
  • Flame & Smith (PEC)
  • 555 Brewing Co. (PEC)
  • The June Motel (PEC)
  • Visit the County (PEC)
  • PEC Chamber of Commerce
  • Curious Goat General Store (PEC)
  • Jackson’s Falls Country Inn (PEC)
  • Donald Gordon Hotel & Conference Centre (Kingston)
  • Glow Skincare Co. (Kingston)
  • Cher-Mere (Kingston)
  • Kingston Gaming Nexus
  • Improbable Escapes (Kingston)
  • Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront
  • Four Points by Sheraton Kingston
  • Tourism Kingston
  • Kingston Accommodation Partners
  • Downtown Kingston BIA
  • RTO 9 – woo!

Are you ready to become the next Rainbow Registered business? Visit today to learn more and join the movement towards a more diverse and inclusive society.

South Eastern Ontario’s Tourism Industry Gets A Boost: RTO 9 Reveals Partnership Fund Recipients

RTO 9, the official Regional Tourism Organization for South Eastern Ontario, is proud to announce the recipients of its Partnership Fund. Our first intake round will support 9 exciting projects that promote tourism and economic growth in the region

Each of these initiatives has been carefully selected for their potential to enhance the visitor experience and drive economic benefits for the region.

Through the Partnership Fund, RTO 9 aims to foster collaboration and innovation in the tourism industry, ensuring that South Eastern Ontario remains a top destination for visitors. We are committed to working with our partners to promote initiatives that have a positive impact on the local community and the tourism industry as a whole.

We would like to congratulate the recipients of this year’s Partnership Fund and thank them for their dedication to promoting tourism and economic growth in the region. We can’t wait to see the impact these initiatives will have on the visitor experience in South Eastern Ontario!


Spitfire Cafe – Twilight Tuesday Makers’ Market

1000 Islands Rideau Waterways

Wildling Acres – North Grenville Tourism Trail

No. 9 – Eco-Art Exhibition

SDG Counties

Humble Beginnings Brewery – A Humble Celebration


Artfest Kingston – G’da Naakwaannaan Aazhiganan

Martello Alley – Jardin’art – Art in the Garden

Prince Edward County

Community Craft Beer Festivals – PEC Craft Beer Festival

Base 31 – Historical Self-Guided Tour

Hayloft Dancehall – Prince Edward Stage Trail

Our second application for Partnership Funding will open from July 3rd – July 21st, 2023. The first category is new events, which can be a one-day event or a larger festival over multiple days. The second category is for the development of Indigenous tourism products, where funding can be used to assist Indigenous operators in creating their tourism businesses or enhancing their products. The third category is for the development of guided experiences or trails, which adds a personal touch to the visitor experience and includes curated outdoor adventures. Learn more about our Partnership Funding Program here. 

If you have further questions, you are encouraged to contact Meg Dabros, Operations Manager

About RTO 9

RTO 9 is a regional tourism organization established in 2010 that is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries. RTO 9 actively promotes tourism for the South Eastern Ontario region and works to support and grow the tourism industry through marketing, product development, investment attraction, and workforce development initiatives. The regions of South Eastern Ontario are 1000 Islands GananoqueBay of QuinteBrockvilleCornwall and Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry CountiesFrontenac CountyKingstonLennox and AddingtonPrince Edward County and the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Waterways.

Drive for Excellence in 2022

RTO 9 once again was pleased to implement a funding program developed to help start, build or grow organizations’ marketing programs.

The Drive for Excellence program was designed for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and Destination Marketing Program (DMPs) partners to support everything from strategy development to marketing campaign support, to operator training and many other options.

 The Drive for Excellence program:

  • Maps out how destinations and operators want to develop over time; business, market, and trade ready
  • Allows destinations and operators to self-identify their current readiness and understand what’s ahead
  • Helps the RTO to collaborate with destinations to provide direct access to professional services and knowledgeable marketing support
  • Provides a strategic and measurable industry development legacy
  • Provides direct access to professional services and knowledgeable marketing support

Below are the support programs that have been initiated for each destination for the 2022/2023 season.

Prince Edward County – Paid Search Strategy – Countylicious
Bay of Quinte – Content creation + digital asset development curated by BoQ
Kingston – TBD
Cornwall – Influencer and PR Media FAM tours through TartanBond + Content creation + digital asset development
SDG Counties – Media plan and implementation through Alphabet Creative
1000 Islands Gananoque – Influencer and PR Media Fam tours through TartanBond + Digital
Lennox and Addington – Digital media campaign with 1Dea Creative plus Design
Frontenac County – Content creation + digital asset development, Experiential Workshop 
Brockville – Content creation + Influencer and PR Media FAM tours through TartanBond
1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways – 1000 Islands & Rideau Canal Waterways Tourism Development Strategy implementation

RTO 9 Takes Home Several Awards at the TIAO Summit

We’re thrilled to announce that we have won ⅗ nominations from the TIAO Ontario Resiliency Awards.  The TIAO Ontario Resiliency Awards are well established as the defining tourism award program in the province and we’re proud to be a part of it. 

Our campaign, Rail + Roam won under the COLLABORATION category for Transportation, Regional Tourism Organization, and Accommodation.  We truly feel that these awards are a reflection of the collaboration we had with our partners and would like to extend our gratitude to Landsby, Alphabet® Creative, and VIA Rail Canada for all of their hard work and team effort put in during this campaign. 

A special congratulations to Tourism Kingston for winning INNOVATION – Food Service for Kingstonlicious, Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston for winning the Safe Travels Stamp for Tourism Region 9 and The Eddie & The Festival Players for winning COLLABORATION Festivals & Events.

View all award winners here.
View our award-winning campaign, Rail + Roam here.

Thank you from all of us at RTO 9!

About the TIAO Ontario Resiliency Awards

2021 continued to be a year that challenged our industry, reinforcing the need for determination and perseverance. It just made sense for TIAO to continue to recognize those that have shown resiliency, gained inspiration from others and look towards rebuilding with the Ontario Resiliency Awards.

This year’s awards had two new elements of criteria. The first was that each nomination must be able to provide the actions made towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in what they are being nominated for. The second was that each nomination came from the desire and opportunity to promote and collaborate.