If you feel like you’re a long lifeboat bobbing along on the ocean of the tourism world, trying to keep afloat in a turbulent sea, you should know you don’t need to go it alone. There are tourism organizations floating nearby, ready to help support you and your business, and those organizations include Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) and (drum roll, please…) Destination Ontario.
You may think that Destination Ontario is too BIG for your business, too focused on the big experiences in Ontario, like the CN Tower or Niagara Falls, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. These days, it’s the authentic hard-to-find spots that the average visitor is looking for, like the cozy café tucked away in a cute small town, the out of the way hiking trail with the epic view, or the rural retreat that offers that special something you just can’t find in an urban environment.
Yes, Destination Ontario works with the big guys, but when it comes right down to it, they are here for you. In fact, according to their website, Destination Ontario was created specifically to partner with Ontario tourism operators to showcase the province as a four-season must-see travel destination.
The key part of that sentence is “created to partner with Ontario tourism operators” – that’s you!
Working with operators is the biggest part of the Destination Ontario mandate, without you they don’t have anything to promote. The question is – are you doing everything you can to maximize their support?
When you work in collaboration with Destination Ontario you can achieve greater return on your investment by accessing their assets, expertise, and partnership opportunities to help you extend your marketing and sales reach, and stretch your marketing dollars. Each year OHTO works closely with Destination Ontario to promote the region; please let us know how we can assist with ensuring you are maximizing their support.
Whether it’s through free business listings or paid marketing campaigns, Destination Ontario is invested in helping you make your tourism business a success. Read on to find out how you can leverage their support.
Tell Them What You’ve Got
Each year, Destination Ontario coordinates extensive marketing campaigns that include digital, print, social media, and more. With such robust marketing, they are constantly looking for content, events, and tourism assets to capitalize through their campaigns.
How do you take advantage of this? Easy: When we at OHTO reach out to you looking for information about your tourism offerings and activities, spend a few minutes to answer our questions and send us what you’ve got. We then pass on that info to Destination Ontario to include in their own content development.
If you are looking to partner on a paid advertising campaign, there are opportunities for that, too. Together, your marketing dollars can go even further! Reach out to the friendly folks at Destination Ontario and start the conversation to explore your options.
Promote Your Business and Experiences
Destination Ontario’s consumer website, ontariotravel.net, is a go-to resource for visitors looking for experiences and destinations in your region. On this site, visitors can browse festivals and events, business listings, and packaged experiences, all right here in Ontario. But did you know that you can take advantage of any of these listings for FREE?
Do you have an experience a visitor might like to know about? Think about creating an experiential package, a one-page advertisement for an experience that has a start and end date. Your package can be featured on the Ontario Travel website, which will drive leads straight to your business. If you need photos to use for your own campaigns, you can access them through their online image database – again, for FREE.
Leverage the Ontario Tourism Brand
Did you know the Ontario Travel Facebook page has more than 320,000 followers, and their Instagram page has 298,000 followers (wow!)? Instead of going it along, partner with an established brand with Destination Ontario. Use the hashtag #discoveron on your social channels and you never know if one of your posts or photos will get reposted to (much) wider audience. While you’re at it, use the hashtag #ComeWander so we can help you out, too! We’re all in this together, after all.
Get Marketing Advice
Consult with Destination Ontario’s experienced staff to make sure you’re on the right path to success. Ask them how you can leverage their support and how you can work together.
OHTO’s Marketing Manager