Come join us on the journey towards Responsible Tourism

At Ontario’s Highlands, we take pride in calling our region home. From its people and communities to the natural beauty and richness of its soils, we know it’s something special and worth taking good care of. That’s why we are proud to announce our journey towards responsible tourism, and discovering what it means for both us as an organization and for the region as a whole.  This new direction stems from what we’ve witnessed in our communities over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for balancing prosperity and preservation has become critical to managing tourism and growth across the region, and for building a resilient future.

On Thursday, August 5th, we hosted a webinar that would start the journey towards responsible tourism and discovering how we can embrace this approach together. We were excited to share with how this shift is already taking shape through the recently launched Connections Campaign and the updated Tourism Recovery & Innovation Program – Partnership Projects stream.

About the Connections Campaign

The Connections Campaign, launched on July 5th, is a promotional campaign aimed at celebrating the people and places that makes Ontario’s Highlands so special, while igniting local tourism and supporting businesses.  The campaign is anchored by a docu-series that will be shared via social media and features the stories of seven inspiring locals and their unique connections to the region and all it has to offer, with all stories shared through the program microsite at  This campaign is a recognition that it’s our locals that truly brings out the unique flavour of the area, while encouraging residents to rediscover local to jumpstart recovery.

About the Tourism Recovery & Innovation Program – Partnership Projects

The Tourism Recovery & Innovation Program (TRIP) – Partnership Projects is an application-based program designed to strengthen resiliency in our tourism sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis.  The TRIP – Partnership Projects guidelines for 2021-2022 are now available and are focused on supporting projects that take into consideration the environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts related to tourism and community growth. Applications to the program are now being accepted, and applications can be submitted online through the form available at

Be a Local Hero and Nominate a Community Champion: July 2021

Exciting things are in the works in Ontario’s Highlands! This summer the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) has launched a series of initiatives to support local tourism and encourage locals to get out and explore our fabulous region.

As part of the ongoing work to ignite local pride and drive local recovery, OHTO has also launched an exciting new program, Community Champions.

New this summer, the Community Champions is a support program that invites locals to recognize community champions who have gone above and beyond to make this region great and to continue their good work. We know you’re busy which is why we’ve made the whole process as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Brainstorm an organization or group to recognize
  2. Complete the form to nominate your choice
  3. Cast your vote of the five finalists

Nominations are accepted by completing a simple form available here. Nominations must be received by August 20, 2021.

What is a local champion?

A local champion is a local organization that supports the community or preserves the natural wonders in Ontario’s Highlands. These are the community groups who contribute to the wellbeing of our communities by cleaning up our waterways or roadways, providing education, or generally dedicating their efforts towards making a difference.

We are looking forward to recognizing these hard-working people, their organizations, and the causes they support. To be nominated as a Community Champion the organization must:

  1. Have made a difference in the past year by strengthening the community, advocating for the environment, or helping to preserve natural wonders
  2. Be headquartered in the Ontario’s Highlands’ region
  3. Be a registered not-for-profit, charity, or business

If you can’t think of an organization who ticks all those boxes but think yours might quality, feel free to complete the nomination form for your organization. Self-nominations are welcome!

Finalists will be shortlisted in fall 2021 and put out to the community to vote on which three organizations will be awarded $3,000 to help continue their good work.

How to Nominate

We have made it easy for you to recognize a local organization who is doing good things. All you have to do is visit our easy to complete survey page and fill in the required information.

What you will need to know in advance:

  • Name of the organization
  • Location
  • Brief description of how organization supports the community or environment
  • Why you think they would be a good candidate to receive support
  • Your contact
  • Your contact information

After nominations closes on Aug. 20, 2021, you will have the chance to cast your vote for which organization you think should receive the support from a shortlisted group. Keep a watch on the Ontario’s Highlands’ social media pages on Facebook and Instagram as voting opens on September 24.

Let’s say thanks to those people and groups who have done great things in challenging times.