Become a Member: Be Part of the Tourism Conversation and Join the OHTO Community

We are not exaggerating when we say that 2022 will be the year for tourism in Ontario. Not only is there the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit to inspire provincial travel, but it’s also an understatement to say that people are more than ready to hit the road this summer.

To kick off what will surely be a stellar year for tourism operators and the industry as a whole, the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) is hosting a month-long member appreciation campaign in February. This is our chance to recognize existing members, make sure everyone is getting the most from their membership, and encourage others to join the club.

Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting members in our Industry Facebook Page and through our Industry Twitter account, sharing their testimonials on what being a member of OHTO means to them. As part of the appreciation campaign, we’ll is also running a contest to recognize members who are committing to growing tourism in their region.

We hope you will see the value of membership and join us in celebrating each other’s successes and inspiring others. Read on to learn more about the benefits of membership, and how to enter the draw for a chance to win.

What OHTO Offers

When it comes to tourism, OHTO’s mandate is simple – to support a competitive tourism region through marketing, product and destination development. That may be a mouthful, but in reality, we are doing much more than that.

We are building a tourism community, one where we can all rely on one another to promote our mutual agenda: to create the very best, most successful, and vibrant tourism region in Ontario (yes, we are ambitious!).

When you become a member of OHTO there are so many ways you can benefit – access to timely, relevant information on grants and changes to industry guidelines for example, but there is so much more! When you engage with OHTO you may also benefit by being featured in OHTO content on the website or on social media and you have the opportunity to apply for regional funding and connect with like-minded stakeholders. Need we say more?

OHTO is here to help foster tourism in our region, and support you in your own efforts. If you are not already a member, please consider joining us. If you are a member, read on to see how you can get the most out of your membership.

Who Can Be a Member

This is an easy answer! If you are involved in the tourism industry in the Ontario’s Highlands region, you are eligible for OHTO membership. If you serve customers directly, through food and drink, retail, accommodations, or experiences, you are a tourism operator. It’s that simple.

Benefits of Membership

The benefits of membership are plentiful, but we’ll run down a list of the most important just to give you an idea of why you should join today.

  1. You’ll be among the first to hear of tourism related news, tips, and opportunities. That means you don’t have to stress about when a provincial or federal grant opens, we will do the stressing for you and then share the info with you (and then remind you about it later).
  2. You will have the opportunity to expand your skills in your industry, to create product and experiences with knowledge gained from OHTO.
  3. You will be able to vote at the annual OHTO AGM to ensure your voice is heard.
  4. You will be able to forge new partnerships and connections with other operators, and take advantage of OHTO partnership development projects.

As if that list isn’t enough, we have one more for you: it’s FREE!

Plus, as a member you will also be on the cutting edge of trends in tourism as OHTO continues its journey of a more responsible tourism approach to tourism in the region and shares resources and opportunities that can help your business be more responsible too

This means we will be working collaboratively with our partners in tourism to support an approach that will actively engage our thriving industry and build a stronger, resilient future for our communities.

How to Become a Member

To become a member, simply subscribe to the OHTO emailing list for our Highlands Highlight newsletter. You can do that right now, here.

We told you it would be easy!

Okay, I’m a Member, Now What?

If you’re a member, congratulations, you’ve taken the first step in connecting with the tourism community and growing your business. Now let’s make sure you are getting the most out of your membership with us. You do your part, and we will do ours (promise).

New (or existing) member to-do list:

  • Read the monthly Highlands Highlight newsletter to be informed on what’s happening in the region, including funding opportunities and fun, new experiences.
  • Join the OHTO Industry Facebook Community Group to get information about tourism fast – and also just to chat with other operators and hear their stories.
  • Respond to the Monthly Guiding Question (which is distributed in the newsletter and posted on the Industry Facebook Community Group).
  • Use the hashtag #ComeWander on Instagram and Twitter so we see your posts – and all the fantastic things you are doing with your business – so that we can share that, too.
  • Like and follow our social media pages, including the industry Twitter account (@ohtoinsider).
  • Attend the annual OH! Tourism Summit to rub elbows with the movers and shakers in the tourism world, and see what awesome things have been happening in our region over the past year.
  • Enter the Member Appreciation February draw for a chance to win one of two great prizes (see below).

OHTO’s Member Appreciation February Contest – NOW CLOSED

Once you’ve registered and completed the checklist above, you will officially be a member and ready to reap the rewards of committing to tourism. One way you can benefit right away is to enter the draw OHTO will be running during the month of February as part of our Member Appreciation campaign, where new and existing members will have a chance of winning one of two prize options.

There is one draw for current members and a separate draw for new members.

What’s up for grabs? Winners get to choose:

Prize #1: An overnight getaway package, including dinner and an experience, at Somewhere Inn Calabogie.

Prize #2: An overnight getaway package, including dinner and an experience, at Bonnie View Inn.

*Both prize options are valued at $500 each.

How to enter as a CURRENT member of OHTO:

  1. Simply answer our question, “Share with us one way being a member of OHTO has benefited your business” on our online form to gain one entry into the contest. Submit your answer here.
  2. Refer a friend to gain extra entries. For every new member who subscribes with OHTO and gives your name for the referral, you get an extra entry! And there is no limit to how many extra entries you get.

How to enter as a NEW member:

  1. It’s easy! Simply subscribe to our OHTO Highlands Highlight newsletter and you are entered. Become a member today and subscribe here. And if a current member refers you, make sure to add their name and business in the form too!

This contest is now closed. We thank all our members who participated and welcome the many new faces who’ve joined OHTO as new members.

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