$3.5 Million Investment in the Ontario Indigenous Tourism Sector Announced
Today, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a Government of Canada investment of $68.5 million to support Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) and 11 Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) in Southern Ontario. 

With a $3.5 million direct investment to Indigenous tourism in Southern Ontario, ITO will provide non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 to Indigenous businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Band Councils, and Indigenous communities to invest in new or enhanced tourism experiences, upgrade tourism assets, and attract domestic and international tourists. ITO will also deliver the Renew Indigenous Tourism program to support Indigenous organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs as they work to recover from the pandemic.

If your business or organization is 51% or more Indigenous-owned and controlled, please visit ITO’s Tourism Relief Fund webpage to learn more. As the recognized voice for Indigenous tourism in Ontario, ITO’s program is customized to the needs of Indigenous communities, organizations and businesses. Together, ITO and select RTOs will work collaboratively to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario.

The ITO TRF intake opens Tuesday, April 12, 2022 and will close Sunday, May 15th, 2022. For questions, contact TRF@indigenoustourismontario.ca

In the meantime, you are welcome to 
connect with an Indigenous Business Advisor (IBA) to receive assistance with idea generation, project development, budgeting and applications.

ITO’s TRF support for Southern Ontario is made possible by the Government of Canada through FedDev Ontario.

Read the full backgrounder here and the full press release here


Tourism & Hospitality Student Work Placement Program
Tourism HR Canada’s student work placement program, Propel, has been extended for an additional two years. Propel connects post-secondary students with meaningful, paid work-integrated learning placements and provides tourism and hospitality employers with wage subsidies to support these placements. The program is actively accepting applications for the upcoming summer semester.
Tourism Hospitality Emergency Recovery Program
As businesses and operators prepare for a strong summer season, workforce recovery remains a challenge. Access tools and strategies specific to your region, including readiness assessments, real-time data, and workshops for businesses. Learn more at LetsGetReady.ca.
RAISE Digital Main Street Program

The RAISE program provides coaching, mentorship, advisory services and grants to entrepreneurs looking to increase their capacity and scale their business. The objectives of RAISE are to: 
  1. Provide non-repayable grants of up to $10,000 to eligible racialized small businesses and entrepreneurs upon the completion of a structured coaching program.
  2. Deliver a coaching program that will provide individual business advice and coaching to applicants as part of the program to support implementation of the required business transformation plan.
Eligible costs include:
  • Fees for expertise/professional services (excluding owner/staff wages and salaries)
  • Marketing and communications costs (e.g. print media, signage, promotional ads etc.)
  • Costs related to digital transformation (e.g. website, digital marketing, software, etc.)
  • Travel costs necessary to attain business transformation plan objectives
Canada Digital Adoption Program
The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is designed to boost e-commerce presence and digitize how Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) run their businesses behind the scenes. The program provides funding and expertise to businesses, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians.

Businesses will be able to apply for two different kinds of support:
  • Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online, will help SMEs take advantage of e-commerce opportunities
  • Stream 2: Boost Your Business Technology, will help businesses with the development and implementation of digital adoption strategies
There is vast opportunity in digital, to market more strategically, operate more efficiently, and use the insights produced to propel tourism businesses forward. CDAP is a valuable resource for industry members looking to take their first steps into going digital or maximizing their ongoing efforts.


Northern Ontario Tourism
Spring Training Week

Northern Ontario Tourism Spring Training Week is a partnership event between Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO) and Destination Northern Ontario (DNO) that brings informative and interactive presentations to the tourism industry across Northern Ontario.

Tourism Week Session Highlights

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Tourism Industry Update
Recruitment, Retention and Rethinking Hospitality Human Capital
Welcome Back! A look at what to expect Summer 2022
How to use Social Media for your Business 

Wednesday April 13, 2022
FireSmart – Protecting Your Tourism Operation
Navigating a Pandemic and (Hopefully) Post-Pandemic World: Handling Covid-19 Considerations in Your Business
The Business Case for Sustainable Hospitality and Tourism Management
Lending Opportunities and Programs for Tourism-Based Businesses

Thursday, April 14, 2022
Moose Management Updates for Outfitters
Tourism and Hospitality, and Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Programs
Tourism SkillsNet North in 2022!

Registration is FREE to all industry partners, so you can focus on operations, saving money and staying safe. Check out the full agenda

ITO highly encourages our members in northern Ontario to join this valuable training week hosted by DNO and NOTO. Can’t attend this year? Register for each session to watch recordings at your convenience!
Tourism HR Marketing Best Practices
Date: Monday, April 11, 2022
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm

While labour shortages are today’s reality, having an HR Marketing Strategy is key to your business’ success. But what exactly is HR Marketing, why is it so important and how does it tie to successful recruitment and retention of employees?

Key workshop points:
  • National overview of the labour shortage prevalent in the tourism industry today
  • The basics of HR Marketing: positioning, employer branding, segmenting and targeting employees on social media
  • Crafting a communication plan: choosing the right platforms, types of content, frequency, tone and manner; who does what; and much more!
Forward Together
Let’s Move Forward Together! Integra Design Studio Inc. has partnered with ITO to offer ITO members an exclusive membership offer to get ready for spring 2022. Integra Design is a full-service marketing, graphic and web design company focused on tourism and destination marketing. Métis owned and operated, Integra Design brings over 15 years of Tourism design and marketing experience to tourism operators. As an ITO member, you can access various digital and print marketing services at exclusive ITO members-only COVID-19 recovery pricing of 25% off.
Resorts of Ontario
Spring Marketing Campaign
Resorts of Ontario (ROO) has partnered with Destination Ontario for their spring program to bring members even more marketing opportunities! Tier 1 is sold out. The good news is there is still space available in Tier 2 & 3! Some of the Tier 2 opportunities are;
  • Sponsored social ads direct from Resorts of Ontario, driving the traffic direct to your resort
  • Pre-summer push to help fill any gaps for your summer season
  • NEW summer web online magazine
  • Experience Gift Guide promoting your spring and summer experiences selling gift certificates
  • Ad on Spring and Summer Landing Page with Links to Your Website
  • Social Media Sponsored Support driving qualified traffic
  • E-blast Newsletter to 100K Audience
  • Pre-summer push 
  • Extension into the summer
  • and so much more! 
To access this program, you must be a member of ROO. As an Indigenous-owned resort and member of ITO, you can become an ROO member at an exclusive ITO rate through our partner benefits. Email ITO at membership@indigenoustourismontario.ca to learn how to become a ROO member and participate in the Spring Marketing Program. 
Upcoming Workshop:
Tourism Business Development Certificate
Limited to a maximum of 10 participants, Indigenous members are invited to attend this free, two day, in-person training to learn how to enhance your business from successful business owners within the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. 

Training Overview
Day 1 – April 30, 2022 from 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Digitizing your Business/Social Media + Audience Engagement Tactics with facilitator Layla Black
  • Partnership Development Tactics with facilitator Conrad Bobiwash
  • Includes Lunch
Day 2 – May 1st, 2022 from 9:30am – 12:00pm
  • Visitor Services + Customer Relations with facilitator Jaquie Jamieson
To register, email: angelica.smith@theheartofontario.com.
2022 TIAO Board of Directors Call for Nominations

In accordance with TIAO’s By-laws, TIAO has put out an official notice of the Call for Nominations for the 2022 TIAO Board of Directors.

Working on behalf of TIAO’s members, the Board members play a pivotal role in guiding Ontario’s provincial tourism organization towards a clear vision for the industry’s future. TIAO’s Bylaws allow Directors to serve for an option of three two-year terms or two three-year terms. TIAO is currently seeking a Board Director that would serve an option of two three-year terms.

Nomination Closing Date is April 21, 2022. Learn more here.
SWOTC Board of Directors Call for Nominations

Director applications are now open, and we are looking for passionate leaders to help shape the future of tourism in Southwest Ontario.  

The main roles of the SWOTC (RTO 1) Board include: 
  • Set strategic direction
  • Governance
  • Industry outreach
This opportunity provides Directors the chance to build a strong network across the region, a connection to the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, and build governance literacy and experience. There are two director positions to be filled.

The application deadline is April 19, 2022 at 1:00pm but candidates are urged to submit earlier if possible. Learn more here.
Central Counties Tourism
Call for Directors

Central Counties Tourism (RTO 6) is seeking new members for its Board of Directors. Board members will bring leadership, passion, and vision to the team that will be instrumental in growing the tourism industry in York, Durham, and Headwaters regions of Ontario. If you are interested in contributing your knowledge and experience to help build a strong tourism region, the Board of Directors invites you to submit your nomination for the available positions by completing and submitting the fillable form posted

The Central Counties Tourism Board of Directors is seeking volunteers for four positions:
  • Director-at-large, 3 year term
  • Durham Representative, 3 year term
  • York Representative, 2 year term
  • Headwaters Representative, 2 year term
Please send your completed nomination form to king@centralcounties.ca by April 11, 2022.


Ontario’s Plan to Stay Open
Last week, the provincial government announced a new plan, that if passed, will build a stronger and more resilient health system that can respond to crisis. The plan entitled, ‘Ontario’s Plan to Stay Open’ has four key components: 
  • Expanding Ontario’s Health Workforce   
  • Shoring-up Domestic Production of Critical Supplies  
  • Building More Hospital Beds  
  • Other Ways Government is Staying Prepared
The first part of the plan, Expanding Ontario’s Health Workforce, will introduce the “Learn and Stay” Grant, a $142 million investment to expand the Community Commitment Program for Nurses. The grant will allow thousands of nursing graduates to receive full tuition reimbursement in exchange for committing to practice in an underserved community. Communities facing the most severe labour shortages in nursing will find immediate support.  

Further, the plan aims to reduce registration barriers for foreign-credentialed medical professionals, a permanent wage enhancement for personal support workers (PSWs), expanding medical schools, and annually investing $41.4 million in clinical education.  

The second part of the plan focuses on shoring-up domestic production of critical supplies by building a life sciences sector that improves patient outcomes and provides 66,000 jobs. While also ensuring a long-term, transparent stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) and implementing a mandate to keep shelves stocked with essentials.  

The third part of the plan aims to invest over $30 billon in infrastructure over the next 10 years to address longstanding challenges around hospital bed shortages.  

Lastly, the government plans to be better prepared for emergencies with a coordinated, whole-of-government approach, enhancing data access and sharing, investing $25 million to continue delivering access to testing, increasing vaccination rates and providing support. The province is also planning to implement an Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Hub Program, invest $24.7 million to sustain Ontario’s wastewater surveillance initiative over the coming year, and digitalize the provincial diagnostic network.  

To read the full government plan, please see
Culinary Tourism Boosting Local Economies
“Indigenous food is deeply rooted in the history of our communities and in the teachings that are passed from generation to generation. And each experience is going to be unique, because each nation has its own stories,” says Billy Alexander, who sees “food experiences as a magical conduit for sharing our different heritage, cultures and stories.” Instead of thinking of restaurants as places to stop before or after visiting an attraction, food venues are increasingly becoming a destination. Read more about how food is supporting local economies in the full Globe and Mail article here

      Indigenous Tourism Ontario
      1300 Hwy 540
      4 directions Complex Unit 4
      Aundeck Omni Kaning, Ontario

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