Ignite:  Activating the Potential for Tourism Economy Development, Diversification and Recovery

Looking for a solution to emerge from COVID-19 with a plan for Tourism Economic Development and Recovery? 

Learn how to work in harmony with your tourism allies and turn products into extra-ordinary experiences. Develop projects which encourage the development of innovative new tourism products, support tourism investment or build the capacity of Ontario’s rural tourism industry.
Develop innovative tourism recovery projects to increase visitation and addressing the reduction in global travel as a result of COVID-19.

Learn to establish meaningful, memorable visitor experiences while taking care to provide safe travel experiences for visitors and host team members in a post COVID 19 world.

IGNITE is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for community clusters of rural tourism operators that want to create new and enhanced experiences to emerge from the COVID 19 pandemic to bring more vibrance to their community, establish a competitive position in the tourism market, create long lasting community partnerships with industry allies and increase the appeal of their destination.

Participants are immersed in a variety of program elements and meet facilitators who tailor safe visitor experiences for a variety of traveler types, coming away with a deep appreciation for the value of infusing experiences with local flavours at mealtime and beyond, and inspiration to leverage their own resources to build new and exciting visitor experiences with an appreciation for the importance of community collaboration.

IGNITE program elements:

·  Identifying your ideal guest and their emerging needs for safety and security as travelers emerge from pandemic isolation to explore their world once again.

·  Identify how to establish safety and security procedures and protocols without distancing the visitor from a memorable experience.

·  ‘Who’s who’ in the travel, tourism and destination development process; destination marketing organizations, travel trade, travel media, the role of governments and more.

·  Bringing together stages, animators, tools and experiences.

·  “Do what you do best, partner for the rest.” (TM Tourism Cafe Canada)

·  Identifying your ideal community partners, including non-traditional tourism allies.

·  From farm to fork, understanding the role of regional food in authentic tourism experiences and how to deliver safe dining experiences for post COVID 19 travellers.

·  Cultural and natural history and story-telling.

·  Celebrating local flavours with community products.

·  Identifying and leveraging community stages.

·  Engaging with community partners in forestry, music and entertainment, food growers, brewmasters, guides and naturalists, trail organizations and more.

·  9 elements of successful experiential tourism products.

·  Selling tourism in a post COVID 19 world with words, photos, audio, video.

·  Moving from ME to WE.

“Seeing the sights is no longer enough. Experiential travelers want to venture beyond the beaten tourist paths and dive deeper into authentic local culture, connecting with people from other cultures in deep and meaningful ways, the arts, architecture and music, cooking and food, sports, adventure and nature, language, history, economics and literature, philanthropy and a desire to “give back.” – Joe Diaz (2009) Co‐founder, Afar Magazine

While you’re here, learn how to ignite new initiatives by…

·  Experiencing an unplugged, no distractions environment designed for community growth, trust, team building and establishing new relationships.

·  Learning how Northern Edge Algonquin established protocols and practices to ensure guest safety and security for post COVID 19 travel.

· Rethinking the design of spaces and guest movement to provide social distancing safety while maintaining intimacy.

·  Visiting some of our region’s outstanding partners, eco-tourism and operators and taking part in experiences at a variety of built and natural community stages for tourism experiences.

·  Establishing a community resource inventory identifying your traditional and non-traditional tourism assets.

·  Identifying your ideal regional marketing themes, ideal guest profiles and discover their desired travel experiences.

·  Exploring the economics of experiences and the world of pricing travel in a tourism world shaken to it’s core by the pandemic of COVID 19.

·  Interviewing people on the ground in our rural community to discuss how their peers can be found and engaged in tourism within your own community.

·  Participating in follow-up coaching conference calls in a process of continual improvement.

What’s included?

·  Transformational learning experience facilitated by course designer Todd Lucier

·  All-inclusive private, cozy private forest accommodations and delicious catered meals which are tailored to all dietary needs

·  Safe Networking and community team building opportunities

·  Pre-event program preparation, teleconference sessions and post-program coaching to ensure program participants take active steps to create new partnerships, innovate and enhance their tourism program offerings

Why come to Northern Edge?

Northern Edge Algonquin is a provincial award winner in sustainable tourism and tourism innovation and three-time national award finalist in sustainable tourism, and outdoor/adventure tourism.  The Edge is also one of only a couple of Platinum Level Green Leaders (TripAdvisor) in Canada. Co-founder Todd Lucier has provided training for thousands of tourism professionals across Canada.  He co-produced the Edge of the Wedge Experiential Tourism Training (hyperlink) for the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism and co-founded Tourism Cafe Canada with Dr. Nancy Arsenault in 2011.

A few words from our past guests…

  • "On behalf of 437 (T) SQN from the Canadian Forces, we would like to express our utmost gratitude for the absolutely challenging, cohesive, outstanding and truly enjoyable team-building experience that we were proud to be part of . . ."
    -Jordan I, Canadian Forces
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  • "Great Learning Experience. Brought out what I felt was there; a competent, intelligent team that will move mountains. Instilled confidence in ourselves as a team. The facilitators were extremely professional, exuded confidence & engendered trust. The venue – fantastic!!!"
    -Rudy Chiarot, Vice President, PIC Group