Ignite:  Best Practices in Community Tourism Development

Activate the Potential for Experiential Tourism, Economy Development, Diversification and Recovery.

Learn how to work in harmony with tourism allies and turn services 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 to attract more local, domestic, and international visitors.

IGNITE is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for regional tourism communities of 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.

“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

IGNITE attendees walk away knowing how to:

  • Identify your ideal guest and their emerging needs for safety and security as travelers emerge from pandemic isolation to explore their world once again.
  • 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.
  • Develop innovative tourism recovery projects to increase visitation and addressing the reduction in global travel as a result of COVID-19.
  • Connect with the ‘Who’s who’ in the travel, tourism and destination development process: destination marketing organizations, travel trade, travel media, the role of governments and more.
  • Move from ME to WE. Identifying your ideal community partners, including non-traditional tourism allies.
  • Understand the role of regional food in authentic tourism experiences (Farm to Fork), and celebrate local flavours with community products.
  • Identify and leverage community spaces, celebrating local flavours with community products, engaging with community partners in forestry, music and entertainment, food growers, brewmasters, guides and naturalists, trail organizations and more to co-create one-of-a-kind experiences.
  • Engage the 9 elements of successful experiential tourism products.
  • Promote tourism experiences with excellence by using quality words, photos, and video.

While you’re here, 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.
  • Being inspired to explore and incorporate more environmentally sustainable products and services.
  • Identifying and aligning existing and new experiences with traveller values.
  • 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 continuous improvement.

What’s included?

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 for the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism and co-founded Tourism Cafe Canada with Dr. Nancy Arsenault in 2011.

Don’t just take our word for it:

We have delivered experiential tourism development programs in partnership with many organizations over the years, from the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism to Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization, the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board, and more. See what they had to say.

Or, check out our Explore South River case study for: Building resilience through community collaboration, storytelling and putting community assets into the palm of your hand.

Next Steps:

Contact [email protected] to check availability and receive a proposal package.