Ignite: Activating the Potential for Experiential Travel
Bring your visitor economy stakeholders together in harmony, celebrating the unique skills talents and abilities of each individual, each organization, and work with your tourism industry allies to achieve extra-ordinary things that no-one can compete with.
IGNITE is a one-of-a-kind product development opportunity designed for rural communities that want to create new and enhanced experiential tourism products. IGNITE combines elements of a best practice mission, community development and experiential travel training for community clusters of rural tourism operators. IGNITE Retreats are personalized to meet the needs of rural tourism operators that want to increase the appeal of their destination.
Seed Excellence and Growth in your Region’s Visitor Economy
Participants are introduced to operators and experience providers in the Almaguin Highlands of Ontario who are raising the bar and demonstrating excellence in experiential tourism. They visit with some of our region’s outstanding partners, eco-tourism and culinary allies and take part in experiences at a variety of built and natural community stages for tourism experiences. Our private unplugged learning experience offer behind the scenes views of how experiences have been designed and delivered at Northern Edge Algonquin for more that two decades with community partners. Targeted for specific markets, we have relationships with over 20 partners who infuse experiences with local flavours at mealtime and beyond – inspiring and empowering attendees to do the same.
“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.
The IGNITE program provides guidance, support and encouragement with inspiring new experiences and workshop elements to seed the development of new and enhanced tourism experiences.
IGNITE is an immersive, hands on tourism learning experience that will increase your revenue potential, help you establish a competitive market position, inspire new and enhanced tourism experiences and create long lasting community partnerships with your tourism industry allies.
“Like the Jack Pine cone that only releases it’s seeds after a fire, tourism industry excellence is achieved when rural communities IGNITE with their allies to break through the shell of indifference to inspire sharing your community’s seeds of wisdom, talent and energy to achieve the extra-ordinary.”
Download the 2019 IGNITE Overview and agreement outline.
Could your rural community benefit from:
- A spirit of trust, a willingness to collaborate, and evolve together, making social connections in a private unplugged setting with other operators in your region;
- Experiencing best practices with engaging with experience providers at built and natural community stages;
- Committing to new projects to enhance or create new tourism experiences; IGNITE participants get hands on practice developing experiences using templates, tools, checklists, and interviews with experience providers to create new experiences. They leave, not only inspired, but empowered to commit to an experiential tourism project they will complete in their community. Whether expanding or enhancing an existing project or working with partners to create something new, IGNITE is about doing tourism differently and sharing the benefits of innovation.
- Follow-up forum conference calls to seed a commitment to continuous improvement and help program participants move new and enhanced tourism experiences from idea to action.
Ignite New Initiatives by:
- Sharing innovative “experience facilitation methods” that bring out the best in each individual and your community.
- Understanding the importance of knowing your neighbours – what your regional assets truly are. Appreciate the magic in their own backyards waiting to be shared with guests.
- Establish new relationships by experiencing an unplugged, no distractions environment for community growth and building trust with structured and unstructured social time for community team-building.
- Exploring where we are and where we want to be; collaborating with tourism allies and collaborative partners and learning how best to work together, learning from one another.
- Appreciating why attention to detail and quality are critical ingredients to success.
- Gain new perspectives through the eyes of the artisan, farmer, chef, musicians, guides, etc.
- A Cauldron of Creativity, Northern Edge Algonquin is unlike any other venue available for tourism training. The Edge is a private, off-the-grid, unplugged location, with no cellular service and internet / phone access that is reserved for emergencies. There are no distractions, just you and your cohorts exploring new ideas about tourism, establishing new partnerships and designing new experiences for your region.
- Sharing a unique learning environment with interactive tourism experiences with community tourism partners from Almaguin Highlands, team and individual think sessions, formal and informal dialogue among attendees, product development and planning sessions. (Think about it. Talk about it. Do it.)
- Establishing a community resource inventory identifying your traditional and non-traditional tourism assets: stages, talent (hosts, storytellers, actors, artists, crafters & performers), local activities, local props (locally grown, locally produced, offering a taste of this place, something to take home), hosts (places to rest your head, be fed local amazing food), and events.
- Identify your ideal guests and appreciate regional marketing themes, ideal guest profiles and discover their desired travel experiences.
- Exploring the economics of experiences and the world of pricing.
- 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.
- Creating an experience by interviewing experience providers and planning an experience with their colleagues.
- Participating in follow-up coaching conference calls in a process of continual improvement
- Celebrating Success.
What we do:
- IGNITE programs are designed and facilitated by Todd Lucier
- Instructional design and preparation of learning materials
- Inspiring facilitation and delivery of the experiential learning program
- Design seasonal experiences with diverse community partners
- Professional planning and guest relations
- Client care before during and after the training
- Cozy accommodations, memorable meals and transformational learning experiences
- Sustainable, responsible, rural tourism focus
- Fantastic networking and community team building
- Follow up coaching
What do Past Ignitees have to say?
- “The experiential activities and reflective exercises that were a part of the Ignite Kawarthas Northumberland program were among the most well-planned and most effectively delivered teachings that I have had the privilege of participating in. Todd and his staff at Northern Edge Algonquin are not only gracious hosts of the highest caliber, they are truly experts in their field who are able to inspire deeper thinking and creative responses that will help me to build experiential tourism outcomes in our community.”
-Debra Soule, Economic Development Officer – City of Kawartha Lakes
- "I can’t tell you how many personal responses since Friday I have received from my operators and enabler colleagues about how this retreat has inspired them to shift their mindset and way of doing things but has also lead to building their confidence in doing what they do.
I think you allowed us the perfect balance of being able to teach us how to build our own roadmap to success through your wonderfully put-together workbook/workshops yet allow us enough space for personal reflection and most of all group synergy. Quite frankly, I still can’t believe how well the group committed to the concepts and were able to bond so quickly. You’ll be amazed to hear that we ALREADY have 4 new experiences that were “ignited” from within operators across municipalities and are being developed all on their own."
-Trevor Norris,, Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board
- "Not even 3 feet of snow could stop us from experiencing the many treasures that exist in this neck of the woods of Ontario. We ate some of the best food I have ever had, were treated like royalty and slept soundly each night. There are so many surprises one can experience with Northern Edge - really a great example of how to do tourism right!"
-Jonathan Foster, Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism
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Is IGNITE right for my community?
Do you know what makes your region special? Do your tourism industry stakeholders share that vision? Successful rural destinations deliver memorable experiences that focus beyond what the visitor can see and do by harnessing the unique assets of the community in its people, culture, and regional identity.
Does your community share a vision of excellence and collaborate to deliver extra-ordinary experiences? Bring your visitor economy stakeholders together in harmony, celebrating the unique skills talents and abilities of each individual, each organization, and work with your tourism industry allies to achieve extra-ordinary things that no-one can compete with. The Edge is a cauldron of creativity where new ideas about tourism can be explored, new partnerships formed and new experiences are created and brought to market. Your community may come together as strangers, but they will leave as allies!
Is your tourism community engaging the right people? Who are your tourism economy allies? Successful rural tourism communities expand the traditional vision of tourism stakeholders of hotels, restaurants, attractions and events to include all the people who contribute to visitor experiences. Learn how to engage your community: farmers, musicians, chefs, artists and artisans, guides, naturalists, magicians, yoga teachers, product manufacturers, craft food and beverage producers, foresters, fishermen, athletes and make use of under-utilized community assets to tell your story. Do banks, real estate agents, lawyers, gas stations, grocery stores realize how important your tourism economy is to their sustainability?
Are you making the best use of your community assets? What sets your community apart? Are you missing out on opportunities because you don’t share a complete community resource inventory of parks, waterways, places of worship, sports and recreation facilities, trails, festivals and events, museums and cultural heritage sites. Learn how to make use of your under-utilized community assets.