Tourism Northern Ontario, an organization that leads economic growth in tourism for the north recently relaunched under their new brand, Destination Northern Ontario (DNO). The organization’s fresh title makes a confident statement about the region’s network of premier tourist attractions and aligns with the branding of counterparts, Destination Ontario and Destination Canada.
So, why is this important to you? The answers are in the numbers.
Did you know?
One out of every four businesses in the north is tourism-related with 40% of the workforce connected to tourism. One of the greatest draws to our region, angling tourism, generates over 6000 jobs and contributes as much as $450 million toward Ontario’s gross domestic product each year.
The tourism economy in Northern Ontario is greater than Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces.
Regional tourism is a critical asset to our economy and impacts nearly everyone who resides in the north either directly or indirectly. An influx of over 8 million visitors who spend $1.6 billion annually supports your favourite restaurants, outfitters, department stores, and more. Not to mention the half a billion in tax dollars the industry generates to finance local and provincial initiatives that simply make life in the north better for residents and guests alike.
Successes and continued growth
Although the name is new, the mission of Destination Northern Ontario continues to focus on significantly growing tourism revenues in Northern Ontario through partnership initiatives, industry training, marketing support and product development for regional businesses.
How, do you ask?
By launching new, evidence-based products specifically for the north
Initiatives like Destination Northern Ontario’s bilingual wayfinding sign program is transforming communities. The installation of 185 wayfinding signs is helping increase visitor satisfaction by guiding guests around Northern Ontario to the places they want to see.
The ongoing program is expected to double this figure over the next year and promotes a more seamless and user-friendly travel experience.
Through leveraging millions of dollars annually in support of advanced tourism programming
Destination Northern Ontario creates business development opportunities through their Partnership Program which is focused on providing strategic and financial support for regional operators. Over 70 tourism businesses and organizations take part in the Partnerships Programs annually, each successfully leveraging their partnership fund by nearly 500%.
Leading significant marketing programs for regional businesses
DNO helps businesses tap into important domestic, border, and international markets through marketing support. Digital marketing efforts have seen over 4.3 million visits to regional tourism websites and have grown an online social community in the millions.
Mentorship and education
Destination Northern Ontario is focused on helping businesses enhance the quality of their products and services to create the best visitor experience possible. The Tourism Excellence North program (TEN) offers self-learning, group learning and personalized coaching opportunities all in the name of bettering businesses and promoting sustainability.
Over 400 individuals have participated in the Tourism Excellence North program to date.
Looking to the future
Destination Northern Ontario is one of 13 not-for-profit regional tourism organizations funded by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. 100 per cent of DNO’s expenditures support tourism growth in Northern Ontario.
Destination Northern Ontario’s new brand identity is an exciting change for the organization and sets positive expectations for the future. It embodies their continued commitment to delivering economic growth in tourism for the region.