Connecting, engaging and informing Durham Tourism's valued stakeholders.
April 2017  

Greetings from Durham Tourism
Welcome to the April issue of Durham Tourism's Industry Insights! Spring has officially arrived, bringing with it the promise of warmer weather and a great line-up of programs, events and opportunities for Durham Region businesses.

The season also arrived with some great news for tourism, from increased funding to an increase in visitor spending in sport tourism. Read on to find out more, as well as news on a proposed bait management policy for Ontario, our Sport Tourism Radar, and recognition for a local festival in Festival & Events Ontario's Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario.

If you are hosting an upcoming event in Durham Region, remember to visit the events section at, to register and submit your event to our free, online calendar. Don't forget to save the date for the  Central Counties Tourism Annual General Meeting, to be held on June 21. More details to come!
Tourism Industry Highlights
Oshawa Peony Festival awarded Top 100 Festival status from Festivals & Events in Ontario for fifth consecutive year

Road Trip season is almost here, and Festival & Events Ontario (FEO) has announced the 2017 Top 100 Festivals & Events to attend in Ontario. Congratulations to the Oshawa Peony Festival, which was named  a Top 100 Festival & Event in Ontario for the fifth year in a row!  The 13th annual Peony Festival will take place June 10 and 11.
FEO recognizes festivals and events in the province that excel within the industry. Congratulations to the City of Oshawa and all who helped make these events possible!
For more information, including the complete listing of 2017 Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario, visit

Good News for Canadian Tourism

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC ) praised the recent boost that Canadian Tourism received in the 2017 federal budget. Highlights of the recent announcement include:

1)  Making permanent the $37.5M in funding to Destination Canada.
2) I nvestments of $8.6M over four years to develop and support indigenous tourism.
3)  An additional $13.6M in funding over five years, and continuing annual funding of $2.7M, following this period, to assist Statistics Canada with timely and relevant tourism-related data collection.
4)  Increased budget to support Parks Canada.
5)  Pledge to complete the TransCanada trail, parts of which run through Durham Region.
Proposal: Strategic Policy for Bait Management in Ontario

For close to a century the harvest and use of live bait has been an important part of Ontario's fishing industry, benefiting both the recreational fishery and provincial economy. Given ecological risk and environmental pressures such as the spread of disease and invasive species, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has completed a review of its provincial bait policies to help improve the management of bait (such as baitfish and leeches).

As a result of this review and the feedback received, the MNRF has developed a Strategic Policy for Bait Management in Ontario that directs how bait will be managed in the future. The ministry is now seeking feedback on this proposed policy. Questions or comments on the proposal should be submitted by June 27. For more information, please contact
"Tourism Now" Website Edition workshop offered to Uxbridge business owners

Tourism business owners are invited to participate in the Tourism Now Uxbridge - New  Website  Edition workshop, taking place at Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge on April 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. 

This two-hour, hands-on workshop was designed  by RTO6 Central Counties Tourism to provide tourism operators and industry partners with an overview of the current  opportunities available. These opportunities include programs, support, strategic marketing resources, and technical website support for profiling your business at the all-new, and the Central Counties consumer website  

Register for this free event by visiting
What's new in Sport Tourism?
Sport Events Radar  

April and May are shaping up to be a busy time for sports in Durham Region. Ensure that your business is prepared to welcome incoming athletes and visitors to Durham Region during key sporting events!

Keep the following events on your radar for this month :

Ontario Cup Mountain Bike Race Series, O-Cup #1, April 23, Woodnewton, Learn-to-ride clinic taking place on Saturday, April 22 with 500 riders and 500 spectators.

Ontario Basketball U15 Midget Girls Ontario Cup Provincial Championships, April 28 to 30, with 43 teams competing in six divisions in gyms in Whitby, Oshawa and Clarington. More than 600 participants. This event is a partnership between Ontario Basketball, the Whitby Wildcats, Clarington Basketball and Sport Durham.

Trampoline and Tumbling 3rd Ontario Cup Qualifier, April 28 to 30, Durham College Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre, with 500 participants and spectators.

Durham Mountain Biking Association (DMBA) Demo Festival May 6 with upwards of 1,000 attendees.

Oshawa Kicks Soccer Club Frank Sobil Spring Classic, May 6 to 7 ( Girls Weekend) and May 13 to 14 ( Boys Weekend), with over 400 teams. 
Sport Tourism surges past
$6.5B annually

The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) recently announced that the sport tourism industry in Canada surpassed $6.5B in spending in 2015, based on data from the Travel Survey of Residents of Canada and the International Travel Survey -- illustrating the significant impact that sport tourism has on our economy. This figure corresponds to a 13 per cent increase in visitor spending associated with sport tourism over the 2014 total of $5.8 billion.

This year's announcement is also the first time the CSTA has produced numbers by province.  Results show that Ontario led all provinces, accounting for 36.7 per cent of all sport tourism expenditures; followed by Quebec with 21.2 per cent and British Columbia at 18.9 per cent.

Other highlights include:
  • The domestic market continues to be the largest source of sports tourists, representing 72 per cent of spending; overseas markets account for 18 per cent and U.S. visitors come in at nine per cent.
  • The total volume of U.S. and overseas sport tourism visitors in 2015 rose by 12 per cent, compared to 2014, led by a significant increase in the volume of U.S. overnight visitors, which was up by 15 per cent.
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