COVID-19 March 16, 2020 Update
We would like to thank everyone that provided feedback over the past few days and to all those who answered the "Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism Operations" survey. This will help us all to better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on the Northern Ontario tourism industry.

Additional surveys will be released to continue to gather insight as the situation evolves. Your input is instrumental to moving forward in addressing the impacts on the Northern Ontario tourism industry and we encourage continued participation in these surveys.

We have all been concerned about the status of the US/ Canadian border and moments ago Prime Minister Trudeau issued a statement that for now the border will remain open to American citizens. You will find the link below to his press conference. I would suggest that you listen to the complete statement as well as the question and answer period.

NOTO will continue to monitor this situation and work with tourism and Government colleagues to ensure the flow of information continues and that the impacts to tourism are known to our Federal and Provincial Governments.

Take care,
Update from Prime Minister Trudeau

We know that many of you have had concerns and questions about whether our Canadian border will be closed as a result of the Coronavirus. Prime Minister Trudeau has made the following announcement today about tightening restrictions and it appears that American citizens are still permitted entry for now.
COVID-19 Conference Call For Operators

TIAO will be hosting a series of conference calls tomorrow with Regional Tourism Organizations, Destination Marketing Organizations, Sector Association's, Tourism Operators and Tourism Suppliers.

TIAO would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who completed, shared and promoted the surveys. They are now looking to discuss any latest information and developments, share information passed on by Government, and collect additional feedback and information on what everyone's been hearing, and how industry has been impacted.

The call for tourism operators and tourism suppliers will take place on March 17th, 2020 at 3:00pm (EST). The agenda for this meeting can be found  here .

Here are the numbers you will need to participate in this meeting:      
Dial In: 416-619-0731
Participant Code: 258-403-620#

We encourage all tourist operators who can participate to do so. We also encourage our Preferred Suppliers to participate and share this information with other tourism suppliers.
Information From Federal Minister Melanie Joly

The following information about resources you can tap into through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) has been forwarded to us from our colleagues at TIAC via Federal Minster Mélanie Joly.   Please click here to view the Federal Support fact sheet .

Businesses affected by the situation are asked to contact their local economic development officer. The Minister’s team at Economic Development and Official Languages is also ready to assist if need be. Please note the following:

  • The six Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) have been given more tools and flexibility to help local businesses deal with economic difficulties. They will help them deal with the immediate impact of COVID-19 on their operations by allowing, for example, deferred repayment, advance payments or reimbursement of legitimate claims.
  • The RDAs will reallocate marketing efforts to support local and regional tourism, taking into account the latest advice from health agencies. Destination Canada is also closely monitoring the global situation and adjusting its marketing strategy accordingly, a central part of which is promoting domestic tourism.
Destination Canada Update

Destination Canada understands that these are difficult times within the tourism sector. There is a lot of uncertainty around what the world will look like, even tomorrow. In this update, they've announced the following.

  • Cancellation of Rendez-Vous Canada
  • Leisure Marketing: Destination Canada will work with all of it's tourism partners at a provincial, territorial and municipal level to encourage Canadians to travel within our own country and leverage existing knowledge and partnerships to extend efforts to key US travelers.
  • Data and Intelligence: As part of their mandate, they're committed to sharing data and intelligence to help inform plans into the future with Federal and with Provincial tourism counterparts.
  • Keep Exploring Website: The consumer-facing Keep Exploring website will include guidance for travelers in Canada and to Canada. This new section of the website will provide information and links to the relevant government websites, providing travelers with a comprehensive resource for their travel questions.
  • Industry Webinar: Destination Canada will host a webinar for the tourism sector at all levels later this week. We will share the details as they become available.
  • Corporate website: They will enhance the information around COVID-19 on their website regularly including links to where small to medium sized enterprises can go for support or information.
  • Information Sharing: Destination Canada will continue to share information with Federal and Provincial Governments and tourism sector organizations to ensure we all remain up-to-date on recent developments and supports.
Federal & Provincial Government Information

The Ontario and Federal Governments are regularly updating COVID-19 information, travel information, Minister statements, Government initiatives and statistics on their websites. For additional information from the Ontario or Federal Government, please click on the buttons below.
NOTO resources for you and your guests

NOTO created a collection of infographics featuring prevention and disinfection recommendations and tips on how to prepare your business. These documents were created using information from World Health Organization (WHO) , Government of Canada , Government of Ontario , and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) .

These organizations and Government websites are updated regularly throughout the day. Members who would like to follow the developments of this outbreak are encouraged to visit any of the sources listed above.

If you plan to adopt the prevention and disinfection recommendations in the document linked below, you can share this piece with your guests who need reassurance that you are taking extra measures as a result of COVID-19.
NOTO would like to hear from industry about any cancellations, concerns you or your clients may have surrounding COVID-19, or any other impacts you may be noticing. We would like to stay up-to-date on all developments to keep members and Government informed.