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Durham Tourism

Connecting, engaging and informing Durham Tourism's valued stakeholders
Digital Main St.
Digital Main Street –
Digital Transformation Grants for Main Street Small Businesses

Digital Main Street (DMS) is a program focused on assisting main street small businesses with their adoption of digital tools and technology. In June, Durham Region announced the availability of the DMS ShopHERE program- a no-cost service to build an online store- making it easier for small businesses and artists to move their operations online.

Now, through the Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) Program, a partnership between FedDev Ontario, the Province of Ontario, Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and Digital Main Street, main street small businesses can apply to receive grants of up to $2,500 for digital training and guidance.

Main street small businesses in Durham looking to increase their capacity through digital transformation are encouraged to review participant requirements, complete a Digital Assessment and consider applying.

More information about Digital Main Street program will be released in the coming weeks.
Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund

The Province of Ontario is investing $1.5 million through the new Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund to offer promotional incentives at provincial attractions, help the province's tourism industry and welcome back visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, made the announcement during a fireside chat with tourism stakeholders at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

"COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented, devastating impact on the tourism industry. Our sectors were hit first, the hardest, and will take the longest to recover following COVID-19," said Minister MacLeod. "This important investment through the new Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund will support Ontario's tourism industry to ensure it is well positioned to re-emerge, grow and once more showcase how we offer the world in one province."

The fund will support projects that develop innovative tourism products and experiences, drive private sector tourism investments, workforce development, and support tourism operators to learn more through tourism industry associations.
Global Safety Stamp to Recognize Safe Travels Protocols

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTCC), alongside their members, governments, health experts and other industry associations are working together to achieve effective recovery protocols by developing meaningful action plans that optimize sector-wide recovery efforts.

Part of their protocols include providing the public and private sectors with the insights and toolkits for interaction and implementation to ensure that people are and feel safe.The WTCC envisions a future of travel which is safe, secure, seamless and provides an authentic and meaningful experience to the traveler across the journey; one which supports the livelihoods of millions and contributes to sustainable economic growth. 

The WTCC has created this specially designed stamp which will allow travelers to recognize governments and companies around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols – allowing consumers to experience ‘Safe Travels."

Eligible companies, such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, attractions, short term rentals, car rentals, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports, will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene protocols, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.  
Girl standing on pumpkin
Seasonal activities wanted!

As we move into the autumn and winter seasons, Durham Tourism is here to assist you with your marketing and promotions.

We would like to take this opportunity to reach out to our tourism stakeholders as a friendly reminder to please keep us in the 'loop' as to any activities or events that you have planned for the autumn and winter seasons.

We will be sure to include these in our marketing plans to hopefully create further awareness to our residents and guests about your products and offerings.

Please send any content and images to tourism@durham.ca.
Dagmar North Trail
Destination Ontario wants to hear your story!

Destination Ontario is developing marketing plans to help support the tourism industry and encourage safe travel to and around Ontario. Their approach will be in lockstep with the Government of Ontario's Framework for Reopening our Province. Destination Ontario is asking you, our tourism industry partner, to share your content for editorial consideration.
Guidelines and criteria:
  • Finished content that tells a compelling story of an experience in your region (via owned written, video, or 3rd party sponsored content) that can be enjoyed now (experiences that are open and can be visited safely)
  • Content for which you are able to grant third party usage rights
  • Content that features activities and operators that meet the Province of Ontario's framework for reopening and are following public health guidelines
  • Content that is presented on a mobile-optimized website.
Please complete a Finished Content Intake Form for you to use to identify storytelling content (owned written, video, or 3rd party sponsored) that is currently available for amplification. There is no limit to the number of content pieces you can submit and this is an open invitation - as restrictions ease and as additional content becomes available, please reuse and resend the intake form. Destination Ontario will continue to amplify partner content and promote the expansion of travel experiences.
If you don’t have finished content at this time, but would still like to contribute products and/or experiences that might be used in Destination Ontario’s AlwaysON content work (e.g. organic social posts), please fill out and return the General Content Intake Form.
Terroir Symposium
Terroir Virtual Symposium
The 2020 Terroir Symposium is officially going virtual from September 13 to 15.

The Terroir Team are really excited about the possibilities of a virtual Terroir, not just this year but in years to come. They believe they will be able to reach more people with their call for collaboration and provide access to the resources they provide for more of those who didn’t have it before.

This is an opportunity for the culinary network to grow. It’s an opportunity to reach more people on the front lines of the industry and support innovation.

Please follow @TerroirSymposium on social media for updates and news about the dynamic programming they are putting together to celebrate the 2020 theme: COLLABORATION.
TIAO Survey 7.0 Report

With many tourism businesses and operations entering Phase 3 of the gradual re-opening of the economy, the data shows that many risks to businesses are still abound.

The combination of reduced operating capacity and revenues, increased costs for PPE and new safety infrastructure, and uncertainty about the return of the international visitor economy, means that many tourism businesses require the extension of the existing financial aid, as well as increased access to grants, rather than loans.

The key themes that have emerged from the survey 7 data are:
  • Re-opening does not mean reduced precarity for tourism businesses or workers
  • Many business owners report low levels of confidence that their operations will remain open and viable into 2021
  • The continuation of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) into all stages and phases of recovery is critical for operators who are operating at reduced capacity, and still paying the fixed operations costs in full
  • Provincial and federal economic relief will need to be continued throughout re-opening stages
  • The impact of COVID-19 continues to vary in intensity across certain regions and sectors, with operators in Northern Ontario battling with uncertainty over the U.S border, and many in the event sector having to postpone major work until 2021
Ontario Tourism Summit

Tickets for the Ontario Tourism Summit 2020 and the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence on October 27 and 28 are now available. 

This year’s conference is going virtual and embracing the challenges we continue to face in response to COVID-19.

Your ticket to Ontario Tourism Summit 2020 also guarantees you’re on the guest list for the spectacular gala awards ceremony, where we will celebrate the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence and everything that makes our industry so special.

Just because we can’t physically be together doesn’t mean you won’t get the full gala experience. 
Feature Business Profile Forsythe Family Farms

Forsythe Family Farms 2009 Inc. is family owned and operated by Jim and Leslie Forsythe. They have been growing a variety of fruits and vegetables for direct market sales since 1972 and are currently located in Greenbank.

Jim began his career in Markham and is a first generation farmer. Shifting marketing strategies is not new to them as Greenbank is their third farm location. Their Kennedy Rd. location in Markham became known as an agri-tourism destination for families and an educational destination for school groups.

Due to COVID-19, on-farm and farmers market sales were impacted by delays, agri-tourism activities postponed until Phase 3, and educational tours were cancelled.

How they transitioned:
  • Developed an online store;
  • CSA formed a framework for produce sales and program membership has increased;
  • Created a video program featuring tour activities that will be available for online purchase; and,
  •  Altered pick your own crops protocols to allow for customer and employee safety.

Their latest endeavor is called Greens on the Farm, A 9 Hole Scavenger Hunt, is an outdoor experience allowing small groups to explore the farm in a safe and fun way. Styled like a golf game, nine holes with specific challenges and a scoring system that is PAR for the course. Book your time online and come enjoy an experience that is fun FORE all!

Greens on the Farm has become possible through partnership with Central Counties Tourism, Angus Glen Golf Club and Slabtown Cider Co.
Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund

On August 5, the Province of Ontario announced an investment of $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from COVID-19 and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities.

The OTF's Resilient Communities Fund will provide grants of up to $150 thousand. Visit OTF’s website for eligibility requirements, to sign up for a Live Group Q&A session or to book a 15-minute support call with a Program Manager. Application deadlines are September 2, 2020 and December 2, 2020.
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