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Durham Tourism
Connecting, engaging and informing Durham Tourism's valued stakeholders
Willowtree Farm, Port Perry
Greetings from Durham Tourism
We’re loving October so far. It has brought lots of great news for Durham Region and our tourism partners and stakeholders.

We welcomed back a great event, with the return of Gates Open on October 5 , our Visitor e-newsletter won a marketing award, and we have stakeholders who are doing some pretty cool things and celebrating some big birthdays!

We encourage you to post your upcoming events in Durham Region to our free, online events calendar. F ollow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Lastly, remember to take some time for yourself and enjoy the beautiful fall weather–as you already know, there’s tons to do in Durham!

Enjoy this issue!
Tourism Industry Highlights
Station Gallery celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Holiday House Tour!

We were so excited to bring you news about SGs 30th anniversary of their house tour, that we reported it as their anniversary too! In fact, SG is celebrating their golden anniversary next year – happy 50th! Thank you for half a century of captivating art and amazing workshops.
If you haven’t already purchased your tickets for the 30th annual house tour, visit https://www.stationgallery.ca/events/holiday-house-tour/ or stop by their holiday market on November 15th and 16th.
Front of Station Gallery
Tractor at Willowtree Farm
Annual farm tour showcases local agriculture

September 12 was a beautiful, sunny late summer day–the perfect day for elected officials, representatives from various levels of government, the educational sector and public agencies to learn about Durham’s vibrant agricultural sector directly from individuals in the industry. It’s the date the Durham Agricultural Advisory Committee (DAAC) successfully hosted its 17th annual farm tour at Willowtree Farm in Port Perry.

Agriculture is a key economic sector in Durham Region, and this year’s tour showcased how diverse a farm-based agricultural operation can be, providing participants with a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the region. The theme of the tour was “Farm to table in Durham Region,” and covered everything from crops and on-farm processing, to farm-related retail. Charles Stevens, owner of Wilmot Orchards and Board Member of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association , kicked off the tour with a keynote speech. More than 100 participants attended this year’s event. “The support we receive each year from the agricultural community in hosting this event, and from the attendees that take the time to come out and learn about Durham’s agricultural industry is very much appreciated,” said Zac Cohoon, Chair of DAAC.
Three copies of visitor e-newsletter cover
Durham Tourism Visitor e-newsletter wins
marketing award

You’re an avid Durham Tourism Industry Report reader, right?

But, have you signed up for our award-winning Durham Tourism Visitor e-newsletter?
If you’re looking for something fun to do, curious about sporting activities in Scugog, or maybe even wondering where there’s a great place to brunch in Brock, this is the publication for you! Sign up for Durham Tourism’s Visitor e-newsletter to keep on top of the latest fun and adventures that our region offers.

This newsletter appeals not just to visitors, but to residents–touching on everything from events and feature establishments to sporting events. It drives interest in getting out and about in Durham Region. Produced in-house, the Visitor e-newsletter is content driven, based on the local community, and supports businesses from all eight local municipalities in Durham Region. It’s a great tool not only for tourism, but also workforce and talent attraction.

This monthly publication recently won an Economic Developers Association of Canada Marketing Award in the Single Publication Under 4 Pages category! Promoting the depth and breadth of entertainment and cultural events in Durham Region, the e-newsletter serves as a tool to show that there is always something going on in Durham Region. There’s something more to Durham.
Sensory kit for arena

Spectra makes events more accessible
Spectra, operators of the Tribute Communities Centre , is helping guests with autism, dementia or traumatic brain injuries to enjoy events in greater comfort with the creation of Sensory Kits to be distributed during all events at the venue.

The visual or auditory environment at the arena can be overwhelming for these guests, due to the bright lights and loud noises. Each kit contains: a small drawstring bag; a pair of noise reducing earmuffs and ear plugs; a pair of anti-glare glasses; a “fidget” toy; communication cards that allow non-verbal guests to communicate their mood and needs; an identification wristband (this can note the family’s location and contact number in the case of confusion or separation); a venue map outlining the main gates, family restrooms and elevators; and an event schedule (as available).

“Sensory Kits are important, as it allows families to make memories and have experiences like everyone else,” stated Gail Smith , Spectra’s Assistant Ticketing Manager and Accessibility Coordinator at the Tribute Communities Centre. “Our Sensory Kits will make attending our events easier if guests know in advance a kit is ready and waiting for them to use.”

The sensory kits will help to provide guests with the best fan experience in Oshawa, and come on the heels of other recent accessibility projects: including the reconstruction of Red Tilson Lane; the new antenna for Hearing Assistance Devices; and Tribute Community Centre’s new website, scheduled to launch in 2020. The free Sensory Kits can be reserved online.
Children feeding goats
Gates Open puts Durham on the map as an agri-destination
There were hay-filled wagons to ride, adorable alpacas to coo over, and farm fresh fare to taste at the Gates Open: Find Your Flavour Tour on October 5 .

Eight amazing Durham farms opened their gates to visitors, showcasing the best they have to offer, and sharing the passion and dedication they bring to farming and their commitment to local food. “We’re really excited to bring Gates Open back to Durham Region,” said Tracey Werry, Project Co-ordinator, Durham Farm Fresh Marketing Association. “Visitors from near and far discovered the region’s fresh, local food; learned about where their food comes from; and had the opportunity to purchase some amazing harvest goods to fill their pantries with.”

The event returned after close to a decade on hiatus, and received funding from the Greenbelt Foundation, which supports awareness of the Greenbelt’s agricultural and natural systems, cultural heritage and rural economy. More than 2,000 people visited farms in Beaverton, Eniskillen, Janetville, Nestleton Station, Newcastle and Port Perry.
Tourism Business Profile
Cyclists on road
Oshawa Cycling Club

The Oshawa Cycling Club (OCC) was formed in 1980 by a couple local cyclists and has since grown to more than 200 members from across Durham Region and beyond. A recreational road cycling club, the OCC offers 10 weekly rides catering to different riding levels. Most of the club’s rides start either at the Courtice Community Centre or in Brooklin, providing east and west ride starts.

Special rides are also offered from other locations, including Thursday night Bowmanville rides and Saturday morning theme rides that explore different parts of Durham Region. Special events including Pizza Nites, time trials, weekend excursions, a spring open house, and a fall awards night and dance. Non-members are welcome to come and try a couple of club rides by signing a two-ride waiver. You can follow the club on Twitter .
Picture of a bedroom
Visitor Research Program

Central Counties Tourism uses Environics Analytics’ vast wealth of market data, such as demographics, media preferences, leisure, travel behaviour, and psychographics to help you understand more about the visitors to your region and the customers who visit your business.

Are you collecting data to grow your business? Learn how to harness the power of data.
If you’re interested in finding out more about who your customer is and their preferences – read more about the Central Counties Visitor Research Program 2019-20. Contact Tom Guerquin, Research & Development Project Manager, to learn how you can take advantage of this program for your business at tguerquin@centralcounties.ca.
Children doing an art activity
Thank you for supporting Culture Days
Thank you for once again making Culture Days in Durham Region a great success! The 10th annual weekend celebration of culture and the arts saw more than 60 local artists and organizations hold free, interactive events across the region; and more than 3,000 events across the country. Thank you to all who participated and made this celebration a success! 

If you participated in organizing an event or attended this year’s celebration, fill out the Culture Days survey –your feedback matters!
Consider participating in this one-of-a kind event in 2020 and join us in introducing the public to the talented artists, musicians, creators, and historians of Durham.
Golf ball
News from TIAO

Cherry Downs Golf Club in Pickering, a scenic course with challenging greens and old-time beauty, was the site for the 10th Annual Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) Golf Tournament on September 13. Durham Tourism would like to thank the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for hosting this annual tournament in Durham Region. The event welcomed industry partners from across the province, and Durham Tourism was pleased to support the tournament through a hole sponsorship and prize donation. Thank you to everyone who participated during the event!

We encourage tourism stakeholders in Durham Region to engage with TIAO as they represent the unified voice of the diverse tourism industry in Ontario to realize prosperity and growth. TIAO’s next event is the annual Ontario Tourism Summit taking place from October 29 to 30 in the Blue Mountains. 

Also in TIAO news, the finalists for the Tourism Marketing and Travel Media Awards of Excellence were announced in mid-September. Congratulations to Central Counties Tourism–RTO 6 for their nomination for the Tourism Marketing Partnership Award for their Golf in Ontario program. The Tourism Marketing and Travel Media Awards of Excellence recognize those who contribute to Ontario’s tourism industry through impactful partnerships, marketing activities and media relations. Award winners will be announced on October 30 at the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence gala evening.
In the news
It’s been a busy fall so far, and we’re only a few weeks in. There have been several announcements, as well as strategies opened for public comments recently:
Strengthening and Supporting Ontario's Craft Producers –Government Investing in the Success of Small Wineries, Cideries, Breweries and Distillers (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs)
• New Proposal to Protect Ontario's Waters and Fisheries –Province releases draft bait management strategy (Ministry of Natural Resources)
Reducing Red Tape for Agricultural Fairs –Ontario making it easier to celebrate rural traditions (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs)
Two people fishing
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