2021 and Looking Forward
What a year 2021 was. We know many of you are burnt out and tired of the challenges COVID-19 continues to cause for the tourism and hospitality sector. Thank you so much for hanging in.

We have big plans for 2022 and look forward to working with you. But first here is a review of activities in 2021. There were challenges but also successes.
Funding Partnerships
Success happens through partnerships and collaboration. Therefore Tourism Oxford is very grateful for the following support in 2021.
Regional Relief Recovery Fund
January 2021 saw the wrapping up of TIAO and Fed Dev Ontario Regional Relief Recovery Funding. This assisted with marketing, product development and research to help support and grow tourism in Oxford County.
Oxford County Economic Stimulus Fund
Administered by Community Futures Oxford, this program provided $99,000 in grants to support local businesses addressing the challenges of COVID-19, including the tourism sector. 2022 tourism grant recipients included the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre, Tillsonburg Station Arts, Woodstock BIA, Tillsonburg BIA, and the Woodstock Ag Society. Tourism loan recipients included Snyders Family Farm, Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life and Red Dragon Dairy.
SWOTC Partnership Fund
This program provided matching funds for Oxford County to host numerous travel writers, access valuable market research, create new photography/video, and advertise to new audiences in 2022. This support often extended beyond Tourism Oxford to local tourism businesses who joined the partnerships.
Great Taste of Ontario
An award winning provincial marketing campaign promoting culinary road trips across Ontario. As a partner, Tourism Oxford submitted itineraries, hosted a media trip, and developed passport content for Oxford County. Participating in this program meant Oxford County was part of a $1.85 million marketing campaign.
Destination Ontario
Oxford County was excited to partner with SWOTC and Destination Ontario to have a Weather Network, live on location feature at Snyder's Family Farm. This feature explored fun things to do on the farm this holiday season, plus interviews with Early Bird Coffee, Elmhurst Inn, Habitual Chocolate and the Oxford County Cheese Trail.
More partnership are coming soon!
Tourism Business Partnerships
New Tourism Partnership Program
In 2022, Tourism Oxford Launched its new partnership opportunities booklet. This included making TourismOxford.ca website listings free to market ready tourism businesses. Ninety-eight businesses have registered for a free listing. The goal of this program was to engage more businesses in the tourism sector.
Enhanced Blog Listings
Thank you to the 19 businesses that took advantage of TourismOxford.ca's new Enhanced Blogs. Through this program businesses get a professionally written blog highlighting their business on TourismOxford.ca. These blogs are also then featured on social media and in newsletters. Having content to promote businesses is incredibly valuable. Businesses can also link to this blog featuring their business.
4 Rural Route Events
In 2021, Tourism Oxford sponsored 4 Rural Routes events which had businesses collaborating to host multi-stop events. Event hosts were:

  • Gravel Travel: Berrylicious Fruit Farm, Greener Pastures Eco Farm, Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese & Wild Comfort Body Care
  • Bre's Market, Makkinks & Urban Wheel
  • Bre's Market, JTK Farms, Orange Door Acres
  • Tour Thames St: Louis Lime Vintage, Olde Bakery Cafe and Wine Cellar & Cheese Shop
The marketing campaigns resulted in 312,000 impressions and click thru rates of 2%-4.27%. Partners reported results included experiencing record sales days and high visitation (up to 500 per site). Thank you to all partners!
New Experiences & Video Partnerships
Experiential Tourism resonated with consumers in 2021 looking for activities to enjoy with just their bubble. Over 13 Oxford businesses have invested in experiential travel. Thank you to businesses that launched new experiences, and those that invested in the Oxford/SWOTC video partnership.

New experiences in 2020 include
  • Harvest Brunch, Thames River Melons
  • A suite of experiences, Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life
  • Soap and Solace, Wild Comfort Body Care
New Experience Video Partners:
  • Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association
  • Grand Experiences
  • Thames River Melons
  • Udderly Ridiculous
  • Wild Comfort Body Care

Unlocked and Inspired Experiential Tourism Training will be taking place again in Feb 2022 (London). We encourage businesses to take advantage of this training. After completing the training the Tourism Oxford Team is available to help you develop and bring your experience to market. View all experiences in Oxford County www.TourismOxford.ca/Experiences
Gravelocity Launches in Oxford
Oxford County was excited to be one of 4 communities where Gravelocity launched their new Gravel Road bike tours that pair guided rides with boutique accommodation.
Marketing Highlights
Oxford county was noticed in 2021! Thank you to the many media who took the time to explore and get to know Oxford County. This includes Arienne Parezi, Will Tang, Yashy Murphy, Andrew Dobson, Michele Sponagle, Kevin Callan and many More.
This cheese trail in Ontario will take you on a tour...

Everyone knows the best road trips revolve around food and that's what makes the Oxford County Cheese Trail so special. The self-guided trail consists of 24 curated stops to show you the best of the best when it comes to dairy and cheese...

Read more
Media Coverage
Media Partnerships with SWOTC:

Earned Media:
2020 Advertising Numbers
Thank you to the tourism businesses and SWOTC which partnered with us on several campaigns. We also want to thank Community Futures Oxford and Rural Oxford for the opportunity to partner on a holiday campaign that drove traffic to Tourism Oxford's holiday webpage. Supporting our local businesses was a priority this holiday season.

The following provides a few key highlights from 2021.
  • ad-mail campaign, 10,000 copies
  • Creation of a new lure brochure
  • Holiday billboard campaign
  • 1.9 million print ad circulation
  • 5 million digital advertising impressions
TourismOxford.ca Got a Makeover
TourismOxford.ca launched a new layout in June 2021. It is more intuitive to serve the needs of potential visitors and visitors who are already in Oxford County. The results of these efforts can be seen in the numbers.

The Numbers
379,200 page views, a 29% increase
19% increase in pages per session
21% increase in session duration
Basically more people on the website checking out more pages for longer!

Work Continues
Website improvements are continually being made, with Gabrielle spending time improving SEO, website flow, generating new content and formats to enhance the visitor experience.
Social Media Highlights
Subscribers/Followers (18,285)
  • 4,500 Newsletter subscribers
  • 15,486 Youtube minutes viewed & 51 new followers

Content Created:
  • 21 in house videos featuring 45 local attractions
  • 47 reels on Instagram
  • 35 professional videos (29 of these were Rural Oxford's partnership program.
Supporting Oxford Was A Finalist
Community Futures Oxford, Rural Oxford EDC, and Tourism Oxford were humbled that Supporting Oxford was selected as a finalist for two awards:
  • Community Involvement Award, 2021 Woodstock Chamber of Commerce
  • Collaboration Award, 2021 Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards (Tourism Industry Association of Ontario)

This collaboration continued for the 2021 Holiday season with Spotify ads, a newspaper advertorial, billboards and digital advertising.
Advocacy & Representation
Tourism Oxford represented and advocated for Oxford's Tourism Industry at a local, provincial and national level. This includes raising awareness about business challenges, raising the profile of Tourism in Oxford County, and participating in regional and provincial groups. Businesses that are facing challenges with accessing COVID-19 programs and services are encouraged to reach out to Tourism Oxford. 2021 activities included:

  • Oxford County Council, May 14 & Oct 13
  • SWOTC Unlocked and Inspired Training
  • Prince Edward County & Bay of Quinte, Ontario
  • Eastman Tourism Conference, Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance, Annual Conference
  • Oxford County Cycling Advisory Committee
  • Oxford County Trails Council
  • SWOTC DMO & Marketing Committee
  • Great Taste of Ontario Advisory Committee
  • Ontario Travel Intentions Research Group
  • Tourism Industry Assoc. Ontario update meetings
COVID-19 Recommendations
In 2020, Tourism Oxford consulted with the tourism industry to gather feedback on ways to tackle the challenges of COVID-19. Tourism Oxford developed 14 recommendations all which have been implemented, with many being ongoing activities. Examples of actions include free website listings, replacing the visitors centre with county wide signage, marketing campaigns to support businesses, partnerships and information sharing.

In 2022 Tourism Oxford will continue its work to support businesses and help tourism recover and grow in Oxford County. Read our industry newsletters for the latest updates.
2022 Business Plan Highlights
Oxford County Council approved Tourism Oxford's 2022 Business Plan. Through this plan Tourism Oxford will will provide its core services in management, product development and marketing. 2022 Business plan highlights include:
2022 Oxford Fresh Map & Sign Programs
The Oxford Fresh partnership is continuing with:
  • Printing 4th edition of the map.
  • Oxford Fresh laneway signage program
  • Free website listings for eligible businesses
Embrace our Rural Routes Sponsorship:
We are running this program in 2022 but with a few changes:
  1. Partnership funds are for digital advertising only.
  2. We are hoping to offer 10 partnerships spread throughout the year, with a goal of releasing a calendar for the year
Visitor Signage Program:
In 2020, Tourism Oxford tested new visitor information signage. Signage was installed at Cheese Trail businesses. We also have installed test door decals and shelf takers at various locations. In 2022 this signage will expand to other businesses and locations across Oxford County.

While we understand Sustainability may not be on your radar right now it is on the mind of consumers. That means it is a good business decision to consider how you can meet this growing visitor need. In 2022 we will be offering workshops to assist you, and new ways to collaborate with us to engage these visitors.

Increase Business Engagement
Tourism Oxford wants to engage more businesses to be active in growing tourism in Oxford County. This will involve education, outreach and opportunities to celebrate the tourism sector in Oxford County. Activities will include open house days at local attractions, an innovation grant and tourism awards program.

Learn more at our 2022 on-line kick-off meeting
Thank you for all of your support in 2021
 Gabrielle, Jeanne & Meredith
Tourism Oxford | 519-539-9800 x3355 | tourism@oxfordcounty.ca | Industry website | Consumer website