Pandemic Recovery: Expand Your Client Base and Grow Revenues Through Overseas Market Development

Virtual Workshop

November 2 -4, 2021   |   9:00 am – 12:00 pm each day

Together with regional partners Destination Northern Ontario (DNO) is looking to the future, with a view to rebuilding tourism revenues and helping northern tourism partners build a more competitive position in the marketplace.  Product development, supporting business operators who are open to adapting and creating new opportunities for visitors are key priorities in 2021-2022.

The pandemic has highlighted the limitations of focusing all of our sales and development efforts on only one or two markets.  Together with Destination Ontario, Destination Canada, and partners across the north, DNO has worked since 2015 to develop new experiences, touring routes and packages specifically to attract high yield international visitors.  Ian McMillan has remained active in our target markets throughout the pandemic, working with tour operators, Destination Ontario, and Destination Canada to build awareness and expand the range of northern Ontario product being promoted in each market. 

Our collective efforts resulted in a total of 144 tour operators showcasing new touring routes, experiences, and packages across the north in their 2020-21 programs.  This past May, a team of northern partners met online with tour operators from the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan, China and Korea, during Rendez-vous Canada.  Universally, product planners highlight that clients express keen interest in visiting rural areas where they can explore unspoiled wilderness and outdoor adventure, local history, cuisine, nature, and indigenous cultures.

As restrictions on international travel evolve, DNO is working with key partners to continue building upon work to date and support interested operators, attractions and destinations with product development and progress towards being ready to take new experiences, touring routes, and programs to these new markets. Diversifying our key source markets is a cornerstone in DNO’s strategy to spearhead growth by attracting new visitors who stay longer and spend more per trip.

In 2021-22, Destination Northern Ontario and Tourism Excellence North are working with a select group of Northern operators and partners whose product or experience aligns with consumer interest and market demand. Market or export-readiness is a very important part of the product development process for international markets. DNO has developed comprehensive criteria for working with international travel trade, who are key partners in promoting and selling new destinations; with the goal of equipping our tourism partners for success.

Pandemic Recovery! On November 2 – 4, from 9am to 12pm each day, Destination Northern Ontario and Tourism Excellence North will host a virtual workshop on Overseas Market Development and opportunities for northern tourism partners to expand their client base and grow revenues.

Over the three half-days, interactive online sessions will incorporate in-depth discussion of all aspects of working with the international travel trade (ITT) in the context of pandemic recovery, including roles, pricing, inventory, operational requirements, and ongoing development steps envisioned by DNO.  We will discuss current research, implications of COVID 19 protocols, product already offered by the travel trade, trends, consumer interests, and criteria developed by DNO to help interested partners assess market-readiness.

Why participate?  We will explore:

  •  How the travel trade can help expand your client base;
  • Best practices for working with international travel trade partners and what this means for your business;
  • What current research tells us about potential for new northern Ontario product and opportunities to grow revenue by attracting new, high yield visitors.
  • What it means to be “market or export-ready”, and a checklist to prepare your business or attraction for success.

The facilitators will follow-up with each participant to help determine next steps and an action plan.

Who should participate?  Any private sector tourism businesses, not-for-profit operation, public sector organization interested in and ready to invest in the design and delivery of tourism offers for the international market.

Where is it? This course is being delivered by group webinar (Zoom) from 9 am to 1pm, November2-4. The workshop will be interactive and participants will have the opportunity to share and network with peers from across Northern Ontario.

What will you need? An internet connection, speaker/mic (can be built-in computer mic) and a device (computer, tablet, etc.).

What does it cost?  The course and all training materials is priced at the low cost of $100 per participant.

Registration and Payment Deadline: October 22nd, 2021   Space is limited, so apply early.

Register now as spots are limited to 12 participants!

The workshop will be facilitated by Barb Ferrell of Ferrell+Partners.  Her expertise is grounded in decades of hands-on, practical operational experience in the tourism industry, including product and international market development.

Questions?  Contact Barb Ferrell by telephone at 416-527-2983 or by email at

>> Click here to register!

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