Training Solutions to Strengthen Northern Ontario Tourism

August 8, 2017 Uncategorised

Tourism operators and community leaders from all corners of Northern Ontario who want to improve quality and embrace innovation to attract more visitors and spending have benefitted from Tourism Excellence North (TEN) to date. Are you missing out?

Now entering the final year of a three-year pilot phase with investment from Tourism Northern Ontario (Regional Tourism Organization 13) and Explorers’ Edge (Regional Tourism Organization 12) and with the support of FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, Tourism Excellence North continues to refine the tools and expand its offers.

TEN Training Opportunities

TEN provides a suite of solutions to raise the bar on service, product and experience innovation.

TEN’s Free Self-Assessment Tools, available in both French and English posted on the TEN website, are for use on one’s own time and include:

  • Ten Essentials of Successful Travel Products/Experiences
  • Visitor Appeal Assessment Tool
  • Ten Essentials of Successful Touring Routes
  • Community Tourism Assessment Index

TEN Case Studies, in both video and hard copy format in French and English, showcase ‘examples of excellence’ to educate and inspire and include:

  • Innovation: Differentiating Yourself
  • Quality: Standing Out
  • Using Technology: Online Booking Systems

New case studies will be released later in 2017.

TEN also hosts a number of group learning opportunities annually, each tied closely to product development priorities that Northern Ontario is in a competitive position to deliver. Participants must apply and meet screening criteria before being accepted.

Best Practices Missions, working trips of 3 to 5 days, showcase success stories from other leading travel destinations and operations. Seeing is believing, as evidenced by the very successful inaugural Mission to Traverse City, Michigan in June, 2017, that explored what it takes to be a quality tourism destination.

Two Best Practices Missions are planned for this fall. The first is for operators who want to understand more about what international travellers are looking for and how to reach them. The second will take accommodators behind the scenes to learn about operational realities from the best.

TENs two-day workshops immerse participants in the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of high yield experiential travel.  One workshop focuses on operators and one focuses on communities and destinations. Three of these hands-on workshops are planned for this fall in Terrace Bay, Thunder Bay and Kenora.

The final type of learning opportunity, Fast Track to Success, is a one-on-one business improvement program held at the operator’s site, customised to their unique realities. The visiting TEN Specialist, explained in more detail below, leaves the host with a report detailing recommendations that ‘can be implemented the next day’ and also offers post-visit support. Over 30 operators from Kenora to Hearst to Muskoka have benefited from these coaching visits to date.

TEN has a built a broad network to get the word out.

With such a widely dispersed geography, both urban and rural, and the many diverse types and sizes of public and private sector tourism partners to reach, TEN knew it needed to build a network of informed ambassadors to connect the TEN tools to those on the front line.

Enter TEN Brokers. Over 100 of these well-connected partners, including staff from economic, community development and tourism organizations, government agencies and municipalities, attended a one-day orientation session to learn about TEN. They are now key partners who help bring attention to the program, targeting those who would benefit most.

TEN Specialists are also a key part of the TEN network.  These independent industry experts with multiple years of experience specialize in tourism training and development. TEN Specialists lead and inform TEN training opportunities.

For 2017-2018 programming updates and registration, check in with TEN at www.tourismexcellencenorth.ca or on Facebook @tourismexcellencenorth

If you are interested in connecting with a TEN Broker, speaking with TEN directly, or would like to arrange TEN outreach for your community or organization, email info@tourismexcellencenorth.ca or call 705-523-2228.

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