The 2nd annual Ottawa Valley Tourism Trade Show took place June 24th, from 12pm – 8pm, in the Pembroke Mall.
The primary focus of the event is to educate frontline staff across all sectors (those who deal directly with customers) on the tourism experiences and products available in the Ottawa Valley. Frontline staff are the face of the Ottawa Valley. Armed with a little product knowledge, they are perfectly poised to be tourism ambassadors for the region.
“The Trade Show was born out of the need to better educate our local frontline staff about the tourism offerings in the Valley,” explains Lauren McIllfaterick, Communications Coordinator for the OVTA. “When a tourist stops in at one of our Visitor Information Centres, restaurants, gas stations or hotels, and asks “what else can we do here?” we want staff to be able to say 'Lots! What kind of experience are you looking for? I can provide you with a number of suggestions' ”.
A great spin off of the event is the opportunity to educate Ottawa Valley residents about the tourism offerings in their backyard. Our local residents can be some of our greatest customers and tourism ambassadors!
Residents who attended the trade show were also given a passport listing all participating exhibitors. Locals will be encouraged to take in Ottawa Valley attractions during the summer and return their completed passport for a chance to win one of three adventure packages.“Locals tend to overlook the tourism offerings available to them in their communities,” continues McIllfaterick. “We need to remind ourselves that we have access to a lot of incredible local experiences. There is no need to travel outside of the Valley to enjoy the vacation of a lifetime!” Click here for more information on the Passport Campaign.
This year’s event was funded by Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and generously sponsored by myFM Radio and the Pembroke Mall.