Haldimand County is pleased to announce the receipt of a non-repayable contribution of $94,105 from Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization to create a new tourism experience development program, “From Great to Grand: Growing Tourism Experiences in Haldimand County.” The program aims to bring multiple businesses through the experience development process, promoting the launch of new market-ready experiences by early 2023.
This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization received nearly $11 million from FedDev Ontario to help local tourism organizations and businesses safely welcome back visitors, recover from the impacts of the pandemic and prepare for future growth.
The “From Great to Grand: Growing Tourism Experiences” program will focus on creating four new experiential tourism products as travel motivators that engage visitors in a series of memorable travel activities, revealed over time, that are inherently personal, engage the senses and make connections on an emotional, physical, spiritual or intellectual level. The program will encourage operators to respond to a traveller’s desire to venture beyond the beaten tourist paths and dive deeper into authentic local culture.
There has been a great local response to the program, and Tourism Haldimand will be working with the following four businesses as experience partners to carry out the goals and priorities of this program:
- Forest Fit – nature’s gym without walls
- Potting Shed – Experience a new era of gardening
- Rabi’s Grand Kitchen – social enterprise hub and food incubator
- Cottonwood Mansion – preserving local history
In addition to Haldimand County’s successful application to the Tourism Relief Fund, five other Haldimand County organizations also received funding. Congratulations to the successful applicants:
- Caledonia Business Improvement Area
- Ruthven Park National Historic Site Inc.
- Toronto Motorsports Park
- Twisted Lemon Restaurant
- Windecker Woods Flower Farm
“The Government of Canada’s $78-million investment through the Tourism Relief Fund is helping communities across southern Ontario. With this funding, southern Ontario’s Regional Tourism Organizations and Indigenous Tourism Ontario are providing hundreds of local businesses and organizations with the support they need to create jobs, attract more visitors and grow local economies, now and into the future.”
- The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“Tourism development enables a range of benefits to all stakeholders involved. It increases income and jobs from tourist spending, helps preserve cultural and natural heritage for tourists, and increases understanding of other cultures. Community-led projects such as the ‘Great to Grand: Growing Tourism Experiences’ program and small-scale business supports at the local level provide significant contributions toward community improvement, and we’re thrilled to be able to deliver this program with support from the Ontario Southwest Tourism Relief Fund.”
- Lidy Romanuk, Manager, Economic Development and Tourism.
“Tourism innovators from across the region have demonstrated the abundance of creativity and opportunity for continued tourism growth within Ontario’s Southwest. Through the Tourism Relief Fund, we’re seeing infrastructure improvements, new experience development and destination management projects. These projects will extend more travel into the shoulder seasons, prioritize environmental sustainability and inclusivity, and are innovative and bold. We’re pleased to be working with FedDev Ontario to administer the Tourism Relief Fund in Ontario’s Southwest.”
- Joanne Wolnik, Executive Director, Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization