The Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) is the provincially mandated Regional Tourism Organization for Southwestern Ontario, also known as ‘Ontario’s Southwest’ and is funded by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
SWOTC works with 10 local tourism offices and tourism industry stakeholders across our region to develop and promote Ontario’s Southwest as a vibrant and prosperous tourism region, driving revenue and employment. Ontario’s Southwest stretches along Lake Erie from Dunnville to Windsor, including Pelee Island, along Lake Huron to Grand Bend and incorporates inland communities between the Great Lakes including London, Middlesex County and Oxford County.
Tourism by the numbers:
-Tourism is a BIG economic driver in Southwest Ontario
In Ontario: Bigger than mining, agriculture and forestry combined
Ontario: 4.3% of GDP; visitors spend over $31B/year; $5B tax revenue
-Second fastest growing industry in the world; 319 million employees
Grew 5.8% in Ontario in 2018
-Huge global export business: 2018 spending hit $1.7 trillion (USD)
-SW Ontario: over 17,000 tourism related businesses
-Tourists spend approx. $2B/year in Ontario’s Southwest
-Drove 146,856 referrals to partner websites last fiscal year. These are qualified leads: customers who have an interest, ability to pay and are ready to make a purchase.
SWOTC’s goals include:
Enhance communications and collaboration with stakeholders as their partners.
Further develop an evidence-based decision-making culture, and understanding of current and potential traveller markets and motivators.
Evaluate the returns on potential revenue generation and cost offsets.
Continue to actively work with travel and tourism operators (i.e. clients) in the region as their prime target audience, to help them improve their performance (volume, yield, sustainability).
Continue to promote the Ontario’s Southwest region as a top travel destination via a fully- integrated marketing and communications program.
On March 3 & 4, 2020 SWOTC will host the Ontario’s Southwest Tourism Conference at the
John D Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham. The conference brings together a diverse group of individuals from across Southwest Ontario who have a passion for, and incredible expertise in, the tourism industry and to jointly grow business. We have found this conference to be the best opportunity to connect with our peers, learn new skills and discuss how to strengthen our tourism industry. The Early Bird rate is an amazing value of only $125.00. The cost will increase to $150 after January 27, 2020.
More information about the conference can be found at www.oswconference.com/
Does this sound like an organization that you would like to work with? If so, we encourage you to sign up for its bi-weekly e-newsletter which is one of the best ways to stay on top of what is happening in the tourism industry in the region and for opportunities to work together. If you would like to sign up you can do so here. For industry resources such as research, marketing, development, funding and training opportunities visit SWOTC.ca. For tourism information visit the consumer website Ontariossouthwest.com
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