|By Mike Robbins
Manager, Travel and Leisure
Marshall Macklin Monaghan Ltd.
|Originally Published in the October 1991
issue of The Outfitter Magazine.
Tourism Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation, with funding assistance under the Canada-Ontario Tourism Development Agreement (COTDA), have commissioned a consulting team lead by Marshall Macklin Monaghan Limited to undertake an assessment of opportunities focusing on Ontario’s specialty outdoors (adventure) tourism products (including eco-tourism products).
The overall objective for this assignment is to identify the potential to enhance the development and competitive positioning of Ontario’s specialty outdoors tourism products within the national and international tourism marketplaces. A second objective is to identify opportunities which can serve as guidelines to assist all players in the industry to implement strategies for enhanced planning, development, marketing and managing this sector.
This study should be of real interest to those NOTO members that are diversifying/expanding their activities to cater to some of the non-consumptive specialty outdoors markets. The focus for this project is away from consumptive activities such as fishing and hunting. The study is intended to provide direction for the Government and the private sector operators to capitalize on opportunities to further develop this market in Ontario.
The study, to be completed by the consultants over the next six months, will include extensive industry consultation including interviews with key stakeholders and workshop sessions. However to ensure all NOTO members have an opportunity to provide their input to this study it is suggested that you write directly to the consultants as soon as possible to express an interest in participating and providing your thoughts on some of the issues that the consultants will be considering, such as the following:
One of the more specific objectives of this study is to develop definitions for specialty outdoors and adventure tourism in the Ontario context. The Tourism Canada definition for adventure tourism will be used as a starting point as follows: “A leisure activity that takes place in an unusual, exotic, remote, or wilderness destination and which tend to be associated with high levels of activity by the participants, most of it outdoors”.
How would you define specialty outdoors or adventure travel in Ontario? What types of activities should we be developing and promoting?
Another component of the study will be to address the current status of the specialty outdoors travel industry in Ontario.
How many NOTO members have begun to expand/diversify their markets and programs beyond fishing and hunting to other adventure activities and how are they doing this, and with what success?
The consultants will be placing significant emphasis on identifying issues and constraints being experienced by Ontario operators in developing the specialty outdoors sector.
What do you see as some of the most important issues and roadblocks to further development of northern Ontario as a specialty outdoors destination?
It will also be important for the consultants to understand the strengths and weaknesses of Ontario’s major competitors.
Which destinations do your feel are the main competitors for Ontario and what are their main competitive strengths?
Future proposed specialty outdoors or adventure tourism developments are also an important consideration in this study.
Do you have any plans for developing or marketing new specialty outdoor products? What assistance do you feel you require to develop and market these products?
The consultants are very interested to hear from any NOTO members that have an interest in the specialty outdoors tourism sector. If you would like to put forward your ideas or thoughts or if you would like more information on the study please feel free to contact:
Mr. Mike Robbins
Manager, Travel and Leisure
Marshal Macklin Monaghan Limited
80 Commerce Valley Drive East
Thornhill ON L3T 7N4
Phone: (416) 882-1100
Fax: (416) 882-0055