Thank you for inviting me here today. I had the opportunity in 2008 to speak to you about the direction Middlesex Tourism hoped to take and I am pleased to say… almost two years later Middlesex Tourism has come to fruition.
Before I share with you what we are doing at Middlesex Tourism I think it is important to see how we got here…
Starting with the Strategic Economic Development Plan for Middlesex County that outlined an action plan to develop tourism in Middlesex County.
Followed by the Report on Tourism prepared by the CFDC, in 2009, supporting the recommendations and expading the concept of tourism in Middlesex County.
There has been Ongoing consultation with stakeholders, service providers, and local operators through community meetings, focus groups and most recently the tourism symposium….all of this resulted in the preparation of a business plan that would focus on marketing and product development for tourism in Middlesex County.
Finally with the support of The County of Middlesex the CFDC put forth an application to the Sand Plains Community Development Fund to establish the formal framework that would promote and market tourism in Middlesex County.
The CFDC and the County of Middlesex were both identified in the sand plains application as partners
It is through this partnership… Middlesex Tourism was able to become incorporated and open its doors for business effective April 1st, 2010.
With letters of patten already in place our first board of directors at the ready, we were able to get started once we received the approval of the Sand Plains Committee.
I do want to mention that both partners have committed to continue to support the Middlesex Tourism Guided as they have in the past.
The Mandate of Middlesex Tourism will be work with our stakeholders, service providers and local operators in each part of the county to in order to bring them together as one unified tourism alliance.
Much or the ground work for this endeavor was established at the Tourism Symposium held in February of this year. We have continued to keep in contact with the participants and have been already been out in community making people aware of Middlesex Tourism.
It is our goal to have participation within and from each municipality, we are attending as many events as possible and are more than happy to come and meet and speak with interested groups.
Focus will be on Communication, Product Development and Marketing and Promotions for tourism in Middlesex County.
In addition to encouraging private sector representation for the Middlesex Tourism Board we are hoping to have private sector representation on a steering committee that will help determine the best direction and model for Middlesex Tourism.
The vision for Middlesex Tourism is to ensure Middlesex County is recognized as a destination on par with other tourism organizations within our region, with a sound tourism model as well as new and improved tourism product that will attract visitors.
Middlesex Tourism already has marketing indicatives in place…we recently saw the release of the 2010 tourism guide now in its seventh year, there is the tourism website, some of you may have seen one of our tourism billboards and of course there are our Heritage Trail signs Middlesex Tourism Guide “We’re on the way” over 25,000 are currently being distributed Middlesex Tourism Guide Billboards on display (3) MY FM, radio tags twice daily sponsorship of news MY FM web page banner and link to www.middlesextourism.ca Heritage Trail signs being expanded from 85 to 113
This is what we are working on now….. Over 25000 copies of the tourism guide were printed and are being distributed…
We included a budget in our funding proposal for billboards, radio and tv advertising.
The Heritage Trail signs have been increased recently, and we are presently working on a new map, including gps coordinates that will be ready to go to print likely this month
We use press releases and through our relationship with my FM in strathroy have had several interviews that we have received positive feedback from…. in addition we are continuing to develop our data base and will soon be sending out updates and notification about events electronically .
Other activities we will be working on will be product development, community outreach, workshops, attending and participating in festivals and events as well as continued research and development in a variety of areas
We are working with five other counties on a Regional Tourism Development Plan … Each county was asked to provide 2 case studies, our two submissions were the Donald Hughes Annex Museum and Trinity Chapel in Ailsa Craig and the upper Thames military re-enactment society… tourism – a consultant has been hired to do and evaluation, conduct a needs assessment and hopefully build a business case for each of the case studies.
13 new tourism regions and Regional Tourism Organizations will be established throughout Ontario this year in order to promote a stronger, more competitive tourism industry. We are part of Region 1, which includes, Chatham Kent, Essex, Elgin, Haldimand, Lambton, Norfolk and Oxford Counties.
Each County and or City, will be represented by 2 public members and 2 private sector members, I am happy to be joined by Aileen Murray, Joe Czernai General Manager of Deleware Speedway and Mark Williams President of the Agricultural Society and host of the Donneybrook Fiddle and Step Dance Competition in Dorchester to represent Middlesex County.
Each Regional Tourism Organization will be responsible for working with tourism partners to enhance and grow that region’s tourism products and marketing activities.
This regional approach, was developed in consultation with the tourism industry, to better coordinate tourism marketing and management, attract increased visitation, generate more economic activity and create jobs across the province.
The Province has committed to provide $25 million in each of the next two years to assist with the transition… this is in addition to the $40 million in ongoing annual funding announced in the 2009 Ontario Budget.
Middlesex Tourism - Who We Are
July 14th, 2010
The results of the Strategic Economic Development Plan for Middlesex
County outlined an action plan to develop tourism in Middlesex County.
The Report on Tourism prepared by the Community Futures Development
Corporation of Middlesex County, in 2009, supported the recommendations
outlined in the plan and expanded the concept of tourism in Middlesex
Consultation with stakeholders, service providers, and local operators
combined with the enthusiastic input from the general public resulted in the
preparation of a business plan that will put a formal framework in place with a
focus on marketing and product development for tourism in Middlesex
The County of Middlesex supports Community Futures Development
Corporation’s application to Sand Plains Community Development Fund to
establish the formal framework to promote and market tourism in Middlesex
Provided financial assistance for incorporation of Middlesex Tourism
Office space and computer equipment made available for staff
Continued resources and support of CFDC, including the Middlesex
County of Middlesex
Ongoing support of Middlesex Tourism
Guidance and support of Economic Development Officer
Continued support of the Middlesex Tourism Guide
Middlesex Tourism will coordinate with
stakeholders, service providers and local
operators to create a unified tourism alliance in
Middlesex County with a focus on:
Marketing and promotion
The vision is to establish an
organization that will be
responsible for developing
tourism in Middlesex County.
Middlesex Tourism will ensure
Middlesex County will be
recognized as a destination on
par with other tourism
organization that will attract and
provide visitors with a value
added tourism experience.
New Heritage Trail Map
Social Media on our website
Education / workshops
Festivals and Events
War of 1812
In December of 2009, the province
announced, they will help the
industry transition to the new
tourism regions by providing $25
million in each of the next two
years. This funding is in addition to
the $40 million in ongoing annual
funding announced in the 2009
Middlesex County is part of Region 1 which
includes Halimand, Norfolk, Elgin, Oxford,
Essex, Chatham/Kent, Sarnia/Lambton,
Windsor and London.
Each area has 4 representatives, 2 public and
The goal is to establish a Destination
Marketing Organization that will represent the
A meeting will take place on Thursday July