Rural Tourism Symposium

Headwaters Tourism, in partnership with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism, invites rural tourism stakeholders, destination marketing organizations and tourism businesses to join us for our first Rural Tourism Symposium: Where Tourism Gets Real.

This collaborative undertaking, supported by Grey County Tourism, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, the Town of Orangeville and QuinteVation, is a one-day event designed to raise the profile of rural tourism as an integral part of the provincial and national visitor experience, and will include content specifically targetted to the rural tourism industry.

This symposium will inspire tourism operators to develop Ontario and Canadian signature experiences that align with our provincial and national tourism partners; and will feature keynote speaker Lisa Lavecchia from Destination Ontario, as well as speakers from Destination Canada and other rural tourism destinations across the province.

Discover best practices in rural tourism, be inspired by rural tourism leaders, and help us give a voice to the importance of rural destinations in showcasing the best of Ontario and Canada.

Taking place at Orangeville’s Town Hall Opera House on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018, the agenda will include:

  • Ontario & Canadian Signature Experiences – where rural tourism shines
  • Showcasing rural & secondary markets to national & international visitors:  David Robinson, Vice President Strategy & Stakeholder Relations, Destination Canada
  • Keynote presentation:  Lisa Lavecchia, President & CEO,  Destination Ontario
  • A voice for the Ontario tourism industry:  Beth Potter, President & CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario
  • DMOs across rural Ontario: their role in tourism development (panel discussion)
  • What it takes to be exceptional! A panel discuss with rural tourism operators from across the province
  • Rural tourism alignment: how do rural tourism operators and destinations  support and enhance provincial & national tourism strategies (a panel discussion with provincial & federal tourism agencies, delving into the issues specifically encountered in rural tourism)
  • Networking opportunities with rural tourism stakeholders from across the province
  • And of course some of the best food, beverage & hospitality provided by Headwaters region purveyors

Conference:  8:00 am (registration) to 4:45 pm, followed by a closing cocktail reception at 5:00 pm.

The Headwaters Tourism Awards of Excellence will be handed out at 6:30 pm, following the conference closing cocktail reception.



Host hotel:  The Millcroft Inn & Spa | 55 John Street, Village of Alton, Caledon, Ontario L7K 0C4

(Please contact the hotel’s reservation department directly at 888-669-5566; identify yourself as an attendee of Headwaters Tourism’s Rural Tourism Symposium.  Block rates are available for January 15th and 16th, 2018.)


Partnership opportunities now available:  Rural Tourism Symposium – sponsorship opportunities