Industry News

September 25, 2018


In this edition

OSW Hotels Still ‘On Fire’!

Innovation Awards

Stories of Our Region

TIAO Conference

In the News

Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show

Unlocked and Inspired

Together We Are Strong

Ontario Brewing Awards

Poll of the month





Ontario Southwest Hotels Still ‘On Fire’ !

The hotels in the region are HOT, HOT, HOT. It’s their performance that is still ‘on fire’.

For the seven months ended July 2018, revenue per available room (RevPAR) is up 13.6% over the same period last year.  This is more than double the 6.1% increase for all of Canada!

Average daily rate (ADR) increased 5.5% vs. the national average of 4.6%. Meanwhile, our occupancy, which has trailed the national average, is now increasing at almost five times the Canadian average!

While not all of this increase can be attributed to tourism… such as the construction-related boom in Sarnia-Lambton… overall it represents a tremendous growth and strength in our tourism economy.

For example, the Sarnia-Lambton numbers include Grand Bend where Susan Mills, Manager of the Chamber of Commerce (and the local tourism office) says “It is definitely busier than last year.” She further notes that “the Americans are back in a big way!”  Local hotelier, Mary Jo Schottroff, owner of the Pinedale Motor Inn attributes some of the gains to “great beach weather!”

Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show

This year Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) is using its partnership allocation to assist tourism stakeholders from the region who wish to participate in the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show, happening February 23-24, 2019. Space for this show is filling up quickly so we will need to confirm how much space we will need soon.

By going in as a group, you are able to participate at a reduced cost that you would not have access to going into the show individually. The cost of a 10x10 booth space will be approximately $950 compared to $1,550 plus HST. This special price is being offered by SWOTC to encourage more partners to participate and off-set some of the other costs associated with doing a show in Toronto.

If you are interested in participating in this show, we strongly encourage you to budget for the full amount as we may not be able to use partnership every year for the show. If you are interested in participating based on the costs outlined above, please contact Jen Moore at as soon as possible.


2018 Ontario’s Southwest Innovation Awards

We want to celebrate innovation around the region which means we need you to share and brag, nominations and self-nominations are accepted!  

SWOTC nominations are open for the 2018 Innovator of the Year Award and 2018 Innovative Experience of the Year Award.

These two awards will be celebrated at the Ontario Southwest Tourism Conference March 5th and 6th, 2019.

Innovator of the Year Award

Innovative Experience of the Year

Unlocked and Inspired, Sneak Peak

Our Unlocked and Inspired Experiential Tourism Development training takes many months and commitment from our Community Team and Experience Partners to make sure participants get the most out of the training.  

An imperative part of the training is your chance to “Learn by Doing”, which means you get to witness first-hand what new tourism experiences look like and feel like. Our Team has been busy developing these new experiences as part of the training. Can you guess what they might be?

Sign up here to be the first to try them out before they go to market.

Together We Are Strong

Nocturnal Nights - A Birding and Owling Wekkend Getaway is a great example of partners coming together to offer a brand new experience in the shoulder season.

The blend of the local knowledge of the area, our tourism stakeholders, a national expert leading the outings combined with the beauty of our natural resources and the delicious flavours of our land are elements that create this extraordinary travel product truly unique.

Visitors will experience nocturnal outings immersed in nature, taste delicious flavours in local restaurants, tour wineries and glamp while supporting further research efforts for our Canadian bird species. A well crafted combination that captures Long Point’s local essence at this time of the year… yes, together we are strong!

Click here to learn more about this exciting weekend.


Sharing the Stories of Our Region

As you know there is lots of content being developed all over the region including blogs, social media posts, Instagram Stories, photos, videos. We encourage you to participate in the conversation online. When you see this content it would be great if you could share these posts, blogs etc. about the region on your social channels to help amplify the reach.

Here are a few new blogs from influencers who have recently visited:

A Hidden Gem in Southwestern Ontario: Sarnia and Ontario's Blue Coast

36 Hours in Windsor

9 Stops to Get a Taste of St. Thomas

Get Hooked on Fly Fishing on the Grand River


Winners Announced for Ontario Brewing Awards 2018

The Ontario Brewing Awards is a yearly event that recognizes Canadian-owned breweries located in the Province of Ontario.  The judges are drawn from the same pool of the Canadian Brewing Awards and rank colour, malt, hop, AVB% and IBU’s in 49 different styles of beer.

Congratulations to all the winners of our region!

The Grove Brew House

  • Craft Lager - Silver: Paradise Lager
  • Oktoberfest /Märzen - Bronze: 1933 Marzen
  • American Brown Ale - Bronze: Workhorse Brown Ale
  • Stout - Silver: Clubhouse Stout

Anderson Craft Ales

  • Dark Lager - Bronze: Spring
  • English Brown Ale - Bronze: Brown

Walkerville Brewery

  • Witbier - Silver: Waterfront Wit
  • British India Pale Ale - Silver: Geronimo IPA
  • Milk Stout - Bronze: Easy Stout
  • Imperial Stout - Bronze: Kremlin Russian Imperial Stout
  • Scottish Ales - Bronze: Rob Roy Scotch Ale

GL Heritage Brewing Company Inc.

  • Blonde Ale - Bronze: Back Shop Brew

FRANK Brewing Co.

  • Blonde Ale - Gold: Bombshell

Click here to learn more about the Ontario Brewing Awards.

TIAO Conference


The 2018 Tourism Industry Association of Ontario: Ontario Tourism Summit 2018 is an opportunity to gather with industry colleagues and tourism leaders to network, gain new insights and explore trending topics. 


The summit will take place at Caesars Windsor, October 23 and 24. 


Click here  for more information.

Poll of the Month


In one word, what would you like to learn more about to help your business improve?


Answer here. 

In The News:


Ontario's Southwest






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