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New 'passport’ program supports local culinary, hospitality tourism

Nine Northern Ontario destinations included in collection spearheaded by Culinary Tourism Alliance
Loon Vodka, made by Hearst-based Rheault Distillery, is among the many small businesses in the culinary and hospitality sector participating in Great Taste of Ontario this summer.

Ontario's Culinary Tourism Alliance has come up with a unique incentive program to get vacationers to support local food and beverage purveyors this summer.

Through Great Taste of Ontario, participants visiting local points of interest can check off their destinations on a 'passport’ as they go, earning them credits that they can then redeem for various rewards.

The idea is to encourage people to support the local culinary and hospitality sectors in their ongoing recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

Of the more than 80 passports created through the program, nine have been created for Northern Ontario. They include:

  • City of Sudbury
  • The Great Northern Ontario Brewery Loop
  • Lake Superior North Shore
  • Ontario's Algoma Country
  • Francophone Heritage, Culture and Tourism Corridor
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Temiskaming Shores
  • Thunder Bay
  • Timmins

“The Great Taste of Ontario is an exciting and dynamic campaign that means Ontarians will not only have the opportunity to discover new tastes and culinary delights, but will also play an integral role in helping to rebuild the tourism industry in Ontario and support our region’s farmers and food and drink producers,” said Christopher Bloore, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), in a news release.

“I urge all Ontarians to take advantage of the passports and immerse themselves in what our incredible province has to offer.”

More than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses are participating, along with more than 90 marketing and sector organizations.

The initiative is being supported with funding from TIAO and FedDev.