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Northern groups recognized for tourism excellence

City of Greater Sudbury and Owen Sound Transportation Company earn nods; two other Northern groups nominated
The Owen Sound Transportation Company, which sails the Chi-Cheemaun between Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula, was acknowledged by the Ontario Tourism Awards on Nov. 22.

Northern Ontario received a nod for its work in tourism marketing during the annual Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence on Nov. 22 in Ottawa.

The awards, given out during the annual Ontario Tourism Summit, “celebrate the excellence and innovation of those who contribute to Ontario’s tourism industry through impactful tourism partnerships, marketing activities and media relations provincially, nationally and internationally,” according to a release.

The Owen Sound Transportation Company (OSTC) received recognition for having the Best Marketing Campaign Over $25,000.

The OSTC operates the Chi-Cheemaun ferry, which runs between South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island and Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. Its recently developed campaign that urges riders to “Travel in Good Spirits” includes programming that offers riders a unique on-board experience. After updating its website, the OSTC saw a 17 per cent increase in site visits.

The OSTC was also nominated for Tourism Digital Marketing Award, but lost out on that prize to Grey County Tourism.

In addition, the City of Greater Sudbury was cited for the Tourism Marketing Partnership Award for the 2015 campaign to raise awareness about Sudbury during the airing of the CTV program “The Amazing Race Canada.”

The partnership, which allowed the city to attract and host the show, included the city, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp., Tourism Northern Ontario, Vale, Laurentian University, Science North, and Health Sciences North.

Northern entities that were nominated, but did not win, were the City of Thunder Bay Tourism, for the Ontario Culinary Tourism Leadership Award, and Northeastern Ontario Tourism, for the Tourism Marketing Campaign Award Under $25,000.

The awards are a program of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, which advocates the importance of tourism as an economic driver and job creator in order to serve the interests of Ontario’s diverse tourism industry and business community.