Tourism Week Kicks Off The Summer Vacation Season



    McGuinty Government Encourages Families To Discover Ontario

    TORONTO, June 2 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario is promoting the benefits of a "staycation" during this year's
Tourism Week - a national awareness week that highlights the economic and
social value of tourism.
    This summer, a "staycation" in the province can be a budget-wise choice
for many Ontarians - it supports local economies by keeping travel dollars in
Ontario. Residents and visitors can enjoy the province's spectacular natural
beauty, outdoor adventures, unique festivals and events, wine and culinary
experiences, cosmopolitan cities and authentic cultural and heritage
attractions.
    Ontario Travel Information Centres across the province will open their
doors and feature travel related displays and special events this week to help
promote the industry and all that Ontario has to offer travellers this summer
and year-round. When Ontarians visit their local travel centre, from June 1-7,
they can enter to win:

    
    -  More than $10,000 in prizes, as well as free passes and attractions
       coupons.
    -  Three Ontario getaway packages courtesy of Skylon Tower, Stratford
       Tourism and Resorts of Ontario (Brookstreet Resort in Ottawa and
       Bayview Wildwood Resort in Muskoka), Ottawa Tourism, Tourism Toronto
       and Dancap Productions.
    

    Tourism Week runs from June 1-7, 2009.

    QUOTES

    "Our government understands and recognizes the importance of tourism for
Ontario's economic success. This summer, I encourage Ontarians to visit their
own 'backyard' and re-discover all the great attractions and experiences our
province has to offer."
    - Monique Smith, Minister of Tourism

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -  300,000 people in Ontario are directly or indirectly employed by the
       tourism industry.
    -  In 2007, total tourism receipts in Ontario totalled more than $22
       billion.
    -  Ontario's tourism industry is extremely diverse, encompassing 152,000
       businesses, representing 17 per cent of the total number of businesses
       in the province.
    

    LEARN MORE

    Find out more about Ontario's tourism industry
(http://www.tourism.gov.on.ca/english/).
    Discover travel experiences in Ontario at www.ontariotravel.net
(http://www.ontariotravel.net/).
    Watch our new television commercial featuring Ontario artist Justin
Hines, which can be seen on Ontario networks such as CBC, CTV and CanWest from
now until June 22,"There's No Place Like This" (http://ontariotravel.net/)

    
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                                                      ontario.ca/tourism-news
                                                       Disponible en français



                                 BACKGROUNDER

    ONTARIO TRAVEL IDEAS DURING TOURISM WEEK AND THE SUMMER SEASON
    

    During Tourism Week in Canada, which this year runs from June 1-7, a
number of Ontario's Travel Information Centres are hosting open houses at
locations across the province.
    Kick-off events took place at the travel centre in Niagara Falls on June
1, and are continuing in Barrie on June 2 and Toronto on June 3. The Toronto
event will feature grand prizes of an Ottawa getaway, a Toronto getaway and a
Dancap Productions theatre package. To locate a travel centre, you can visit
www.ontariotravel.net/travelcentres
(<a href="http://www.ontariotravel.net/TcisCtrl?site=consumers&key1=travelTools&key2=travelTips&key3=infoCenters&language=EN&linkType=I">http://www.ontariotravel.net/TcisCtrl?site=consumers&key1=travelTools&key2=tr
avelTips&key3=infoCenters&language=EN&linkType=I</a>).
    Ontario's travel centres play an important role in enchancing local
economies by generating additional visitor spending and extending the length
of visitors' stay in Ontario.

    
    -  61% of overall visitors expect to finalize their travel plans at a
       travel centre, while 69% of international visitors expect to finalize
       plans at travel centres.(1)
    -  Visitors who stop at a travel centre:
       - generate $74 million in additional spending in cities and
         attractions;
       - extend the length of their stay resulting in $7 million in
         additional spending that was unplanned.(1)
    

    Ontario has 18 travel information centres conveniently located at border
crossings, and at high traffic areas such as Yonge and Dundas, Toronto's
busiest intersection, and on Highway 400 in Barrie, a gateway to Ontario's
cottage country.

    SUMMER TRAVEL IDEAS

    You don't have to go far from home to experience the best of what this
province has to offer. Ontario's diverse range of budget-wise travel
destinations include sights, sounds, routes and attractions recognised as
among the world's best:

    
    In the South-East:
    -  follow the UNESCO-designated Rideau Heritage route between Kingston
       and Ottawa. National Geographic magazine rated the Rideau Canal as the
       second best preserved historical attraction in the world!
    -  take the bike train to Ottawa for a vacation on two wheels to discover
       one of the world's top bike-friendly cities.
    -  step back into Ontario's pioneer past by re-living history at Upper
       Canada Village.
    -  go camping and enjoy the beautiful sand at Sandbanks Provincial Park
       in Picton.

    In the Greater Toronto Area:
    -  get creative when Luminato's theatre, dance, visual arts and music
       come to Toronto in June, savour the flavours at Taste of the Danforth,
       Taste of Asia, Rib Fests and at festivals that celebrate the cultures
       of the world in Toronto.
    -  make a splash with the kids at Ontario Place.
    -  sing the blues at the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival.
    -  enjoy the best in culture at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal
       Ontario Museum.

    In Niagara Falls and region:
    -  sip award-winning wines along the Niagara Wine Route.
    -  experience first-hand the awesome power of nature at the world renown
       Niagara Falls
    -  take in a play or two at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    In the South-West:
    -  take the kids or get in touch with your own inner child at a
       children's festival such as Kids Funfest in Sarnia and Kids Expo in
       London.
    -  enjoy music festivals, offering fun for everyone, including the
       Tottenham Bluegrass Festival and Tillbury's FunFest.
    -  watch the world's best race pilots at the Red Bull Air Race World
       Championship in Windsor.

    In Central Ontario (Georgian Bay / Muskoka):
    -  cruise the Muskoka lakes on the Segwun.
    -  explore Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishe, a 19th-century British
       naval base and military base that defended Upper Canada during the War
       of 1812.
    -  splash in the clear blue waters of Georgian Bay on sunny summer's day.

    In the North:
    -  hop on the Algoma Central Railway's Agawa Canyon Tour Train for a ride
       into the heart of the Canadian wilderness.
    - 'swim with the bears' at Polar Bear Habitat & Heritage Village in
       Cochrane.
    -  experience the adventure of the voyageurs at Fort William Historical
       Park.
    -  go underground with the Timmins Gold Mine Tour.
    -  watch amazing musical performances at Mattawa Voyageur Days.
    -  get interactive with science at Science North.

    For more ideas about travelling in Ontario, visit www.ontariotravel.net
(http://www.ontariotravel.net/).

    -------------------
    (1) Survey conducted by TNS Canadian Facts (May 21 - October 31, 2008).
    




For further information:

For further information: Lisa DiLollo, Tourism Minister's Office, (416)
325-4543; Mark Thompson, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8391

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