Tourism Week Kicks Off The Summer Vacation Season

Ontario Tourism Encourages Families To 'Stay and Play' in Ontario

NEWS

TORONTO, June 2 /CNW/ - Ontario is encouraging families to 'stay and play' in their own province this summer during this year's Tourism Week - a national awareness week that highlights the economic and social value of tourism.

Residents and visitors can enjoy the province's natural beauty, outdoor adventures, unique festivals and events, wine and culinary experiences, cosmopolitan cities, and cultural and heritage attractions.

Ontario Travel Information Centres across the province will open their doors and feature travel-related displays and a series of special events leading up to and during Tourism Week. The displays and events are designed to help promote the industry and all that Ontario has to offer travellers this summer and all year round.

When Ontarians visit their local travel centre in June they can enter to win:

    
    -   More than $12,000 in prizes, as well as free passes and attractions
        coupons.
    -   Four Ontario getaway packages courtesy of the cities of North Bay and
        Sudbury, Algoma Country, Resorts of Ontario, Delta Chelsea and Delta
        Grandview, and Motor Home Travel Canada Inc.
    

Tourism Week officially runs from June 7-13, 2010.

QUOTES

"There is so much to discover in our own backyard. This summer is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy our rich history, beautiful natural wonders, breathtaking shorelines, and exciting urban centres. Let's experience all that Ontario has to offer."

- Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture

"Ontario has such a diversity of sights and attractions that are recognized among the world's best. From re-energizing getaways to fun-filled local festivals and events, there really is no place like Ontario for summer fun!"

- Robin Garrett, President & CEO, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

QUICK FACTS

    
    -   Over 300,000 people in Ontario are directly or indirectly employed by
        the tourism industry.
    -   In 2008, tourism spending in Ontario was $23 billion.
    -   Located across the province, 18 Ontario Travel Information Centres
        provide a range of services including: customized travel counselling,
        foreign currency exchange, theatre reservations, passes to
        attractions, bus tours, camping permits, fishing licences, gifts and
        souvenirs.

    LEARN MORE

    -   Discover travel experiences in Ontario at www.ontariotravel.net.
    -   Locate an Ontario Travel Information Centre at
        www.ontariotravel.net/travelcentres.
    -   Watch our new television commercial at www.ontariotravel.net
        featuring Ontario artist Aline Morales, which can be seen on Ontario
        networks such as CBC, CTV, CanWest, OMNI.1 and OMNI.2 until June 11,
        2010.
    -   Find out more about Ontario's tourism industry at
        http://www.tourism.gov.on.ca/english/research/quick_facts/index.html.

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    BACKGROUNDER

                             ONTARIO TRAVEL IDEAS
              VISIT A TRAVEL CENTRE TO PLAN YOUR SUMMER GETAWAY

                                                                June 2, 2010
    

Ontario's Travel Information Centres will be hosting open houses at locations across the province during Tourism Week (June 7-13). Local displays, attractions and events will be showcased at each of Ontario's 18 travel information centres throughout the week. Drop by a travel centre to start planning your summer getaway. To locate a travel centre near you, visit www.ontariotravel.net/travelcentres.

Be sure to check out some great 'stay and play' summer package offers. Starting from as low as $109 for a family of four, packages include:

    
    -   Stay & Sail: Enjoy a cruise on the spectacular Lake of the Woods and
        stay overnight in Kenora.
    -   Family Discovery: Explore the best museums and galleries or popular
        attractions and stay overnight in Ottawa.
    -   Greater Sudbury Jurassic Style: Discover the 'Dinosaurs Unearthed'
        exhibit at Science North and stay overnight in Sudbury.
    -   Caves, Bridges & Golf: Explore scenic caves and a suspension bridge,
        play 18 holes of mini golf and stay overnight at Blue Mountain.
    -   London Waterpark: Make a splash at East Park and stay overnight in
        London.
    

Visit www.ontariotravel.net/summer for more getaways and to book.

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 family-friendly travel destinations include sights, sounds, routes and attractions recognized as among the world's best:

In the East:

    
    -   enjoy 7000 metres of heritage and fun at the Rideau Canal Festival
    -   catch the spectacular sights and sounds of Fort Henry's world-famous
        Sunset Ceremonies
    -   break out your best pail and build sandcastles sky-high at the
        Cobourg Sandcastle Festival
    

In the Greater Toronto Area:

    
    -   laugh it up, groove to the music and taste the flavours of the world
        at one of the GTA's many summer festivals, including Just for Laughs,
        the Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival or Taste of the Danforth
    -   fill up on arts and culture at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal
        Ontario Museum or the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
    -   delight the kids with live shows, rides, and water slides at Ontario
        Place
    

In Niagara Falls and region:

    
    -   experience the thrills of the world renowned Niagara Falls
    -   make a splash, rain or shine, in fun indoor water parks such as
        Fallsview Indoor Water Park, Great Wolf Lodge and Waves Indoor Water
        Park
    -   flutter on with over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies from around
        the world at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory
    

In the Southwest:

    
    -   soak up the music and celebrate the arts at Rogers Bayfest in Sarnia
        or the TD Sunfest in London
    -   get playful at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival or one of Drayton's
        theatres
    -   scale sand dunes soaring 30 metres high at Pinery Provincial Park in
        Grand Bend
    

In Central Ontario:

    
    -   relax at a resort and cool off with a dip in one of Muskoka's 900
        crystalline lakes
    -   step back in time to the 17th-century at Sainte-Marie Among the
        Hurons, the historic French Jesuit mission to the Huron people and
        Ontario's oldest European community
    -   delve underground and brave the heights on Ontario's longest
        suspension footbridge at the Scenic Caves Nature Preserve in
        Collingwood
    

In the North:

    
    -   take the family on a scenic tour through the north aboard the Polar
        Bear Express
    -   go camping and explore the wilderness in Killarney Provincial Park
    -   peek into the past and join the festivities at the Lumberjack
        Heritage Festival in Kapuskasing
    -   re-live the dinosaur age at Science North's Dinosaurs Unearthed
    

For more ideas about travelling in Ontario, visit www.ontariotravel.net.

    
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SOURCE Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

For further information: For further information: Luanne Walker, OTMPC, (416) 325-0699; Denelle Balfour, Communications Branch, (416) 212-3928


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