Ontario shifts gears to boost tourism

    Meeting to discuss the emerging cycle tourism market

    TORONTO, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - Tourism stakeholders from across Ontario will
meet today at the inaugural Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum to discuss how to take
advantage of the growing cycle tourism market.
    Ontario faces an increased demand this summer for vacationing close to
home. Last year over 85 million visits to Ontario attractions were made by
    "Cycling as a tourist activity is increasingly popular," said The
Honourable Monique Smith, Minister of Tourism. "We are excited to be investing
over $92,000 to expand bike train service to Eastern, Southwestern and
Northern Ontario and to help support local economies and position Ontario as a
go-to destination for cycling holidays."
    "Cycle tourism is growing in Ontario as families and friends look for
affordable, memorable ways to enjoy their vacation time. It's key that we ride
this trend to boost Ontario tourism," said Justin Lafontaine, director of the
Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum.

    Date:        January 23, 2009
    Time:        9:00 - 4:30
    Location:    Fairmont Royal York Hotel

    Cycling between vineyards, over to the next town for lunch on a sunny
patio, or taking a week-long cycling vacation along the lake are increasingly
popular tourist activities.
    The forum will feature presentations from world-leading cycle tourism
organizations and provide market profiles of specific regions, successful
tourist product and marketing examples, business development case studies,
best practices in infrastructure and signage, and evaluation of regional
growth opportunities.
    Over 150 delegates will attend from across Ontario representing
destination marketing organizations, municipal and provincial government, tour
operators, non-profit organizations, and established cycling associations.

    Speakers include:

    The Honourable Monique Smith, Ontario Minister of Tourism
    Jean-François Pronovost, Executive Director, Vélo Québec Association
    Lukas Stadtherr, Co-director, Veloburo/SwitzerlandMobility
    Eric Nijland, Director, Dutch National Cycling Platform
    Richard Bonds, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Tourism Office

    Visit www.ontariocycletourismforum.ca to view the full agenda.

    The forum will be critical for anyone wanting to learn why cycle tourism
is growing in Ontario, how to develop local markets, and what will be the next
steps for establishing Ontario as a leading cycle tourism destination in North

For further information:

For further information: For media enquires, please contact: Justin
Lafontaine, Forum Director, Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum 2009, Transportation
Options, Tel. (416) 392-1556, Cell: (416) 712-8819, jlafont@toronto.ca

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