Business tools, strategies, reports and resources for the tourism industry

Start and run a tourism business

The Tourism Inc. Market Readiness Self-Assessment Tool can help businesses, organizations and communities prepare to enter tourism for the first time, or refocus to attract new tourism markets. Once you have completed the workshop and workbook, you will find resources and links to help you improve your market readiness in 13 areas of market readiness self-assessment.

This Ontario government website provides detailed information on how to start a business, funding opportunities, financing, human resource support, marketing and much more.

Destination Marketing Programs

In Ontario, Destination Marketing Programs (DMP) are voluntary industry-led initiatives that support regional tourism marketing and development. The Overview of Destination Marketing Programs in Ontario provides information to support organizations that are considering establishing a DMP.

Tourism planning

The Premier-ranked Tourist Destination Framework is a standardized assessment and evaluation tool. It has been used across the province to inventory and analyze tourism amenities and attractions and identify opportunities for tourism investment and development. The results provide a comprehensive inventory of tourism assets and identify priorities to improve tourism products and help develop the area into a successful tourism destination.

Tourism product development reports

Developing Shore Excursions for Great Lakes Cruising workbook was designed for those wishing to benefit from the growing Great Lakes cruise industry.

Francophone Tourism Product Development Guide outlines ways in which operators can attract the Francophone market by developing their product offerings to reflect historic aspects of Ontario's rich Francophone heritage.

Garden Tourism is a growing sector of the tourism industry.  Ontario has a variety of garden tourism products/experiences ranging from those that motivate travel to specialty gardens and gardens that enhance a destination through beautification.  The Ontario Garden Tourism Strategy and Action Plan is a road map for the Ontario Garden Tourism Coalition and tourism industry partners to grow garden tourism in Ontario.

Market Analysis for Horticultural Tourism in Ontario is a high-level analysis of the feasibility of developing horticultural tourism destinations in Ontario. Completed in 2001, this report presents the results of the study and provides recommendations for next steps. Much of its analysis is based on a review of available research and stakeholder interviews.

The Ontario Convention Market Analysis Study provides a comprehensive analysis of the demand and supply of meeting, convention and trade and consumer show space in Ontario.

The Culinary Tourism Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2015) provides the vision and direction to lead the culinary tourism sector into the future, meet the challenges and opportunities facing the Ontario tourism industry and capitalize on new developments – specifically the establishment and implementation of the Ontario government’s Regional Tourism Strategy launched in 2010 following the release of Discovering Ontario, a Report on the Future of Tourism released in February 2010.

Sport Tourism Planning Template was developed to provide communities with a step-by-step planning framework on how to become a sport tourism destination. It helps communities quantify their sport tourism-related assets and organizational capacity.

A Strategy for Wine and Culinary Tourism in Ontario — Executive Summary
The former Ministry of Tourism and the Wine Council of Ontario commissioned an Ontario Wine and Culinary Tourism Strategy and Action Plan in 2001 to review existing wine and culinary tourism activities, identify areas for growth and make recommendations with respect to an action plan that will develop wine and culinary tourism in Ontario.

Research reports on niche tourism product are in the Travel Activities and Motivations Surveys section of this website.

Festivals and events industry resources

Ontario's festivals and events are major economic drivers for communities across the province. They enrich local communities and increase tourism and visitor spending.

Pageantry Template Resource Manual
This manual guides event organizers and tourism stakeholders through the process of broadening the awareness and understanding of the economic impact of festivals and events in their communities.

Guidelines: Survey Procedures for Tourism Economic Impact Assessments of Gated Events and Festivals

Ministry of Tourism and Culture Guidelines: Survey Procedures for Tourism Economic Impact Assessments of Ungated or Open Access Events and Festivals

Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund's "Plan to Succeed" self-help marketing tool kit

Free listings for festivals and events

Festivals and Events Ontario
Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

Industry associations

Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions
Festivals and Events Ontario
International Festivals and Events Association
Nature & Outdoor Tourism Ontario
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario