The Tourism Competitiveness Study commissioned 13 external studies to better understand the broader issues that impact tourism and to help inform the recommendations of the Discovering Ontario report. Each external study examined a particular issue, from global trends to the impact of our festivals on the economy. Each helped inform the recommendations in the report. They are a valuable resource to the government and industry as we work together to identify future strategies.1
The tourism industry is experiencing global change as competition for tourist dollars intensifies. Deloitte and Touche identified the global trends and drivers of tourism assessed global niche product trends and their relevance to Ontario and identified key tourism measures for the private and public sectors.
Ontario's festivals and events are a major economic driver for communities across the province. One of the province's goals should be to build and grow this potential to make the province a more attractive tourist destination domestically and internationally. This review and analysis focused on how to develop and enhance festivals and events and to strengthen our profile.
Attracting private sector investment into the tourism industry is a challenge in many jurisdictions but it is a key element in any strategy to build tourism product. HLT Advisory studied private sector tourism investment strategies and processes. The results of this research will help advise the Ontario government on how to more aggressively pursue tourism investment and on how to stay in tune with changing marketing and tourist needs.
Malone Given Parsons and HDR made recommendations about government infrastructure investments that would best help the tourism industry. The research reviewed best practices; conducted stakeholder/expert interviews; reviewed tourism trends and travel flows; identified infrastructure gaps; examined capital funding programs; and analyzed Ontario's travel information service infrastructure.
Because tourism product is a foundation of the industry, research was commissioned to examine which existing Ontario tourism products are most effective at meeting customer expectations. Deloitte & Touche was also asked to look at which product types have the greatest potential to attract people and encourage spin-off economic activity.
Way-finding is more than just signs. Some jurisdictions recognize that by improving how people find their way, visitors' experiences are more memorable. Oliver Wyman (Delta Organization and Leadership) made recommendations on options to improve local tourist-oriented way-finding.
The structure and effectiveness of Ontario's tourism industry and its organizations is crucial to the industry's success. Deloitte and Touche identified best practice models for industry organization and mobilization and developed a strategic framework for marketing in Ontario.
TNS identified the high potential markets for Ontario tourism. TNS looked at domestic markets, adjacent and further afield U.S. markets, other potential markets and high potential international growth markets. They reviewed available data for expenditure projections for various potential markets and identified consumer segments within those markets.
One of the current challenges faced by Ontario's tourism marketers is how to fully embrace non-traditional and best prospect marketing approaches. Other successful destination marketers have tended to focus on the entire consumer experience (from home and back) rather than just the destination's tourism offering. TNS identified the best mix of marketing tools to promote Ontario successfully. They conducted a literature review; an analysis of best practices; an analysis of Ontario's current mix of marketing/promotion; and stakeholder/expert interviews.
In consultations with industry members, many operators expressed concern about the impact that government legislation, regulation and enforcement activities have on their businesses. To better understand this area of concern, Pareto and HLT examined the regulatory burdens on the tourism industry with the objective of reducing the key barriers that impact the tourism industry's economic activity.
Market shifts have triggered profound changes in how tourism product is distributed today and will be in the future. Factors affecting the industry include the use of technology and the Internet, the availability of multiple sources of information to make bookings and price sensitivity. Oliver Wyman (Delta Organization and Leadership) reviewed how Ontario's tourism product is distributed to various markets and examined how other successful tourist destinations are distributing vacation experiences to visitors. They proposed approaches for how industry and government could improve and build distribution channels and develop a framework for how government and industry can work better together to package tourism product.
Lord Cultural Resources advised on how to develop and position Ontario as a significant cultural tourism destination on the world stage. They analyzed successful cultural tourism attractions and best practices worldwide.
To better understand how government can help increase tourism's capacity and profile as an economic driver and an important component of economic development, Deloitte and Touche reviewed practices in other leading "best in class" jurisdictions.
Although copyright in the research papers is held by the Queen's Printer for Ontario, the papers were prepared by external companies and their conclusions do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Ontario. The research papers were commissioned by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism for the Tourism Competitiveness Study and as such their conclusions are intended for this purpose only and shall not be relied-upon by third parties.