Eblast April 15, 2016 Is this email not displaying correctly?
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RTO7 Information Session, Labour Study Survey & More....

You’re Invited!  RTO7 Information Session, April 21, 2016

Plan to attend our annual information session for an overview of 2016/17 and presentations on the Experience Implementation Program, Social Media and the Partnership Program.
When:   Thursday, April 21, 2016
Where:  Reflections Meeting Room, Village Conference Centre, Blue Mountain
When:   9 am to 11 am
Click here to RSVP to join us.

Be Heard!  Participate in TIAO’s Ontario Labour Study Survey

Make sure your tourism voice is heard by filling out this important survey on labour shortages in Ontario’s tourism industry.   Survey results will help to support evidence of the labour shortage in the province, so a high participation level is vital to inform politicians about this issue.  Deadline to submit the survey is April 29, 2016.  For background information and to complete the survey, click here.

Experience Implementation Program Now Open!
The 2016/17 Experience Implementation Program is now accepting applications.  This program is designed to help BruceGreySimcoe stakeholders through coaching, support and education as well as potentially assist with matched funding for experiences and products so they are market ready.  Some past projects include:
Program details and how to apply can be found on the website.

Resorts of Ontario’s Gift of the Getaway
Resorts of Ontario and RTO7 are working in partnership through the Gift of the Getaway Program, which offers online gift certificates and coupons to visitors.  For more on the program and how to participate, read the Connection Post.

OTMPC Marketing Opportunities
The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) has several promotional opportunities for tourism partners in 2016.  Applications for the Ontario Signature Experience program will be available this spring. There are several international marketing initiatives and grant applications for the Tourism Industry Partners Program (TIPP) are being accepted until June 3, 2016.   Other marketing opportunities are also available.  Check them out in the RTO7 Connection blog post, April 2016 Updates from OTMPC.

Marketing Guru Frederic Gonzalo on Essential Google Tools
On March 30th, in one of two workshops* held at Casino Rama, Frederic Gonzalo shared his knowledge of how to effectively use Google Tools and has generously allowed us to share his expertise on “10 Google Tools Brands Should Use”.  Bonus - all of these tools are free. 
One of the tools, “Google My Business,” is #8 on the list and one of the most important as it involves making sure your business is accurately located on Google Maps.  Once your account is created on Google+, you can create a profile, add photos and manage reviews.  The first step is to verify your business, so Google your business name and click on “Own this business?” that appears in the box on the upper right hand corner of the search page.  Google will then walk you through the steps to verification.  There is a handy tutorial video, too, on YouTube (courtesy of Google Small Business).  We’ll share more of Frederic’s tips in upcoming eblasts!
(*The workshops were held in partnership with RTO7, Orillia and Area CDC, Ontario’s Lake Country and Casino Rama.) 
SGB Community Cookbook
Celebrating all that’s culinary in BruceGreySimcoe, the South Georgian Bay Community Cookbook is well under way to completion for release this summer.  It’s a unique combination of recipes, chef profiles, photography, stories and artwork that’s equally at home in the kitchen or displayed on the coffee table.  And, an added value, it’s a useful tool for promoting our beautiful region.  For more information on this project, visit the Community Cookbook website.

Industry News
  • WSPS (Workplace Safety & Prevention Services) received Ministry of Labour Approval as a Training Provider for New Industry Certification Training and is offering a 15% discount for FEO members.  Register by May 1, 2016 for this limited time offer.  Visit the FEO website for more information.
  • TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) seeks applications to secure a host destination for its Conference & Annual General Meeting for 2018, and is also open to destinations that are interested in 2019 and 2020.  For details on the conference and how to submit, click here.   Submission deadline is Friday, May 13, 2016 at 5:00 pm EST.
  • Ontario is helping Orillia, Midland and Collingwood expand cycling and improve safety by investing $475,000 in local cycling infrastructure.  Read the Connection Post for funding details.

Operator News
  • The Georgian Bay Spirit Co. won several awards at the 16th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition in March for their small-batch vodka and gin, bringing home a silver medal for their gin and a double gold and Best Vodka for their vodka.

Dates to Remember – Industry Events