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THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ----    October 12, 2014  ---   The challenges facing those who live and work in Northern Ontario often require “made in the Tourismt Summitnorth” solutions.  The tourism industry in this part of the province is no exception, says Tourism Northern Ontario (TNO) Chair Marty Kalagian.

“We have some unique strengths but at the same time we have a number of significant challenges in the Northern Ontario tourism industry that are uniquely ours”, he said.  

Kalagian said that it was with these issues in mind that TNO joined forces with Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO) to organize the first-ever Northern Ontario Tourism Summit, slated for November 17-20, in Thunder Bay.
The focus, said Kalagian, will be on helping Northern Ontario tourism operators and other tourism stakeholders to develop the skills that they need to attract more visitors and have them stay longer and spend more.
The Summit officially gets underway with an evening welcome reception Monday, November 17 but for those who are able to get there early there will be an impressive line-up of bonus training sessions focused on customer service, market development, email marketing and making the best use of available research.

Tuesday’s packed agenda will feature keynotes and workshops on the latest Northern Ontario market research, the new Northern Ontario product development strategy, businJon Montgomeryess planning and marketing.  The day will culminate in NOTO’s annual dinner and fundraiser.
With Wednesday’s agenda just as packed, participants will be glad to take the trip to Fort William Historical Park at the end of the day to take part in a voyageur feast that will feature Olympian Jon Montgomery, host of the Amazing Race Canada, as the keynote presenter.  It promises, said Kalagian, to be an evening that is both entertaining and inspiring.

“Jon Montgomery is a truly charismatic speaker with equal parts wit and charm. Fans will remember the infamous video of Montgomery drinking a pitcher of beer walking down the streets of Whistler, surrounded by screaming Canadians after receiving his Olympic gold medal. He will definitely bring a great energy to our final night of the first Northern Ontario Tourism Summit and inspire us to work together to build our industry”, he said.

Another much-anticipated presenter will be Juanita Keel-Ryan, Director of Tourism Product Development for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  An engaging authority on developing tourism products that meet market demand, Keel-Ryan will address the attendees on Wednesday morning.

There will also be opportunities for delegates to provide feedback on industry issues.  
Post-Summit sessions are also being offered at no extra charge.  For more on the first-ever Northern Ontario Tourism Summit, go to http://noto.ca/summit.  
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