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THUNDER BAY, ON   ---  November 15, 2010 -----  Fort William Historical Park has a reputation for Fort  William Historical Park Grand Maraistrying something new and different in its role as an economic catalyst in Northwestern Ontario.  The Fort was recently recognized for its efforts in the tourism industry, receiving the Tourism Innovator of the Year Award from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).

The Fort was awarded the honours in recognition of operating the Fort William Historical Park Canada Gateway Centre in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

The award recognizes a person or a business that has created a new, innovative product that will promote and enhance tourism in Ontario, or demonstrated an innovative approach to surviving the challenges of the tourism industry.

The Gateway Centre is a proactive move to increase cross-border visitation to Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.  The Fort is working in partnership with an American entrepreneur in operating the Centre.  The 2,000 square-foot structure has been open since May 2009

The Canada Gateway Centre features promotional materials on the Fort, Thunder Bay, and Northwestern Ontario, with a combination of heritage items and state-of-the-art touch-screen technology.  The initiative is the only one of its kind in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

“This award is a testament to everyone in our organization,” says General Manager Sergio Buonocore.  “This reflects the dedication and creativity of our staff to execute initiatives such as this.”
The awards ceremony took place November 8th at the Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka.  The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) co-hosted the event.

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