Leveraging Opportunities through Central Counties

As all residents of the region know, Ontario’s Central Counties have much to offer to potential visitors, from amusement parks and music festivals to museums and hiking trails. In turn, these visitors have plenty to give to businesses and event promoters in the region in the way of valuable tourism dollars. Of course, the key to attracting visitors–and inducing them to bring their wallets–lies in promoting the unique events and special features that Central Counties has to offer. That’s where Central Counties Tourism comes in, and we are embarking on a distinctive program designed to provide funding opportunities to the businesses and event organizers in the region that can help increase tourist awareness of Central Counties and boost visitor interest in the area.

At Central Counties Tourism, our goal is simple: help boost interest in the region in order to draw in visitors for longer stays, increasing the opportunities for the area’s businesses to benefit from tourist spending. How do we do this? By joining with tourism-generating businesses and event hosts in the area and providing funding for those partners who have the potential to generate increased returns from visitor spending. We have the funds available to partner with businesses and event leaders of all sizes, and we have made investments as little as $1,000 and as much as $100,000 in those partners who have demonstrated the potential for a positive return on our investment.

To date, Central Counties Tourism has forged 11 partnerships with businesses and event sponsors throughout the Headwaters, York and Durham Regions for this year, creating opportunities that are rewarding for both the business owners and those in the area who benefit from increased tourism. Our partnerships are as diverse and varied as the region itself. We have joined with some of the area’s best music festivals including the Markham Jazz Festival and the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival to help draw in visitors interested in Central Counties’ incredible musical talent, and we have also thrown our support behind events like the Alton Mill Fire and Food Fest to help reach tourists interested the region’s culinary offerings.

What’s more, Central Counties Tourism is helping both established businesses and emerging start-ups that have something to offer to Central Counties’ visitors. One of our partners, Canada’s Wonderland, has been the premier amusement park in the country for the past 35 years, while the newly-founded Grand Spirits Distillery will benefit from their partnership with Central Counties Tourism as they look to open the Headwaters Region’s first legal distillery in over a century this summer.

These partnerships have a track record for success. For 2016-17, Central Counties partnered with the York Durham Heritage Railway for their Santa’s Passport trips. Together, the collaborative marketing partnership sold 700 tickets in 3 weeks. It also generated an increased economic impact for 5 retail businesses in Uxbridge and increased visitor exposure for other businesses.

Do you have a business or event that could boost interest in the Central Counties region? Central Counties Tourism still has funds to allocate to qualified events and businesses, but time is running out to take advantage of these partnership opportunities. If you think that your business or event has the potential to draw visitors to the region and generate increased tourist spending, we would love to partner with you today, and submitting a proposal to become a partner is simple and straightforward. Just put together a brief that describes your project, how it aligns with Central Counties Tourism’s goals, the details of your project’s budget and how you plan to measure the project’s success and its return on investment, and email this proposal to partnerships@centralcounties.ca.

Don’t delay; Central Counties Tourism looks forward to hearing about your tourism-generating project!


Central Counties is located North of Toronto


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Chuck Thibeault

Executive Director, Chuck Thibeault