Huron County hosting tourism summit for surrounding municipalities

This month, local tour operators and stakeholders have the opportunity to network with others in the industry.

Huron County Economic Development is partnering with several local municipalities to host the Ontario West Coast Tourism Summit on April 24th.

Economic Development Officer Rick Sickinger said the tourism industry had been particularly challenged during the pandemic.

“We can’t get people together to talk about how we’re going to get through this pandemic, we’re at the other end of the spectrum now, and how we move forward as a sector of the county because obviously tourism is an important sector to our economy for,” Sickinger said.

Sickinger said that until about 2017, the brochure exchange was a very popular annual event for tour operators in the county. He added that this year’s Tourism Summit will be very similar in that it will bring all operators, stakeholders and municipal politicians together to see how they can move forward. In the past five or six years, there have been a lot of new tour operators who have not had the opportunity to meet other people in the travel industry.

Sickinger said the keynote speaker at the event was Philip Mondor, president and CEO of Tourism Human Resources Canada. Sickinger says he is an accomplished leader with 35 years of experience working with labor market professionals in Canada and abroad.

“He will specifically address the staffing shortage challenges our travel and hospitality industry has faced since the pandemic, particularly last year and into 2022. These staffing shortages are expected to continue in 2023,” he said.

Sickinger said he will also discuss some solutions and provide local tour operators with a toolkit outlining how others across the county can cope with the shortage.

The Ontario West Coast Tourism Summit will be held at the Libro Community Hall in Clinton on Monday, April 24th from 9:30am to 3:30pm. For more information on the event and how to register, visit under Ontario West Coast Tourism Summit.

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