If you listen to local radio at all, you may have heard about Ontario’s Tourism Innovation Lab ads throughout the day, touting their “Spark” program.
Ontario’s tourism arm is actively seeking local entrepreneurs by offering this “Spark” program by way of a grant and mentoring in the hopes of finding unique ways to channel the millions of visitors who travel to Bruce County.
This week saw the Tourism Innovation Lab convening in both Lion’s Head and Wiarton to meet with local entrepreneurs.
One of the focal points of these meetings was to find ways to tackle the vacuum leading up to Tobermory.
The Tourism Innovation initiative has set specific sights on selling tourists on taking the time to discover towns such as Wiarton, Lion’s Head and other local points of interest and discovering what they have to offer.
The Lab is hoping the entrepreneurs they meet can develop tourist activities that are experiential and unique, much inspired by what is found when you visit the ‘Experiences’ section of AirBnB’s app or website.
Tourism entrepreneurs are also encouraged to make their offerings eco-friendly.
Another one of the Tourism Innovation Lab’s missions is to boost year-round tourism numbers to help the region temper its flow of cash throughout the year and be less seasonally-dependent.
The program is open to new (as yet un-launched) and existing businesses and is offered to both part-time and full time residents of the region.
The Breakdown of the “Spark” Program:
Qualifying entrepreneurs will get the following:
- A mentorship of three months with a veteran of the local tourism scene
- Seed money of $3,000 to help kickstart the winning tourism proposal
- Full access to a local network of participants in Bruce county’s tourism industry
The Tourism Innovation Lab is also offering an interesting win-win: even if your idea does not win one of the three grants offered, Bruce County’s tourism board will be offering support to help foster all ideas presented.
To learn more about the opportunity or to apply for the grant, go here.
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