OTTAWA — The best of the Ontario tourism industry were celebrated in Ottawa last week at the 2016 Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala.

The Ontario Tourism Awards, which are divided into three categories, are jointly presented by the Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA), the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO). In addition to the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence, this year Attractions Ontario also presented its Ontario’s Choice Award for Top Attraction. New for 2016, the Ontario’s Choice Award-winner was selected based on votes from tourists and locals collected between Feb. and Sept.

“The Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence celebrate our industry’s top achievements. We’re proud to recognize these achievements — and the individuals who bring them to fruition — each year as part of the Ontario Tourism Summit,” says Beth Potter, president & CEO, TIAO.

The 2016 Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence winners are:

Ontario’s Choice Award (by Attractions Ontario)

Top Attraction – Legoland Discovery Centre, Toronto

Culinary Tourism Awards of Excellence

  • Culinary Tourism Leadership Award – Tourism Oxford
  • Culinary Tourism Experience Award – Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island & Epic Wineries
  • Culinary Tourism Event of the Year – Beau’s Oktoberfest, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Tourism Marketing & Travel Media Awards of Excellence

  • Tourism Marketing Campaign Award Under $25,000 – Headwaters Tourism
  • Tourism Marketing Campaign Award Over $25,000 – Owen Sound Transportation Company
  • Tourism Marketing Partnership Award – City of Greater Sudbury
  • Tourism Print Collateral Award – Headwaters Tourism
  • Tourism Digital Marketing Award – Grey County Tourism
  • Travel Media Story Award – Josephine Matyas
  • Travel Media Photography Award – Colin Field

Tourism Industry Awards of Excellence (TIAO)

  • Accessible Tourism Award – Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
  • Sustainable Tourism Award – Chicopee Tube Park
  • Tourism Employer of the Year – Haunted Walks Inc.
  • Tourism Champion of the Year – Barrie Martin, owner/operator of Yours Outdoors and co-chair of Haliburton Highlands Tourism Stakeholders Group
  • Tourism Innovator of the Year – Headwaters Tourism
  • Tourism Event of the Year – Sound of Music Festival, Burlington
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Grace Sammut, executive director of Resorts Ontario


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