TORONTO — The Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA) is launching a recovery program called The Great Taste of Ontario to promote hyperlocal travel and help Ontario’s culinary tourism-and-hospitality sectors bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Great Taste of Ontario is a collection of destination passports that travellers can download to help plan their itineraries. Moreover, travellers who download a passport for their region and check-in when visiting participating businesses can either redeem prizes or donate cash to partner charities, FoodShare or Second Harvest.
The program involves more than 90 destination-marketing organizations (DMO) from across Ontario working in partnership with more than 1,000 small- to medium-sized businesses. The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) invested in this initiative, with additional support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“Now more than ever, Ontarians are looking to re-connect — to people, places and our great tastes. This program helps inspire Ontarians with their travel plans while reinforcing the importance of supporting our farmers, food and beverage producers and the thousands of businesses that showcase their tastes. Explore the passports and download for your stay in Ontario and play plans,” says Rebecca Mackenzie, president and CEO of CTA.
“The Great Taste of Ontario is an exciting and dynamic campaign that means Ontarians will not only have the opportunity to discover new tastes and culinary delights, but will also play an integral role in helping to re-build the tourism industry in Ontario and support our region’s farmers and food-and-drink producers. I urge all Ontarians to take advantage of the passports and immerse themselves in what our incredible province has to offer,” says Christopher Bloore, president and CEO of TIAO.
“Our government is proud to support the Great Taste of Ontario, as it helps some of the most impacted sectors bounce back. This initiative will stimulate local tourism and encourage more residents to re-connect with their local restaurants, shops and tourism experiences, all while protecting jobs and creating new opportunities for the province. As per our plan for a strong economic recovery, we will continue to invest in our key industries, including tourism, which are essential to the vitality of our regions,” says Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible FedDev Ontario.
Ontarians can now download a destination passport from CTA’s website.