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Katherine Hobbs was appointed to the Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries


In February 2021 Katherine Hobbs was appointed to the Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries. Meetings commenced weekly starting in March and the task force will conclude with a final meeting on April 15, 2021.


The task force is a forum for 20 sector partners and leaders in Ontario to share ideas, collaborate and provide advice and information to the Minister on strategies, tactics and approaches to support Ontario's tourism economic recovery. The task force is exploring opportunities and barriers related to topics such as marketing and communications, travel/tourism incentives, products, experiences and destination development. The task force also considers existing ministry programs, policies and investments and looks at ways in which these can be leveraged, amplified or strengthened. 


Additionally the 20 task force members split into three sub committees for additional meetings to further look at the following topics: 1) Travel Incentives & Marketing, 2) Signature Destinations, and 3) Gateway Cities. Katherine is a member of the Signature Destinations subcommittee that examined ways for increasing overall length of stay in geographic areas of Ontario by providing advice and ideas related to products, experiences and destination development, and how recovery can be inclusive to all.  


Ultimately the Task Force will be providing a report to the Minister.


Committee meetings have provided an opportunity to share ideas with task members comprised of MPP's, municipal councillors, and leaders in every aspect of tourism including business travel experts. Meetings have featured talks from a number of Ontario cabinet ministers, allowing the task force to ask questions and discuss issues related to Ontario parks, the environment, natural resources and forestry. 


Katherine said this has been an incredible experience to understand more in regards to the different challenges experienced by different tourism sectors, and in the different geographic areas of the province. It has given us all an insight into the value of working together to benefit the province's overall tourism goals while achieving our individual destination's goals. Being on the task force has allowed her to represent our area of the province all along the St. Lawrence River from the Quebec border on to the west, and ensure this area is understood in terms of who visits and what the challenges and opportunities are. It has also given her a direct link to talk to ministers in the Ontario Government about opportunities locally and get advice for product developers here in our area. 


Katherine's grateful to Minister MacLeod for appointing her to the task force that has allowed her to share her thoughts and ideas and hear and learn from others. Minister MacLeod fierce commitment and drive has been an endless benefit to the heritage, sport, tourism and culture sectors that were hit first, and so hard by the pandemic. The creation of this Economic Recovery Task Force is just another example of her amazing support of our sectors. 


The Chamber is thrilled that Katherine is still representing Tourism for our community in another capacity and she also is on the Advocacy Committee for the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce.

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