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RTO8 TSW Trail Workshop held in Lakefield
October 20, 2017
BY TERRY GILLIS
On Thursday evening (October 12) Kawarthas Northumberland, in partnership with the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce and Tourism held a Trent-Severn Waterway Trail Town Workshop.
From the U.S., trail tourism expert, Amy Camp of Cycle Forward in Pennsylvania, gave an interactive presentation to approximately twenty-five invited business owners and interested guests.
Camp helped to launch the first multi-community Trail Town Program in 2007 and now consults with communities across North America on how to leverage their trail systems.
Over the next two years it is the Regional Tourism Organization 8’s (RTO8) intent to hold similar workshops in various communities along the TSW.
Building off a regional workshop hosted by Kawarthas Northumberland to ignite the tourism economy last fall, this second phase focuses on helping communities better leverage the waterway and trail systems to increase visitation, length of stay and visitor spending.
During the Thursday workshop, upon arrival guests were asked to provide feedback on three specific topics/questions:
1. Help us draw an ideal community
2. Share your five word story (about the trails)
3. What barriers do business face in attracting visitors (i.e. cyclists, kayakers, etc.)
Participants were then given a two-page questionnaire and asked to take a walk through the village and along the trails and, from the perspective of a visitor, answer and comment on community related questions.
A light dinner was served after the walkabout.
Following the meal, Camp discussed creating a strategy to increase tourism to approximately fifteen communities along the Trent-Severn Waterway which would bring more visitors to our region who will stay longer, venture farther and spend more of their dollars at our local businesses.