The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario handed out the Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards at their annual awards gala, recognizing outstanding accomplishments over the past year in the areas of sustainability, innovation and collaboration. Explore South River was recognized as a winner in the category of collaboration.
In a year fraught with innumerable obstacles, the Explore South River Project led by PARC Association rose to the challenge and continued to innovate and engage with partners and the entire community to present a vision of a thriving community that celebrates the arts, outdoor recreation, community services, events and stories in an inclusive project.
“The foundation of any great project is the people. And this project engaged dozens of people in sharing community stories at story sharing events, researching, writing and designing historical interpretive panels, identifying and bringing together all our community assets to showcase what is a truly special rural Ontario community,” said Todd Lucier, project lead for PARC Association.
The Explore South River project encourages visitors to get out and explore using an inclusive handheld app and website which showcase every enterprise and resource in the region that meets the needs of visitors and residents including trails and events.
“I’ve been dreaming of what would be possible for handheld tourism apps ever since the iPhone first appeared. This app designed with Creative ONE is really quite special and takes advantage of a smartphone’s capabilities. There is nothing else like it,” said Lucier.
2020 was a year like no other, requiring determination and perseverance for an industry among the hardest hit by economic challenges.
“In a year that was so very different for the tourism industry this award recognizing and celebrating collaboration is reflective of the times we are in and the way forward. Together, we’re better,” said PARC Association chair and project leader.