Destination Marketing Organization

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

The County has created a new tourism industry-led Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) that will oversee marketing, promotion, and visitor services in Prince Edward County.

At the Special Meeting of Council to discuss the DMO on Thursday April 14 (watch the recording here) Council supported the Staff report and moved forward with recruitment of the inaugural six (6) Directors of the DMO. Following recruitment and review by the Nominating Committee of Council, a slate of eight (8) candidates (7 public members and 1 Councillor) as well as an invitation to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte were put forward at the June 7, 2022 meeting of Council and approved. The inaugural Board of Directors can be reviewed here.

A revised draft Visit The County By-Law No. 1 and draft Financial Accountability Agreement with Stay PEC was presented to Committee of the Whole on June 9, 2022 as part of a staff report. The final documents were approved at the June 21, 2022 Council meeting in order to complete legal incorporation of Visit The County.

The first meeting of the Board took place on Monday June 27, 2022. Subsequent meetings and other opportunities to get involved will be shared through the tourism industry channels and/or on VisitPEC.ca.

What is a DMO?

A Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) is a non-profit entity responsible for promoting a community and/or place as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live, work and play. They leverage travel as a way to strengthen economic development and provide opportunities for people in their community. A DMO is often responsible for website and social media content, photography and media outreach. They represent the tourism sector and act as the subject matter experts on tourism assets and information. Examples of DMOs include Visit Kingston, Discover Muskoka, or Visit Stratford.

A board of directors will oversee the governance of the DMO. Consultation with tourism industry stakeholders and the broader public will take place winter/spring 2022 to determine the ideal competencies for the board of directors before recruitment for the inaugural board begins.

Why is The County creating a new DMO?

For the last seven years, the municipality has been acting as the DMO for The County, managing the Visit The County brand, providing visitor services, and strategically planning for destination development funded through the municipal tax-supported budget.

The County's Municipal Accommodations Tax (MAT) - a 4% tax charged to visitors who have rented overnight accommodations - has changed the landscape for destination marketing in The County, and it is no longer appropriate for the municipality to deliver destination marketing services. According to Provincial legislation, half of the MAT collected must be spent on destination marketing. Because the MAT is collected from visitors through the tourism sector, the legislation also says that the tourism sector must have a say in how the marketing funds are spent. The year of MAT collection has grossed over one million dollars - read the full report to Council from Thursday, March 24 here.

The new DMO provides the tourism industry with significant input on destination marketing decisions while creating a partnership with the municipality to align with tourism management planning. When the transition to the new DMO is complete, destination marketing and visitor services will no longer be funded through the municipal budget. Half of the MAT proceeds will fund the new DMO and their marketing and visitor services activities. The remaining half of the MAT proceeds will be managed by the municipality, invested in projects that support tourism but also provide benefits to residents, such as parks, boat launches, trails, and tourism management efforts.

What about Destination Management?

Destination Management goes beyond marketing and promotion of a community and incorporates some of the responsibility around management of visitors and the impact of tourism within a destination.

Since not all elements and factors of a community and/or place can be controlled by the DMO, it is critical that they work closely in partnership with local government and community organizations to share the responsibility of destination management. Management elements that would remain within the scope of the municipality include municipally owned parks, beaches, boat launches, trails, wayfinding and other assets and aspects that benefit residents year-round, not just visitors. Management also includes the development of policies and regulations that mitigate the impacts of over-tourism in our community. Management of these assets and policies would continue to be addressed annually by the municipality in the Tourism Management Plan (TMP). The 2022 TMP is was presented to Committee of the Whole on Thursday March 24th - read the full report here.

Project Background

  • Tourism is the largest economic sector in Prince Edward County, accounting for more than 31 per cent of jobs [Jobs Per Sector in PEC Ministry of Heritage, Sports, Tourism and Cultural Industries, Province of Ontario, 2017]
  • Since 2014, the municipality has been acting as the DMO for The County, managing the 'Visit The County' brand and providing visitor services, funded through the tax-supported municipal budget.
  • In 2021, The County implemented a Municipal Accommodations Tax: a 4% tax paid by visitors on overnight stays in roofed accommodations in The County. The MAT is conservatively projected to generate $800,000 in 2021.
  • The MAT is governed by provincial legislation that stipulates that half of the revenues must be spent on destination marketing, while the other half can be invested by the municipality in projects that support tourism. Because the MAT is collected from visitors through the tourism sector, the legislation also says that the tourism sector must have a say in how the marketing funds are spent.
  • In October 2021, Council directed staff (read the Report here) to begin the process of establishing an arms-length Municipal Services Corporation to lead destination marketing, funded through the MAT revenues. This corporation will be an industry-led organization responsible for tourism marketing, development, and visitor services.
  • The December 14, 2021 Council meeting (read the Report here) authorized staff to apply for the certificate of incorporation, selected Councillors John Hirsch, Phil St-Jean, and Bill Roberts as interim directors for the purposes of incorporation, and to bring forward a by-law to formally establish the corporation in February 2022.
  • At the December 14 meeting, staff reported on a multi-phased approach to establishing the corporation that includes public consultation. Review the action plan here.

Next Steps - Transitioning to the DMO

There will be a three-phase approach to the transition of tourism work from the municipality to the new DMO. The proposed timeline includes incentivized milestones, time and space for public consultation and stakeholder feedback.

Phase 1 | December - February

  • Establish the interim Board necessary for incorporation (the following councillors were identified on December 14 - John Hirsch, Phil St-Jean, and Bill Roberts.)
  • Begin public consultation by establishing Have Your Say page and offering a Public Information Session (January 20.)
  • Issue Request for Proposal (RFP) for Stakeholder Engagement Facilitator (person or group) to support stakeholder / sector specific consultation sessions around establishment of the board size, composition (key skills, qualifications and competencies), sector/stakeholder representation, partners or non-voting members, governance structure, decision-making processes, and public accountability.
  • Draft articles and objects of incorporation, and the required municipal by-law to authorize for legal filing of the new DMO when ready. Filing is done by The County's solicitors, and under the new/updated Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporation Act, filing should be completed within a few days.

Phase 2 | March - April

  • RFP for Stakeholder Engagement Facilitator is awarded.
  • Stakeholder / sector specific consultation and engagement with the tourism industry takes place via survey and over several facilitated sessions based on sector.
  • Stakeholder Engagement Facilitator and Staff summarize consultation findings and share publicly through Have Your Say and tourism industry channels. Second opportunity for stakeholders / sectors to review and confirm findings, or share anything missed or misunderstood.
  • Hybrid in-person and online public information and feedback meeting for residents and indirect stakeholders of the tourism sector on Monday April 4th, 7-9pm at Wellington District Community Centre in the Highline Hall. Register to attend (online or in person) by emailing rlamb@pecounty.on.ca.
  • Report to a Special Meeting of Council (April 14th) containing the summary of consultation findings, the draft first by-law and supporting documents for legal incorporation, and motion to begin the recruitment process for inaugural DMO Board of Directors based on consultation results.

Phase 3 | April - June

  • Recruitment for the inaugural DMO Board of Directors, lead by the Clerks department, takes place through online application staring April 19 and closing 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday May 4, 2022.
  • Director applications are presented to the Nominating Committee for review, a slate of six (8) candidates is selected by the Nominating Committee and put forward for appointment by Council. (Subsequent Board appointments can be done by the DMO.)
  • Report to Council (June 7, 2022) to appoint the DMO inaugural Board of Directors. The three interim board seats held by councilors John Hirsch, Phil St-Jean, and Bill Roberts would be dissolved at this time.
  • Invitation from the Mayor to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to appoint a Director of their selection.
  • Report to Committee of the Whole (June 9, 2022) to recommend Council approve the revised draft Visit The County By-Law No. 1 and draft Financial Accountability Agreement with Stay PEC at the June 21, 2022 Council meeting.
  • The County's solicitors to file for legal incorporation once the required municipal by-law is passed by Council.

Bonus Phase | June-September

  • Establish asset transfer agreements that outlines both the corporations and the municipality's responsibilities related any physical, digital or intellectual assets currently managed by the municipality that support destination marketing activities.
  • The inaugural Board, along with consultant(s) and industry partners establish the DMO's draft by-laws, governance structure, and policies in an inclusive and collaborative way. This could include establishing sector-specific subcommittees related to key areas of tourism and recruit members. Subcommittee could include but are not limited to: Accommodations, Food & Beverage, Arts, Nature, Agri-tourism & Experiences, History, Retail, Health & Wellness, and/or Events.
  • The inaugural Board recruits and hires its first Executive Director.
  • The inaugural Board and its Staff work to develop an inaugural budget.
  • The County transfers the DMO portion of 2021 MAT funds to supply the inaugural budget.
  • The DMO hosts it's first Annual General Meeting.

These phases take into consideration the time available before peak tourism season hits (May long-weekend.) The municipality will focus on tourism management during the Summer months (May-September), which will allow some time for the new DMO (and the municipality) to settle into their new roles and establish a supportive, collaborative working relationship.

As the new DMO is being built from the ground-up by the community, for the community, it is integral to take a collaborative, iterative and inclusive approach at each phase. It should be anticipated that delays may occur during the transition due to the nature of inclusive relationship building, effective stakeholder engagement, COVID-19 restrictions and to avoid rushed decisions while charting this new course for tourism. This transition will continue past the phases and timeline shown here, this page will continue to be updated as the project progresses and details are available.





The County has created a new tourism industry-led Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) that will oversee marketing, promotion, and visitor services in Prince Edward County.

At the Special Meeting of Council to discuss the DMO on Thursday April 14 (watch the recording here) Council supported the Staff report and moved forward with recruitment of the inaugural six (6) Directors of the DMO. Following recruitment and review by the Nominating Committee of Council, a slate of eight (8) candidates (7 public members and 1 Councillor) as well as an invitation to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte were put forward at the June 7, 2022 meeting of Council and approved. The inaugural Board of Directors can be reviewed here.

A revised draft Visit The County By-Law No. 1 and draft Financial Accountability Agreement with Stay PEC was presented to Committee of the Whole on June 9, 2022 as part of a staff report. The final documents were approved at the June 21, 2022 Council meeting in order to complete legal incorporation of Visit The County.

The first meeting of the Board took place on Monday June 27, 2022. Subsequent meetings and other opportunities to get involved will be shared through the tourism industry channels and/or on VisitPEC.ca.

What is a DMO?

A Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) is a non-profit entity responsible for promoting a community and/or place as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live, work and play. They leverage travel as a way to strengthen economic development and provide opportunities for people in their community. A DMO is often responsible for website and social media content, photography and media outreach. They represent the tourism sector and act as the subject matter experts on tourism assets and information. Examples of DMOs include Visit Kingston, Discover Muskoka, or Visit Stratford.

A board of directors will oversee the governance of the DMO. Consultation with tourism industry stakeholders and the broader public will take place winter/spring 2022 to determine the ideal competencies for the board of directors before recruitment for the inaugural board begins.

Why is The County creating a new DMO?

For the last seven years, the municipality has been acting as the DMO for The County, managing the Visit The County brand, providing visitor services, and strategically planning for destination development funded through the municipal tax-supported budget.

The County's Municipal Accommodations Tax (MAT) - a 4% tax charged to visitors who have rented overnight accommodations - has changed the landscape for destination marketing in The County, and it is no longer appropriate for the municipality to deliver destination marketing services. According to Provincial legislation, half of the MAT collected must be spent on destination marketing. Because the MAT is collected from visitors through the tourism sector, the legislation also says that the tourism sector must have a say in how the marketing funds are spent. The year of MAT collection has grossed over one million dollars - read the full report to Council from Thursday, March 24 here.

The new DMO provides the tourism industry with significant input on destination marketing decisions while creating a partnership with the municipality to align with tourism management planning. When the transition to the new DMO is complete, destination marketing and visitor services will no longer be funded through the municipal budget. Half of the MAT proceeds will fund the new DMO and their marketing and visitor services activities. The remaining half of the MAT proceeds will be managed by the municipality, invested in projects that support tourism but also provide benefits to residents, such as parks, boat launches, trails, and tourism management efforts.

What about Destination Management?

Destination Management goes beyond marketing and promotion of a community and incorporates some of the responsibility around management of visitors and the impact of tourism within a destination.

Since not all elements and factors of a community and/or place can be controlled by the DMO, it is critical that they work closely in partnership with local government and community organizations to share the responsibility of destination management. Management elements that would remain within the scope of the municipality include municipally owned parks, beaches, boat launches, trails, wayfinding and other assets and aspects that benefit residents year-round, not just visitors. Management also includes the development of policies and regulations that mitigate the impacts of over-tourism in our community. Management of these assets and policies would continue to be addressed annually by the municipality in the Tourism Management Plan (TMP). The 2022 TMP is was presented to Committee of the Whole on Thursday March 24th - read the full report here.

Project Background

  • Tourism is the largest economic sector in Prince Edward County, accounting for more than 31 per cent of jobs [Jobs Per Sector in PEC Ministry of Heritage, Sports, Tourism and Cultural Industries, Province of Ontario, 2017]
  • Since 2014, the municipality has been acting as the DMO for The County, managing the 'Visit The County' brand and providing visitor services, funded through the tax-supported municipal budget.
  • In 2021, The County implemented a Municipal Accommodations Tax: a 4% tax paid by visitors on overnight stays in roofed accommodations in The County. The MAT is conservatively projected to generate $800,000 in 2021.
  • The MAT is governed by provincial legislation that stipulates that half of the revenues must be spent on destination marketing, while the other half can be invested by the municipality in projects that support tourism. Because the MAT is collected from visitors through the tourism sector, the legislation also says that the tourism sector must have a say in how the marketing funds are spent.
  • In October 2021, Council directed staff (read the Report here) to begin the process of establishing an arms-length Municipal Services Corporation to lead destination marketing, funded through the MAT revenues. This corporation will be an industry-led organization responsible for tourism marketing, development, and visitor services.
  • The December 14, 2021 Council meeting (read the Report here) authorized staff to apply for the certificate of incorporation, selected Councillors John Hirsch, Phil St-Jean, and Bill Roberts as interim directors for the purposes of incorporation, and to bring forward a by-law to formally establish the corporation in February 2022.
  • At the December 14 meeting, staff reported on a multi-phased approach to establishing the corporation that includes public consultation. Review the action plan here.

Next Steps - Transitioning to the DMO

There will be a three-phase approach to the transition of tourism work from the municipality to the new DMO. The proposed timeline includes incentivized milestones, time and space for public consultation and stakeholder feedback.

Phase 1 | December - February

  • Establish the interim Board necessary for incorporation (the following councillors were identified on December 14 - John Hirsch, Phil St-Jean, and Bill Roberts.)
  • Begin public consultation by establishing Have Your Say page and offering a Public Information Session (January 20.)
  • Issue Request for Proposal (RFP) for Stakeholder Engagement Facilitator (person or group) to support stakeholder / sector specific consultation sessions around establishment of the board size, composition (key skills, qualifications and competencies), sector/stakeholder representation, partners or non-voting members, governance structure, decision-making processes, and public accountability.
  • Draft articles and objects of incorporation, and the required municipal by-law to authorize for legal filing of the new DMO when ready. Filing is done by The County's solicitors, and under the new/updated Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporation Act, filing should be completed within a few days.

Phase 2 | March - April

  • RFP for Stakeholder Engagement Facilitator is awarded.
  • Stakeholder / sector specific consultation and engagement with the tourism industry takes place via survey and over several facilitated sessions based on sector.
  • Stakeholder Engagement Facilitator and Staff summarize consultation findings and share publicly through Have Your Say and tourism industry channels. Second opportunity for stakeholders / sectors to review and confirm findings, or share anything missed or misunderstood.
  • Hybrid in-person and online public information and feedback meeting for residents and indirect stakeholders of the tourism sector on Monday April 4th, 7-9pm at Wellington District Community Centre in the Highline Hall. Register to attend (online or in person) by emailing rlamb@pecounty.on.ca.
  • Report to a Special Meeting of Council (April 14th) containing the summary of consultation findings, the draft first by-law and supporting documents for legal incorporation, and motion to begin the recruitment process for inaugural DMO Board of Directors based on consultation results.

Phase 3 | April - June

  • Recruitment for the inaugural DMO Board of Directors, lead by the Clerks department, takes place through online application staring April 19 and closing 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday May 4, 2022.
  • Director applications are presented to the Nominating Committee for review, a slate of six (8) candidates is selected by the Nominating Committee and put forward for appointment by Council. (Subsequent Board appointments can be done by the DMO.)
  • Report to Council (June 7, 2022) to appoint the DMO inaugural Board of Directors. The three interim board seats held by councilors John Hirsch, Phil St-Jean, and Bill Roberts would be dissolved at this time.
  • Invitation from the Mayor to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to appoint a Director of their selection.
  • Report to Committee of the Whole (June 9, 2022) to recommend Council approve the revised draft Visit The County By-Law No. 1 and draft Financial Accountability Agreement with Stay PEC at the June 21, 2022 Council meeting.
  • The County's solicitors to file for legal incorporation once the required municipal by-law is passed by Council.

Bonus Phase | June-September

  • Establish asset transfer agreements that outlines both the corporations and the municipality's responsibilities related any physical, digital or intellectual assets currently managed by the municipality that support destination marketing activities.
  • The inaugural Board, along with consultant(s) and industry partners establish the DMO's draft by-laws, governance structure, and policies in an inclusive and collaborative way. This could include establishing sector-specific subcommittees related to key areas of tourism and recruit members. Subcommittee could include but are not limited to: Accommodations, Food & Beverage, Arts, Nature, Agri-tourism & Experiences, History, Retail, Health & Wellness, and/or Events.
  • The inaugural Board recruits and hires its first Executive Director.
  • The inaugural Board and its Staff work to develop an inaugural budget.
  • The County transfers the DMO portion of 2021 MAT funds to supply the inaugural budget.
  • The DMO hosts it's first Annual General Meeting.

These phases take into consideration the time available before peak tourism season hits (May long-weekend.) The municipality will focus on tourism management during the Summer months (May-September), which will allow some time for the new DMO (and the municipality) to settle into their new roles and establish a supportive, collaborative working relationship.

As the new DMO is being built from the ground-up by the community, for the community, it is integral to take a collaborative, iterative and inclusive approach at each phase. It should be anticipated that delays may occur during the transition due to the nature of inclusive relationship building, effective stakeholder engagement, COVID-19 restrictions and to avoid rushed decisions while charting this new course for tourism. This transition will continue past the phases and timeline shown here, this page will continue to be updated as the project progresses and details are available.





  • New Destination Marketing Organization takes shape with appointment of directors

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    by Rebecca Lamb,
    supporting image

    Visit The County, the new Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), is one step closer to reality with the appointment of its first board of directors. From a pool of 33 applicants, the municipality's Nominating Committee recommended and County Council approved seven (7) directors and one (1) Council representative. Council also agreed to have Mayor Ferguson extend an invitation to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to appoint an additional director to the inaugural Visit The County Board, upon recommendation from the Nominating Committee.

    Read the full PSA here: https://mailchi.mp/pecounty/new-destination-marketing-organization-takes-shape-with-appointment-of-directors

    Meet Your Board

    The Board of the DMO is predominantly skills-based. The directors include a mix of those involved in and benefitting from tourism, as well as those fully removed from the industry but possessing skills and qualifications that make them an ideal fit for representing the diversity of the community. They are: Christal Agostino, Mikki Arends, Rachel Baque, Sarah Doiron, Sherry Karlo, Rebecca Mackenzie, Charles McKee, Council Representative John Hirsch and a TBA Representative from the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

    Public directors will serve a two-year term, while the appointed councillor will serve until the end of this Council's term.

    The first meeting of the Visit The County board of directors will take place later this month following the June 21, 2022 meeting of Council and legal incorporation. A more formal introduction to the board via this newsletter, and likely through other means to be determined by the Board, will follow.

    Other opportunities to get involved with Visit The County through working groups and/or committees are anticipated, and will be part of early discussions among the Board.

    Visit The County Staff

    Visit The County is expected to seek candidates for the full-time staff position of Executive Director who will work with tourism stakeholders, and partner organizations/associations to support the day-to-day operations of Visit The County. With help from County staff, the new Board will likely launch a competition later this month, and the contract could be awarded for this position in August.

    What About 'Team Tourism' ?

    Samantha Porter-Mills, Digital Marketing & Communications Analyst, will remain in her current capacity in order to maintain consistency throughout the transition to the new DMO where she will be the first employee.

    Rebecca Lamb, Destination Development & Marketing Coordinator, is wrapping up seven years of work with The County when her current contract ends June 30, 2022.

    Karen Palmer was recently awarded the new position of Economic Development Officer within the Community Services, Programs and Initiatives Department.

    Agreement reached with Stay PEC on Municipal Accommodation Tax

    The municipality has reached an agreement with Stay PEC on its portion of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).

    At the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 9, Council agreed to recognize Stay PEC as a stand-alone tourism entity, eligible for a portion of the MAT revenues due to their legal status prior to the creation of the MAT framework in Prince Edward County. The majority of MAT funds will go to Visit The County. The agreement will go to Council for ratification on June 21.

    In consultation with members of the Stay PEC Board, a Financial Accountability Agreement has been created between The County and Stay PEC to honour the legal requirement to recognize them as an eligible entity. The agreement also expresses a desire for both DMOs to work in partnership to support tourism marketing and management.

    FAQs

    When will The County officially hand over the tourism reins to Visit The County?

    The DMO will assume their responsibilities following the June 21, 2022 meeting of Council and legal incorporation.

    How can I get involved in a Visit The County committee or working group?

    This will be part of early discussions among the Board and more information about getting involved should be anticipated in the coming months. Opportunities will be shared through this newsletter and social channels.

    How can I apply to be on the Board in the future?

    More information about how the DMO will handle Board terms, applications and selection will be available after the Board establishes the by-laws of the DMO. Future Board appointments will be done by the existing Board, and not through the Nominating Committee of Council.

    Where can I find out more about the inaugural Directors skills and experience?

    Watch this space for more information about the Directors including headshots and professional bios in the coming weeks. We are also in the process of creating a governance page on the Visit The County website (VisitPEC.ca) where this information will be housed.

    How will this be affected by the new Council in the fall?

    The new Council will affect the DMO board in that the current Council representative's term will end and a new Council representative will be nominated for the duration of their term on Council. Otherwise the new term of Council will not directly affect the DMO board nor its operations.

    Where is the inaugural Board holding their meetings? How can I attend?

    Location, frequency and how the meetings will be made accessible to the public is to be determined by the Board as they establish the by-laws and policies for good governance of the new DMO.

    Can changes be made to By-Law No. 1 at a later date?

    A mandatory review of By-Law No. 1 is set as a clause within the municipal by-law for December 31, 2024.

    Why is Stay PEC being acknowledged as an eligible entity and receiving MAT funds?

    Ontario Regulation 436/17 (Transient Accommodation Tax) mandates the municipality to provide a contribution to Stay PEC from the MAT funds to replace revenues they previously collected through the voluntary Destination Marketing Program (DMP), which was in existence prior to Council passing the by-law to collect MAT funds. This positions them as a legally eligible entity to receive MAT funds.

    Where/how do I apply for the Strategic Implementation Lead role?

    More information about the job and how to apply will be made available after the Board's initial meeting. Stay tuned as we'll share those details here!

    How do we contact Visit The County?

    For now, it's the same as usual: tourism@pecounty.on.ca


  • DMO Board Recruitment Has Begun

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    by Rebecca Lamb,
    supporting image

    Director Recruitment Begins Now!

    On April 14 there was a special meeting of Council regarding the new Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) where Council supported Staff's recommendation to recruit six (6) public members and appoint one (1) member of Council to represent the Corporation of the County of Prince Edward. Directors will be asked to fill a 2 or 3 year term. Staff also recommended that the Board compilation be predominantly skills-based, and include a mixture of those directly involved in and benefiting from tourism efforts, and those who are tourism-adjacent or fully removed from the tourism industry, but still possess the skills and qualifications that make them an ideal fit for the Board, while representing the diversity of the sector and community. Further to that, staff recommended the inaugural Board develop stakeholder advisory committees that represent key tourism sectors.

    You can apply to be a Director on the inaugural Board on The County website. Be sure to select 'Destination Marketing Organization board (DMO)' from the drop-down list in the first question.

    Apply here: https://www.thecounty.ca/committees-application/

    The County is accepting applications until 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday May 4, 2022.

    Candidates will be reviewed by the Nominations Committee of Council (made up of Councilors Hirsch, Roberts, St-Jean, Nieman, Maynard and MacNaughton). The committee will use a skills matrix as one of the tools to evaluate applicants. Candidates selected for the DMO Board will be put forward for appointment at the May 24 Council meeting.

    The total skills and experience represented across the Board of Directors shall include but not be limited to:

    • tourism marketing, management, and product development;
    • communication, public relations, and public engagement;
    • financial management;
    • governance, legal, and non-profit regulations;
    • research, data and analysis;
    • leadership and strategic planning;
    • knowledge of Prince Edward County's historic and contemporary, cultural and environmental story.

    Special consideration should also be given to the following competencies:

    • accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion;
    • creativity and problem solving;
    • integrity and mindfulness;
    • collaboration and consensus building; and
    • conflict resolution.

    Together, Directors will work with staff and stakeholders toward the following objectives of the DMO:

    1. Work closely with the municipality and regional partners to strategically advance responsible tourism management, environmental sustainability, and regenerative tourism goals.
    2. Work in partnership and collaboration with various tourism sectors and community stakeholders to promote Prince Edward County and ensure quality destination experiences for all.
    3. Provide efficient, accountable, ethical, and transparent governance of Municipal Accommodations Tax investments related to tourism and use their allocated portion to fund marketing, minor tourism-related capital projects, and tourism product development.
    4. Represent and support the Prince Edward County tourism sector and act as a leader in tourism marketing through management of visitor-facing digital accounts, print materials, and other promotional assets related to visitor services.
    5. Collect and clearly communicate key tourism statistics, economic and social impact data, and credible information related to market research and travel trends.
    6. Provide a vehicle for the transfer of municipal and other partner assets, physical or financial, for destination marketing and management related to tourism.

    Unsure about applying?
    Want to learn more about what it means to be a Director?

    Anyone considering a Director position on the new DMO, or the PEC Affordable Housing Corporation, is welcome to join an informal, online lunch & learn with Charles Dowdall (Executive Director of Housing) and Rebecca Lamb (Destination Development & Marketing Coordinator) to better understand the responsibilities and expectations of Board Directors.

    Tuesday April 26, Noon-12:45pm - Register here.

    FAQs

    What will the Directors do?
    The inaugural Board of Directors (along with their inaugural staff) will be charged with the development of a clear common goal, mission, vision, and strategy for the DMO. They will help align priorities and sectors, and influence working relationships between The County, tourism stakeholders, and the DMO. They will also establish the corporation's governance framework, by-laws, policies, and committees which set the foundation for future operations.

    What are Directors responsible/liable for?
    Directors must act honestly and in good faith in the best interests of the organization. When making board decisions, a director must put the organization’s interests above their own and above another organization to which they have fiduciary duties.
    Directors are responsible for the assurance that the organization is:

    • Carrying out its purpose as set out in the articles of incorporation. All the organization’s activities, programs, strategic directions or other actions must be related to the purpose.
    • Complying with all the organization’s legal, legislative and regulatory requirements.
    • Behaving in a financially responsible manner.
    • Properly managed through staffing.

    Directors don’t have to make perfect decisions or be experts; however, each director must exercise the care, diligence, and skill in their decision-making, and in fulfilling their responsibilities, that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances.

    Directors must demonstrate due diligence in the degree of care, attentiveness, and vigilance given to their decisions. For example, each director must:

    ✅ remain well informed

    ✅ attend meetings regularly

    ✅ review all background materials before the meeting

    ✅ exercise their best judgement and apply critical thinking

    ✅ vote according to their own opinion

    Directors can be held liable:

    • Collectively (as a whole board) and individually (as one director) for an organization’s failure to comply with certain specified legislative requirements, or for a breach of a requirement, if the directors do not take prudent steps to ensure that the organization meets these obligations.
    • For acting in a way that is outside the scope of their role as a director, but that has an impact on the organization.
    • For breaching their Duties of Care and Loyalty.

    Who can apply to be a Director?
    Any individual who is at least 18 years of age, and is a resident or property owner in Prince Edward County can apply to be a Director.

    How many Director positions are there?
    The inaugural Board of Directors will have six (6) public positions and one (1) municipal representative (likely a Councilor appointed by Council.) Specific roles within those positions - such as Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, etc - will be appointed by the Board at their first meeting.

    How much time/energy will Directors need to commit?
    The amount of time and effort involved in being a Director on the inaugural DMO Board will vary. Expect to contribute 10-20+ hours/month in the first year as the DMO is established. Once established, the amount of time and effort will fluctuate depending on the season and projects on the go. All Directors are expected to review agendas and materials prior to meetings, be present at meetings, and follow up on commitments as a result of meetings.

    How long is the term of a Director?
    Directors of the new DMO will have staggered terms of two (2) or three (3) years to ensure Board continuity and good governance. The total number of terms available to a Director will be defined in the corporation's by-laws.

    What if I am appointed as a Director but cannot complete the term?
    Although we hope that all those appointed to the Board of Directors will be able to complete the term they commit to, we know that life happens and that is not always the case. The inaugural Board will establish a policy around the resignation of Directors.

    How does someone apply to be a Director?
    The Destination Marketing Organization Board Director application form is available on The County's website here. Complete the form and submit it to apply as a Director. Alternative formats are available upon request. Any questions can be sent to the Clerk’s Office at clerks@pecounty.on.ca or call 613.476.2148 ext. 1020 between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

    What does the application entail?

    The online application form asks for:

    • Your contact information
    • Confirmation that you are eligible to apply
    • Confirmation that you understand the role and associated responsibilities
    • Previous experience and relevant skills
    • Your motivation for applying
    • Your feedback on four (4) questions related specifically to the new DMO
    • Your sector/organization/association connections that are relevant to the role
    • A reference

    And the option to upload supporting documents, such as a resume.

    When are applications due?

    The County is accepting DMO Director applications here until 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

    When will I know the status of my application?

    All applicants will receive notice of the status of their application between May 25 and May 27, 2022, from the Clerk's Office.

    Is there an interview?
    The DMO Director application form has been designed to balance interview and behavioural-style questions with the municipality's standard skills/experience questions in order to help the Nominations Committee select those that are skilled, representative, and the best fit for the role. Interviews may be conducted if necessary.

    If I work in tourism, or own/operate a tourism business, is that a conflict of interest?
    Tourism sector experience is a welcome qualification for Directors on the inaugural Board! Be sure to read the responsibilities and liabilities section of the application form thoroughly to understand your role as a Director. There may be times when a Director will need to declare a pecuniary or conflict of interest as it pertains to specific decisions being made by the Board.

    Are Directors compensated?
    All Directors shall serve without remuneration as volunteers, and no Director shall directly or indirectly receive any profit from their position as such. A Director may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in performing their duties.

    Where will the Directors meet/gather to do business?
    Meetings will take place within Prince Edward County at a to-be-determined location that is mutually agreed to by the inaugural Board of Directors. Meetings will likely take any relevant COVID-19 protocols into consideration, including the option to meet digitally.

    If I'm not selected for the inaugural Board of Directors, can I still get involved with the DMO?
    Yes! Everyone can engage with the new DMO in some shape or form. Once the inaugural Board of Directors has had the chance to meet and establish their governance framework and by-laws, they will likely promote the various opportunities for stakeholders to get involved either as partners, committee members, advisors, volunteers, or staff.

  • NOTICE: New Destination Marketing Organization subject of special Council meeting on April 14

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    by Rebecca Lamb,

    The new Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) to oversee marketing, promotion, and visitor services in Prince Edward County will be the focus of a special Council meeting on Thursday, April 14 beginning at 7 pm.

    The staff report on the agenda includes a draft by-law that would frame the scope of the new DMO and give direction on the roles and selection of the inaugural Board of Directors.

    The recommendations in the staff report are informed by feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders as well as industry best practices.

    The municipality is supporting the creation of a new tourism industry-led DMO. The objective of the new DMO is to provide effective, accountable, ethical, inclusive, sustainable and transparent governance of Municipal Accommodation Tax investments related to tourism marketing and management in Prince Edward County.

    The Have Your Say project page provides detailed information about the DMO project, its objectives and timeline. For more information contact Rebecca Lamb, Destination Development and Marketing Coordinator, at rlamb@pecounty.on.ca or 613.476.2148 extension 2506.

    Due to COVID-19, this special meeting will be held electronically. Members of the public who wish to provide comments under "Comments from the Audience" can do so by contacting clerks@pecounty.on.ca by noon on April 14 to register.

    A live stream of the meeting will be available on the County's YouTube channel.

  • Stakeholder Consultation Complete / Recording of April 4 Public Information Meeting Now Available

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    by Rebecca Lamb,

    Thank you to all those who participated in our Sector Consultation Sessions and those who took our Stakeholder Survey. This phase of consultation is now complete. We appreciate your time and input and thank you for your contributions to the future of tourism in PEC. If you have any further comments, questions, or concerns, please pose a question below or reach out to rlamb@pecounty.on.ca.

    The Staff report containing the summary of consultation findings, the required municipal by-law and supporting documents for legal incorporation, and motion to begin the recruitment process for the inaugural DMO Board of Directors based on consultation results will be available prior to the April 14 Special Meeting of Council.

    Thank you to those who came out to our Public Information Meeting on April 4. If you missed this session, you may watch a recording here.

  • Stakeholder Survey Now LIVE!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    by Rebecca Lamb,
    supporting image

    You can now access the stakeholder consultation survey.

    This stakeholder consultation survey will help inform the size, shape, skills/experience, and representation of the inaugural DMO Board of Directors.

    It is now live: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D93YCG6

    Complete the survey at the link below by April 5 to have your say.

    Results from this phase of consultation will be summarized, and used to inform the Staff report to Council on Thursday April 14, 2022. This report will include a municipal by-law to allow the DMO to legally incorporate, a summary of the stakeholder engagement consultations to date, and a request to begin recruitment for the inaugural Board of Directors informed by that summary.

    Stakeholder Consultation Session Updates

    Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in attending one of our eight stakeholder consultation sessions this and last week. All attendees will have been contacted with more information as of today and we very much look forward to speaking with you if we haven't already.

    Note: if you attended a session we still highly recommend that you complete a survey so we can capture your views quantitatively. Please do this after your session.

    If you were unable to attend a session, don't worry! The qualitative feedback from the sessions will be considered equally alongside with the results of the survey - which is open to all stakeholders. If you have any additional comments not related to the DMO board make-up you can share them on Have Your Say or they can be addressed to rlamb@pecounty.on.ca

    Public Information and Feedback Meeting

    The municipality is continuing public consultation regarding the new Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) with a public information meeting on Monday, April 4, 7-9pm at the Wellington and District Community Centre (111 Belleville Street).

    The public information meeting is intended to provide a progress update to residents, businesses and organizations who do not operate directly within the tourism sector.

    This is a hybrid meeting where participants can attend in-person or through Zoom. To register to participate, email rlamb@pecounty.on.ca or call 613.476.2148 extension 2506.

    A note about returning to in-person meetings:

    In line with provincial and local public health measures, masks and vaccination proof are no longer mandatory to enter County of Prince Edward facilities. Though face masks are not mandatory, some people may choose to keep wearing their masks. The County encourages the public to be kind and respectful to others, regardless of whether they are wearing a mask or not.

    The County encourages people visiting any County facility to conduct a self-health assessment for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering. The County asks that anyone with symptoms not visit until symptoms have cleared.

    FAQs

    What is the purpose of this phase of consultation?

    This round of consultation is required to establish the legal filing of the Municipal Services Corporation that will act as the DMO. Public consultation as well as a case study and a municipal by-law is required to allow the corporation to exist. If /when these are passed at Council will consider this by-law at a special meeting on Thursday, April 14 and, if approved, the legal filing can proceed and the corporation will formally exist.

    When will we get to provide input on the marketing, operations, and other details of the DMO?

    Decisions related to the new DMO's budget, strategy, marketing plans, by-laws, policies and partnerships are all subject to future consultation once the inaugural board of directors is in place, and will not be addressed during this phase of consultation. These future consultations are anticipated to take place in Spring 2022.

    How can I participate in a facilitated consultation session?

    Registration for facilitated consultation sessions is now closed, but you can complete an equally-weighted survey here.

    Could there be more sessions?

    The 8 sessions covering various tourism sectors are within the scope of funds and timeline leading up to the April 14 special meeting of Council. There will be additional consultation opportunities on the new DMO's by-laws, policies, values and operations in the next phase of the project.

    What am I missing by just completing the survey?

    Stakeholder / sector feedback collected through the survey and the consultation sessions are equally weighted and the questions are the same. What you miss by not attending a consultation session is a discussion between sector peers that is facilitated by a third party.

    Why isn't the notice/consultation period longer?

    We are working efficiently this spring to transition the DMO work from the municipality to the new DMO in a way that avoids any gap in services provided to the sector. This timeline allows us to ensure the new DMO is legally established, and able to recruit for directors and staff in time for the 2022 tourism season.

    When do the residents and/or businesses not directly within the tourism sector get to provide feedback on the DMO?

    Those affected by tourism but not actively part of the tourism sector are invited to complete the survey, share their questions and comments on Have Your Say or contact tourism@pecounty.on.ca. An in-person public information and feedback session will be held for residents and those not directly within the tourism sector on Monday, April 4. Details will be shared on Have Your Say and through The County's communication channels in late March.

    How do local organizations & associations related to tourism fit into this?

    Representatives of local organizations and associations related to tourism have been a part of these consultation sessions, but you may also complete a survey if you want to have a say on the DMO board make-up. If you are interested in having an information session about the DMO in general for your members/association/organization please contact tourism@pecounty.on.ca.

    What advice will the consultants give in the final report?

    The Stakeholder Engagement Facilitators' role is to collect informed stakeholder/sector feedback, and summarize what they hear. This summary will influence the recruitment process for the inaugural DMO board of directors by way of the staff report going to Council on April 14. The consultants are not hired to provide their personal advice or recommendations.

  • DMO Special Update: Stakeholder Engagement

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    by Rebecca Lamb,

    The County continues to transition the work of tourism and destination marketing through the creation of a new Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). The next step in this process is stakeholder/sector engagement to inform the recruitment process for the inaugural board of directors.

    A firm has been selected to lead stakeholder engagement following a recent request for proposals process. Dates have been set for a survey, stakeholder/sector consultation sessions, and an in-person public information and feedback session. Details of each are outlined here, and in our latest newsletter.

    What to Expect

    Through this phase of the stakeholder engagement process, The County seeks input from tourism industry stakeholders/sectors on the size, shape, and skills/experience/representation of the inaugural DMO board of directors, which will inform the recruitment process in late April 2022.

    Decisions related to the new DMO's budget, strategy, marketing plans, staffing, and partnerships are all subject to future consultation once the inaugural board of directors is in place, and will not be addressed during these sessions. These future consultations are anticipated to take place in Spring 2022.

    How to Participate

    There are three options to participate in stakeholder engagement:

    1) Complete a stakeholder/sector consultation survey
    2) Attend a facilitated stakeholder/sector consultation session
    3) Attend an in-person public information and feedback meeting

    Stakeholder/Sector Consultation Survey

    Feedback will be collected through a digital survey that will be posted by March 16 on the DMO page on Have Your Say and through the tourism industry channels (e-newsletter, Facebook, and Instagram.)

    Facilitated Stakeholder/Sector Consultation Sessions

    In addition to the survey, Stakeholder Engagement Facilitators have been hired to host eight consultation sessions (held over Zoom) categorized by sector. These sessions will contain the same information and questions as the digital survey, and allow for facilitated group discussion.

    Each two-hour session has space for approximately 12 participants. Selected participants will provide a broad representation across each sector (ie. small and large operators, businesses from different geographic regions, new and established businesses, BIPOC owned/operated businesses, etc).

    If you are interested in participating in a session, let us know by completing the form at the link below and selecting up to two sectors if applicable to your business (note: you will only be selected to participate in one of the selected sessions). Dates and times for these sessions have been set and are included in this email. Please express interest by 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 15.

    It is possible that not all who express interest and availability in a session will be selected to participate. If you are not selected or available for the session representing your sector(s), you will still be able to provide equally weighted feedback through the digital survey.

    Express interest in participating in a session here: https://forms.gle/rbzyU26v7MnLXXNN7

    Public Information & Feedback Meeting

    On April 4, The County will host an in-person, town hall-style meeting for industry-adjacent stakeholders and residents that will address some of the early feedback from the consultation sessions and allow further opportunity for feedback.

    The time and location will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

    Consultation Session Dates

    Thursday, March 17 | 10 AM - Noon
    Sector: Nature, Parks & Water

    Friday, March 18 | 1 - 3 PM
    Sector: Agritourism & Experiences

    Tuesday, March 22 | 10 AM - Noon
    Sector: Beverage

    Tuesday, March 22 | 1 - 3 PM
    Sector: Food & Culinary

    Wednesday, March 23 | 10 AM - Noon
    Sector: Attractions (ie. Wellness, History/Heritage, Festivals/Events, Weddings)

    Wednesday, March 23 | 1 - 3 PM
    Sector: Accommodations

    Thursday, March 24 | 10 AM - Noon
    Sector: Arts & Entertainment


    Thursday, March 24 | 1 - 3 PM
    Sector: Retail

    FAQs

    What is the purpose of this phase of consultation?

    This round of consultation is required to establish the legal filing of the Municipal Services Corporation that will act as the DMO. Public consultation as well as a case study and a municipal by-law is required to allow the corporation to exist. If /when these are passed at Council will consider this by-law at a special meeting on Thursday, April 14 and, if approved, the legal filing can proceed and the corporation will formally exist.

    When will we get to provide input on the marketing, operations, and other details of the DMO?

    Decisions related to the new DMO's budget, strategy, marketing plans, by-laws, policies and partnerships are all subject to future consultation once the inaugural board of directors is in place, and will not be addressed during this phase of consultation. These future consultations are anticipated to take place in Spring 2022.

    How can I participate in a facilitated consultation session?

    If you are interested and available to answer the survey questions during a facilitated Zoom session with a group of your sector peers, please submit a request to attend here: https://forms.gle/Jjd2gHamRY4iCDa49. You will be notified either way, no later than Wednesday, March 16.

    How are session participants selected?

    All requests to attend will be reviewed and those selected will represent a diversity of voices within that sector. For example: new and established businesses, central and rural businesses, large and small operations, BIPOC owned/operated businesses, etc.

    What if I don't get into a session?

    Tourism stakeholders not interested or unable to attend a session can still provide feedback through a digital survey that includes the same questions covered in the sessions. The survey link will be shared and posted on Have Your Say and through The County's communication channels by Wednesday, March 16. Feedback collected through the survey and sessions are equally weighted.

    Why can't there be more people per session?

    Each session can have up to 12 stakeholder / sector participants. This will allow time and space for everyone to share and be heard within the two-hour session.

    Could there be more sessions?

    These 8 sessions covering various tourism sectors are within the scope of funds and timeline leading up to the April 14 special meeting of Council. There will be additional consultation opportunities on the new DMO's by-laws, policies, values and operations in the next phase of the project.

    What am I missing by just completing the survey?

    Stakeholder / sector feedback collected through the survey and the consultation sessions are equally weighted. Consultation sessions are facilitated by a third party and information is shared and discussed between sector peers.

    Why isn't the notice/consultation period longer?

    We are working efficiently this spring to transition the DMO work from the municipality to the new DMO in a way that avoids any gap in services provided to the sector. This timeline allows us to ensure the new DMO is legally established, and able to recruit for directors and staff in time for the 2022 tourism season.

    When do the residents and/or businesses not directly within the tourism sector get to provide feedback on the DMO?

    Those affected by tourism but not actively part of the tourism sector are invited to share their questions and comments on Have Your Say or by contacting tourism@pecounty.on.ca. An in-person public information and feedback session will be held for residents and those not directly within the tourism sector on Monday, April 4. Details will be shared on Have Your Say and through The County's communication channels in late March.

    How do local organizations & associations related to tourism fit into this?

    Representatives of local organizations and associations related to tourism are welcome to submit a request to participate in a facilitated consultation session related to their sector. If you are interested in having an information session for your members/association/organization please contact tourism@pecounty.on.ca.

    What advice will the consultants give in the final report?

    The Stakeholder Engagement Facilitators' role is to collect informed stakeholder/sector feedback, and summarize what they hear. This summary will influence the recruitment process for the inaugural DMO board of directors by way of the staff report going to Council on April 14. The consultants are not hired to provide their personal advice or recommendations.

    Any additional questions or concerns can be sent to tourism@pecounty.on.ca

  • Public Info Session: January 20, 2022

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The municipality is asking for public input about the new organization that will oversee tourism marketing for Prince Edward County.

    Council approved in December 2021 the new Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) that will be led by tourism industry stakeholders. The DMO will operate at arm's length of the municipality similar to the public library or affordable housing corporation. Through the new DMO, the tourism industry will have significant input on destination marketing decisions while maintaining partnership with the municipality to align with tourism management planning.

    A public information session about the new DMO will be held on Thursday, January 20 from 7-8 pm. Members of the public will have the chance to learn more about the organization and timeline -- including key phases of the transition toward the new DMO. Questions can be submitted in advance to Rebecca Lamb, Destination Marketing and Development Coordinator, at rlamb@pecounty.on.ca. Staff will take input from this session into consideration when drafting a new by-law to incorporate the DMO, which will be presented for Council's consideration on Tuesday, February 8.

    Due to COVID-19 protocols, the meeting will be held virtually over Zoom. Registration for this session is required and can be completed using this link. A recording of the session will be available for viewing after the meeting. Additional information is available on the County's online engagement site, Have Your Say.

    Following this public information session, municipal staff will be engaging tourism industry stakeholders around elements of the DMO, including board structure, board member competencies, and governance. The inaugural board of the DMO, which is expected to be in place by April 2022, will be responsible for passing the DMO's by-laws and policies. Click here to view a timeline of the transition process.

    Tourism industry stakeholders who would like to get involved and offer feedback can contact Rebecca Lamb, Destination Marketing and Development Coordinator, at rlamb@pecounty.on.ca or 613.503.1309.

  • New tourism industry-led organization to oversee destination marketing for Prince Edward County

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Picton, ON – A new organization led by tourism industry stakeholders will oversee tourism marketing and development for Prince Edward County beginning in 2022.

    "As we rethink tourism in our community, a unique solution to destination marketing is required," says Mayor Steve Ferguson. "This new approach will provide effective, accountable, ethical and transparent governance of Municipal Accommodations Tax investments related to tourism. It’s a win for the tourism industry, for residents and for visitors."

    The new Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) will operate at arm's length of the municipality similar to the public library or affordable housing corporation. The new DMO provides the tourism industry with significant input on destination marketing decisions while creating a partnership with the municipality to align with tourism management planning.

    A board of directors will oversee the governance of the DMO. Consultation with tourism industry stakeholders and the broader public will take place in January and February 2022 to determine the ideal competencies for the board of directors before recruitment for the inaugural board begins.

    The County will continue to work closely with regional, provincial and national tourism sector partners to collect and review best practices and effective governance models for consideration. Details about how the new DMO will operate including its vision, values, goals and objectives will be shaped by industry consultation and be reflected in the organization's by-laws and policies. Governance experts will be engaged to support this process.

    The DMO will be funded by half of the proceeds of the Municipal Accommodations Tax, a 4% tax paid by visitors on overnight stays in The County. Presently, destination marketing is undertaken by municipal staff and funded through the tax-supported operating budget. When the transition to the new DMO is complete, destination marketing and visitor services will no longer be funded through the municipal budget. The remaining half of the MAT proceeds will be managed by the municipality, invested in projects that support tourism but also provide benefits to residents, such as parks, boat launches, trails, and tourism management efforts.

    Background

    • Tourism is the largest economic sector in Prince Edward County, accounting for more than 31 per cent of jobs [Jobs Per Sector in PEC Ministry of Heritage, Sports, Tourism and Cultural Industries, Province of Ontario, 2017]
    • Since 2014, the municipality has been acting as the DMO for The County, managing the "Visit The County" brand and providing visitor services, funded through the tax-supported municipal budget.
    • In 2021, The County implemented a Municipal Accommodations Tax: a 4% tax paid by visitors on overnight stays in roofed accommodations in The County. The MAT is conservatively projected to generate $800,000 in 2021.
    • The MAT is governed by provincial legislation that stipulates that half of the revenues must be spent on destination marketing, while the other half can be invested by the municipality in projects that support tourism. Because the MAT is collected from visitors through the tourism sector, the legislation also says that the tourism sector must have a say in how the marketing funds are spent.
    • In October 2021, Council directed staff to begin the process of establishing an arms-length Municipal Services Corporation to lead destination marketing, funded through the MAT revenues. This corporation will be an industry-led organization responsible for tourism marketing, development, and visitor services.
    • The December 14, 2021 meeting authorized staff to apply for the certificate of incorporation, selected Councillors John Hirsch, Phil St-Jean, and Bill Roberts as interim directors for the purposes of incorporation, and to bring forward a by-law to formally establish the corporation in February 2022.
    • At the December 14 meeting, staff reported on a multi-phased approach to establishing the corporation that includes public consultation. Review the action plan here
Page last updated: 04 Jul 2022, 03:00 PM