Norfolk County recently won two awards at the Economic Developer’s Council of Ontario (EDCO) Annual Conference, for outreach related to attracting bloggers, and for an industry learning tour of Upstate New York.
Norfolk County won the award for Technology and New Media for the Norfolk County Blogger Outreach program. In 2015, 37 individual travel and food writers and bloggers were hosted by Norfolk County, resulting in 34 unique stories or articles. The combined total audience reach is estimated at more than 2 million readers and followers. Through this outreach program, Norfolk County also connected with the PBS TV show New Fly Fisher. An episode of this series was filmed in 2015 and will be featured on over 250 PBS channels in the U.S. and other channels and platforms.
“We continue to collaborate with our fantastic private-sector partners to maximize our ability to attract and support visiting writers,” said Clark Hoskin, Manager of Tourism and Economic Development for Norfolk County. “Our staff also dedicate evening and weekend time to meet with visiting writers, showcasing various experiences.”
Norfolk County also won the EDCO award for Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration for the Finger Lakes Study Tour. The objective of the tour was to provide learning opportunities and networking for a group of rural businesses in Norfolk County and Southwest Ontario by taking them on a structured tour of an area similar to Norfolk County in Upstate New York. The tour was conceived by Norfolk County staff and funded by participants and the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC).
“Our group of 48 passengers spent two days last March touring farms, small towns, wineries, tourist attractions, business incubators, museums and arts centres across the Finger Lakes,” Hoskin added. “Thanks to the enthusiasm and curiosity of those who joined the tour, coupled with the grace and generosity of our hosts along the route, this project was a success.” A similar tour is planned for April 2016.
At EDCO, Norfolk County was also nominated awards for the South Coast Shuttle project, the successful summer bus service along Lake Erie, and the annual Experience Guide & Map, which was so popular in 2015 that it needed to be reprinted at the demand of tourism partners. The Norfolk County Blogger Outreach program was also nominated for the coveted Lieutenant Governor’s Best of Show Award.
The EDCO Conference is an annual gathering of over 300 economic development professionals across Ontario. It is an excellent opportunity for staff to learn from their peers, share success stories and best practices, and to collaborate on opportunities and challenges that face communities everywhere.
“These nominations would not be possible without the ongoing dedication and collaboration of the 260 private-sector partners that Norfolk County works with to further our community’s tourism and economic development efforts,” said Hoskin. “Special thanks to our staff for making these nominations possible, through their hard work, creativity, commitment and passion for Norfolk County.”
More about the Finger Lakes Study Tour