RTO12 is now exploring Fiscal 20/21 Partnerships

Since 2013, in addition to providing its core funding, the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries has allocated specific additional funds for the Regional Tourism Organization (RTO) to partner with tourism stakeholders on projects that align with the strategies and objectives identified in the RTO’s annual Business & Operational Plan (BOP).  RTO12/Explorers’ Edge has administered over 150 successful partnerships region-wide since the inception of the additional funding.

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Thank you for taking the time to fill out this important survey.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this important survey.  We will share results at an upcoming webinar.

Of note, On Wednesday, September 30 at 1pm, RTO12 senior staff and Peter Coish, marketing strategist, will present a summary of key insights from this research. Of particular importance are the new domestic segments that have been developed and will be targeted, replacing our previous (and long-standing) primary segment of “Ontario Explorers”.

To register for this webinar presentation, please CLICK HERE

Explorers’ Edge Partners With Porter Airlines

RTO12 NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Distribution


Porter Airlines opens Ontario’s Muskoka region to North American travellers with summer service

TORONTO / March 25, 2019 – Porter Airlines will be flying to Muskoka Airport with the introduction of 2019 summer service. Popular with outdoor enthusiasts, Muskoka has established itself among the world’s iconic summer retreats. Continue reading

Explorers’ Edge Regional Tourism Summit

September 20, 2018 Post Summit Presentations and Materials

Join us for the regional tourism industry event of the year.  Gather with industry colleagues and tourism stakeholders for a day to network and learn about industry best practices.


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2017 Annual General Meeting

The Board of Directors for RTO12 / Explorers’ Edge invites you to join them for the Explorers’ Edge 2017 Annual General Meeting and year-end presentation by Executive Director James Murphy.

Tuesday September 12, 2017
Doors open at 9.30am • 10:00am – 12:00pm
Charles W Stockey Centre, Parry Sound, Ontario

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2017 – 2018 Business & Operational Plan

Executive Summary

The years 2011-2016 (the first five of the RTO’s existence) saw not only the organization’s focused work to build a solid administrative foundation, strong tourism stakeholder relations and benchmark governance, but also our extremely successful launch into the (then) universally unchartered waters of social content marketing.

In 2011, when the Board made the decision to concentrate on social media and content for domestic marketing, they empowered staff to take a calculated risk (despite external naysayers) to try something new, in order to significantly change the way tourism is done in this region and to increase visitation.

Fast forward to 2017: with exceptional social content marketing results year-over-year, we are not only the leading content marketer among the RTOs (resulting in increased visitation), but we have also been the catalyst for a significant number of tourism partners to become successful content marketers themselves (including the local DMO). We have come a long way since we took our first wobbly steps into this new marketing frontier in our effort to increase visitation.

In 2017-2018, RTO12 will once again confidently steer the ship into unchartered waters as we now work strategically to attract international visitors, thereby developing new audiences for our region while working towards our corporate vision of making this the most popular destination in Ontario.

In 2017-2018 we will develop significant destination building initiatives, including commercial air service to the Muskoka Airport, itinerary and package development, international content marketing campaigns and lead nurturing work flows, a tourism ambassador program, and enhanced travel infrastructure – all under the RTO’s branded strategy called “Worldly Wise.”

With sanctioning from our Board of Directors, tourism stakeholders and from respondents to the Ministry’s RTO Stakeholder Survey, we will take the lead in developing this branded destination (“the great Canadian wilderness north of Toronto”) so we are truly globally competitive.

A key initiative to increase our competitiveness on the world stage will be our product offerings. To that end, the Board of Directors will invest in a significant Product Development Strategy in order to identify which products will work hardest to attract domestic and international audiences, and which will require significant investment by the RTO (through funding, partnership and resources) to bring up to par.

We will continue to develop our “blue chip” programs, including our “tipping point transacting programs” (e.g. Fuel & Fun), our “Signature Suite of Self-Guided Mobile Tours,” (e.g. www.bikecottagecountry.ca), our database lead nurturing (which resulted in open rates up to 48% and CTRs of up to 20%), as well as our Tourism Excellence North program to optimize individual business offerings and results.

Finally, 2017-2018 will see the establishment of a new 3-Year Destination Development Plan (2017-2020), one that will encapsulate our push into both domestic and international markets while continuing to use our consumer-centric approach.

Click here for full PDF Business and Operational Plan