Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) is accepting applications for the 2024/25 Implementation Programs which reflects RTO7’s 2024/25 Business Plan.  RTO7’s program offerings for 2024/25 are contingent on the Ministry of  Tourism, Culture and Sport’s approval of RTO7’s business plan and budget. 

The Sustainability Inclusivity Program (SIP) is designed to assist tourism operators in BruceGreySimcoe to promote a new sustainable product, experience, initiative, or inclusive business practice they’ve invested in by supporting a $2,500 social media advertising campaign. Examples of initiatives that would qualify for SIP include the development of a new experience in the shoulder season, the implementation of a green initiative to combat climate change, or the development of an experience that instills a sense of community pride.  New inclusive business practices include participation in programs like Rainbow Registered. 

The initiative must achieve at least one of the following:
  1. Improve sustainability (environmental, social, financial)
  2. Reduce seasonality
  3. Increase visitor yield and revenue
  4. Increase the length of stay or encourage return visits
  5. Implement more inclusion practices in your place of business
Please visit the Sustainable Tourism Page for more information on RTO7’s sustainability efforts and the 3 pillars of sustainability (environmental, social, and economic). 

The aim of sustainable tourism is to increase the benefits and to reduce the negative impacts caused by tourism for destinations. Long-term sustainability can be achieved by seeking a suitable balance between:
  • Protecting natural environments, wildlife and natural resources when developing and managing tourism activities (environmental),
  • Providing authentic tourist experiences that celebrate and conserve heritage and culture (socio-cultural), and
  • Creating socio-economic benefits and well-being for host communities through employment and income earning opportunities (economic).
An example of an inclusive workplace: Inclusive workplaces allow people with all kinds of differences and disabilities to feel welcome and valued for their contributions. It’s a place where people with disabilities have the same opportunities as their co-workers.

Tourists, visitors and locals should feel comfortable to participate in activities and experiences offered.  This should be a welcome space. Some examples of inclusivity include unconscious bias training, Rainbow Registered accreditation, acknowledging holiday of all cultures or an EDI training program. 
Festival organizers wishing to apply to this program must have a festival that runs at least 2 days and encourages overnight accommodation.

Stakeholders interested in applying for the Sustainability Inclusivity Program (SIP) will be required to demonstrate the following:
  • You have an active Facebook PAGE and are actively engaged on the platform (i.e. post at a regular frequency and respond to comments within 24 hours).
  • In order to launch the campaign, you will need to allow The Aber Group to act as an advertiser on your page. In the new Pages experience on Facebook, only individuals with “full control” (not partial) will be able to accept or assign task access.  If you have Facebook access to a Page, you can view your access. Please refer to the Program Guidelines for steps to "View Your Page Access on Facebook". 
  • You must have current collateral (produced in the last 3 years); high-resolution images (Min 1MB) and/or 1-3 videos (60 seconds or less) that can be used in a social media campaign. See Resource Guide for best practices.
  • Your website is mobile friendly, must be up to date, and reflect your current offerings, hours of operation, and contact information.
  • Partners will need to have a landing page consistent with what is portrayed in the video/imagery (i.e. a campaign promoting Pride festivities should include folks from the 2SLGBTQ+ community). 
Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until January 31, 2025 or until the program is fully subscribed.

Examples of Ways to Qualify for SIP

The following are some ideas of sustainable initiatives that you could implement in order to qualify for SIP:

Economic Sustainability

  • Have dedicated financial efforts for assessing and managing environmental risks and impacts (including climate risks).
  • Long-term planning for maintenance, expansion, and product development for tourists and potential tourists increase (i.e. washrooms, parking, etc.).

Social/Cultural Sustainability

  • Provide diversity of experience during times that you have excess capacity.
  • Ensure your promotional materials reflect a broad spectrum of individuals from various backgrounds.
  • Marketing campaign to encourage responsible and/or respectful tourism
  • Implement Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) policies and training.
  • Recognize all cultural holidays.
  • Have membership, support, and/or training through sustainability organizations (e.g. GreenStep, Green Key, Rainbow Registered, Rick Hansen Foundation etc.)
  • Include Indigenous language and/or local cultural content in promotional materials.

Environmental Sustainability

  • Evidence of action to lower footprint (i.e. monitoring of utility consumption and waste production appropriate for business size or taking action to lower carbon footprint).
  • Marketing campaign to encourage tourists to reduce consumption and waste, reduce environmental impacts, and/or green alternatives.
  • Have a staff tree planting or litter clean-up day.
  • Take measures to reduce the impact on surrounding land and biodiversity (i.e. plant native species, reduce paved area, install bird feeders).

Please read through the Program Guidelines below prior to submitting your application.

If you require more information or have any questions, contact Kim Clarke at / 519-379-2506 or Robyn Hewitt, / 647-549-2983. 

2023/24 Sustainability Inclusivity Program Campaigns
  • Essentially Lavender
  • Bubble Grove

2022/23 Sustainability Inclusivity Program Campaigns
  • Drayton Entertainment (King's Wharf Theatre)
  • Brew Bus
  • Quayle's Brewery
2021/2022 Sustainability Implementation Program Campaigns
  • None

2020/21 Sustainability Implementation Program Campaigns
  • None