For the past few years, Tourism Thunder Bay has been the administrative partner on an incredible trip planning tool developed and rolled out that will revolutionize how the growing motorcycle touring segment plans and executes their trip. The North shore of Lake Superior, linking Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie was one of the routes piloted in the launch of this tool.
This whole initiative has been lead by Ontario Tourism Partnership Corporation with financial support from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and Fednor and began a number of years ago to identify technical solutions to make online trip planning easier for the motor sport touring segments and easy for industry to populate their own information as they relate to those segments. It was envisioned that this tool could load and transmit the information though GPS units and smart phones, an essential travel tool these days for the RV, motorcycle and auto sport touring enthusiast.
OTMPC created the GoRideOntario website specifically to target the North American riding demographic and backing it up with a pretty significant tactical campaign, supporting some RTO driven initiatives as well.
E Solutions Group was our successful technical partner, first identifying the right technical solution and later developing the platform for which this would work. another big player in this has been the team of Peter and Micheal Jacobs, an avid father/son team of motorcycle enthusiasts who spent forty days last summer on an epic northern road trip, mapping and cataloguing the routes and attractions across all of Ontario. They facebooked and twittered their way across the Province and I had the pleasure of spending some time with them last summer sailing with Sail Superior, dining on some massive beef bones at the Prospector and of course, the Hoito pancake breakfast to see them off on their next trip with full stomachs. Peter and Micheal are masters of social media and have created a youtube video explaining the tour planner.
The project's pilot routes were developed - Lake Superior and Lake Temiskaming -because of their topography and suitability to the riding segment. After a lot of work, the platform was launched to much fanfare at the 2011 Ontario Tourism Summit held last fall in Hamilton and has drawn interest not only from the Ontario tourism industry but from south of the border as well.
It must be a pretty evolutionary trip planning tool because today, it was featured on Motorcycle.com, one of North America's premier motorcycle enthusiast's media channels. Have a look at it right here!
This is a celebratory culmination of the many years of work put in by a lot of partners and Tourism Thunder Bay has been thrilled to be a part of it. A big thanks to John Cameron, our acting Development Officer, who has been knee deep in this project with incredible enthusiasm. Its another example of how partnerships across a region can leverage resources to get great things accomplished for the tourism community.