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Rideau Canal, Summer

Media release: Ottawa Tourism elects Board of Directors

Annual General Meeting held virtually to respect physical distancing directives

OTTAWA, June 30, 2020 - Ottawa Tourism’s Annual General Meeting, held virtually today, confirmed the organization’s existing Board of Directors for 2020-2021 (see below for names and titles). Representatives from the organization’s more than 465 member businesses tuned in to review the previous year’s accomplishments, which included innovative marketing and influencer campaigns, signing a meetings co-promotion agreement with The Hague, supporting destination development projects such as the OTTAWA sign and Ottawa Christmas Market, welcoming international sporting events, and hosting both an international travel media conference and a conference of motorcoach operators.

This year’s AGM was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings and as Ottawa Tourism staff continue to work from home. Special guest Lisa MacLeod, Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, delivered welcoming remarks.

“Ottawa Tourism’s strength comes from an engaged and innovative tourism community and our Board of Directors is a direct reflection of this,” says Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “This year, our organization and community have the crucial task ahead of us of reinvigorating Ottawa’s visitor economy following COVID-19, and strong and committed board members will be imperative to this rebuild phase.”

“I look forward to continuing my role as Chair and to working with my colleagues in support of the organization and our industry to kickstart our visitor economy,” says John Swettenham, Chief Marketing Officer for the Canadian Museum of Nature, who was elected to continue as Chair of the Board of Ottawa Tourism.

Ottawa Tourism’s Board of Directors for 2020-2021:

  • John Swettenham, Chair of the Board (Canadian Museum of Nature)
  • Ross Meredith, Past Chair of the Board (The Westin Ottawa)
  • Zubair Siddiqi, Chair of the Meetings and Conventions Committee (Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre)
  • Martin Lacelle, Chair of the Rural Tourism Committee (Tourism Development Consultant)
  • David Smythe, Chair of the Marketing Committee (Lord Elgin Hotel)
  • Colin Morrison, Chair of the Travel Trade Committee (Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites)
  • John Cosentino, Chair of the Municipal Accommodation Tax Management Committee (Albert at Bay Suite Hotel)
  • Paul Akehurst, Intertask Conferences & JPdL Ottawa
  • Steve Ball, Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association
  • Heather Dawson, Ottawa Senators Hockey Club
  • Peggy DuCharme, Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area
  • Kelly Eyamie, Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum
  • Nina Kressler, Shaw Centre
  • Stefanie Siska, C’est Bon Cooking
  • Joel Tkach, Ottawa International Airport Authority
  • Cindy VanBuskirk, City of Ottawa
  • Steve Wilson, Escape Manor

Ottawa sees visitor spending of $2.2 billion in a typical year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ottawa Tourism estimates a loss of more than $1.4 billion of that spend for 2020, with effects expected to continue for years to come. Businesses in Ottawa have been hard-hit as a result of the closures and restrictions enforced to stabilize the ongoing health crisis, but they have also shown their creativity and resilience to continue operations and support their community during this time.

Within the last week, Ottawa Tourism has launched the free #MyOttawa Pass, a resident savings passport; debuted a rural tourism campaign encouraging residents to discover Ottawa’s rural communities; promoted a contest to bring winners to Canada Day 2021; and restarted weekly emails highlighting What’s Happening in the Ottawa Area.

About Ottawa Tourism

Ottawa Tourism provides destination development and marketing, strategic direction, and leadership in cooperation with its members and partners, welcoming leisure travellers, business travellers, group tours, and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. Its goal is to support the local tourism economy, fueled by an estimated 11 million visitors annually in recent years and with $3 billion in typical economic output for Ottawa, generating community wealth through tourism. Ottawa Tourism’s vision is to offer the complete capital experience, tell the story of Canada, and get people talking.

For more information, please contact:

Julia Thomson
Corporate Communications Specialist, Ottawa Tourism

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