Rideau Canal, Shaw Centre, Summer

Frequently asked questions about Ottawa Tourism membership

General membership inquiries

How do I become a member?

To become an Ottawa Tourism member, fill out our online application form.

Am I eligible to become a member?

Ottawa Tourism membership is meant for tourism and hospitality related businesses located in the Ottawa area. If your business offers a product or service that enhances Ottawa’s appeal as a destination and is located within Tourism Region 10, you can apply for membership.

If your business is located outside the City and RTO boundaries, you can still apply to become a member of Ottawa Tourism, however, you will not be eligible for voting rights at the AGM or special meetings, and you cannot be elected to the Board of Directors.

Please note accommodation businesses from Gatineau, Quebec are currently not eligible for membership or participation in any of the programs or services provided by Ottawa Tourism.

What are the benefits of being a member of Ottawa Tourism?

Businesses and organizations who join Ottawa Tourism show a commitment to the local tourism community and stay connected to the latest industry news and developments. Members contribute to and benefit from advocacy efforts to local, provincial, and federal government decision-makers. All members can attend the Annual General Meeting, where those eligible can vote for the Board of Directors.  Ottawa Tourism committees—which provide big-picture direction to the organization—are made up of active and engaged member volunteers.

Members who wish to leverage Ottawa Tourism’s sales and marketing add ons can choose to participate in a variety of opportunities that allow them to work more closely with the team.

Consult more details on the benefits of an Ottawa Tourism membership.

What types of memberships does Ottawa Tourism offer?

Ottawa Tourism offers 2 types of memberships (industry or community) depending on the type of business you have:

Industry membership includes:

  • Accommodation businesses
  • Attractions and recurring events
  • Tour operators and tour services
  • Retail businesses
  • Restaurants
  • Meeting and event planners
  • Convention and meeting facilities
  • Transportation businesses
  • Event and trade show suppliers
  • Professional services
  • Sports organizations

Community membership includes (but is not limited to)

  • BIAs
  • Tourism or business associations
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Universities and educational institutions
  • Embassies
  • Municipalities

What is included in Ottawa Tourism membership?

Ottawa Tourism membership includes:

  • Voting rights (within boundaries)
  • Opportunity to volunteer on committees
  • Member newsletter and other industry communications
  • Access to industry data and research
  • Access to professional development training and industry workshops
  • Opportunity to network with businesses and organizations within the local tourism community
  • Top of mind consideration for Ottawa Tourism led marketing content
  • Opportunity for media exposure

Ottawa Tourism membership gives members the ability to participate in additional activities. Please note that for certain activities members must meet eligibility criteria.

How much does it cost to become a member?

There is no fee to join and become involved in Ottawa’s tourism community. Ottawa Tourism believes that removing barriers to membership allows for greater collaboration and sets the stage for a balanced and productive partnership.

Industry members who wish to leverage Ottawa Tourism’s sales and marketing efforts can choose to participate in a variety of opportunities that allow them to work more closely with our teams and participate in additional activities.

What is the membership approval process like?

Once you have submitted your membership application it will be reviewed and approved by the membership team, Ottawa Tourism membership committee and finally by Ottawa Tourism’s Board of Directors. This process may take up to 8-10 weeks in total and takes place from September to June.

How can my business be featured on the Ottawa Tourism website?

In order to have your business listed on the Ottawa Tourism website you need to be an industry member of Ottawa Tourism and have the Web Listing Add On. Not yet a member? Apply for membership.

How can I promote an event on the Ottawa Tourism website?

You can submit a request to have your event included on the Event Calendar. You do not have to be an Ottawa Tourism member to do this, however, as this is a tourism-related calendar, the listings should be events or activities in which tourists can participate. Consult more details on how to submit an event.

Will my general membership include receiving leads for the Travel Trade and/or Business Events markets?

No, your general membership does not include receiving leads. If you are interested in pursuing these avenues, please consult the details concerning the Travel Trade and Business Events add-on options.

How long is my membership active for?

Your membership will be active for the calendar year from January 1st to December 31st. You will be asked to renew your membership at the end of the year.

How do I access the member portal?

Once you have been approved as a member, you will receive your login details for the Member Extranet from our Membership team. If you have already received your login details, you can log in here.

How do I cancel my membership?

If you would like to cancel your membership, please contact the Ottawa Tourism Membership team.

Membership for Travel Trade

What is Travel Trade?

Travel Trade refers to packaged travel: group tours, fully independent travellers (FITs), student groups, and/or international groups. The Ottawa Tourism Travel Trade team deals with tour operators, receptive operators, student tour operators, travel agents, and other travel professionals to create Ottawa experiences to be sold to their respective clients.

How can I gain more visibility among Travel Trade professionals?

The Travel Trade add-on provides you with opportunities to connect with tour operators and receptive operators, through activities, events, promotions, FAM tours, digital advertising opportunities and partnerships, referrals and leads (some opportunities may have additional costs to participate).

Please note: This add-on requires active participation from the member, working closely with our Travel Trade team.

Is my business ready to work with Travel Trade?

Your business is considered market ready for Travel Trade if you can:

  • work with a tour operator, not directly with the visitor/client (this means you and your staff have set procedures for dealing with people who organize travel for others)
  • welcome groups or FIT visitors (packaged individual travellers) to your location (this might mean things like clearly defined hours, tour bus parking, etc.)

It is also beneficial (but not required) if your business can:

  • work with pre-paid vouchers for FIT travellers
  • build in a commission rate/net rate for tour operators
  • offer group/FIT rates at least 12 months in advance

What are Travel Trade leads?

Travel Trade leads are opportunities that the Ottawa Tourism team collects from industry clients through conferences, marketplaces, sales calls, or general inquiries and then shares with members. Members are responsible for following up directly with the contact with their information (prices, restrictions, contact information, etc.).

Where do I receive and answer Travel Trade leads?

You can find the Travel Trade leads on the Ottawa Tourism Extranet, as well as video instructions on how to respond to them through the system. To access, please login to the Extranet to view the leads for your organization. If you do not know your login or password details, please contact the Ottawa Tourism Membership team. The leads you see are the ones that are relevant for your organization only – please do not share these leads with anyone.

Membership for Business Events and Major Events

What are Business Events?

For membership purposes, Business Events is presented as one add-on but it actually refers to two types of events: Business Events, which are typically meetings and conventions, and Major Events, which refers primarily to large-scale sporting events.

How can I attract more Business Events to my business?

Ottawa Tourism’s Business Events sales team works to attract national and international conventions to Ottawa. The team focuses on identifying opportunities for leads and building relationships, as well as undertaking integrated marketing programs to create awareness and generate leads. They also travel to promote all that Ottawa has to offer to business event organizers outside Ottawa and bring back qualified leads to our Business Events members.

Is my business ready to work with Business Events?

Your business is considered market ready for Business Events if you:

  • have hosting infrastructure capability (eg. Sport competition venues, event space)
  • offer services to support a business and/or social event (for example: catering, audio visual, décor);
  • have a product or service to offer to the Business-to-Business (B2B) market: one that typically works with large groups

What are Business Events leads?

Business Events leads are opportunities that the Ottawa Tourism team collects from conferences, marketplaces, sales calls, or general inquiries and then shares with members. The leads you see are the ones that are relevant for your organization only; please do not share these leads with anyone.

Where do I receive and answer Business Events leads?

You can find the business leads on the Ottawa Tourism Extranet, as well as video instructions on how to respond to them through the system. To access, please login to the Extranet to view the leads for your organization. If you do not know your login or password details, please contact the Ottawa Tourism Membership team

Stay up to date

Stay up to date on upcoming events and ideas to plan your next trip to Ottawa with friends, family or on your own by signing up for the Ottawa Tourism Newsletter.