Manager of Tourism
519-376-3365 Ext 6110
DDAP - Lead Pillar 3 Market Research & Tracking, Product/Experience Development (Cycling) and Signage
Mary Jane Hills
519-376-3365 Ext 6108
Support Tourism - scheduling, financial tracking, mailouts and tourism vehicle
Tourism Partner and Media Relations Specialist
519-376-3365 Ext 6102
DDAP - Lead Pillar 1 - Community Engagement
Industry Contact & Communications, industry session and partner engagement lead, media contact (travel writers)
Marketing and Communications Specialist
519-376-3365 Ext 6106
DDAP - Lead Pillar 2 - Destination Management
Consumer Contact & Communications, Website/Social Media, Marketing and Distribution
Welcoming destinations and great experiences make Grey County the natural place to visit and live.
To contribute to economic prosperity and a higher quality of life in our communities by encouraging tourism development and marketing.
We will undertake this by:
- Actively engaging with industry stakeholders to develop new tourism experiences, provide excellent customer service, and market Grey County to our chosen visitor markets.
- Strategic partnering with the Grey Bruce and Simcoe to develop and promote regional experiences and destinations.
- Undertaking market research, tracking results in our visitor markets and evaluation their economic impact upon Grey County. o
Key Differentiators (USP)
"Grey County is a true four-season rural destination with exceptional natural assets, a strong emerging food and beverage scene, two hours from the Greater Toronto area, and the only County in Ontario with a world-class ski resort within its boundaries."
The Tourism department has had a full time presence within the County administration for over 16 years, focused on marketing Grey County to our visitor markets and working on product development. In late 2017 tourism staff moved back to the County Administration Building in Owen Sound after 13 years operating from Grey Roots Museum and Archives. Tourism has evolved over the years from a team of two staff to a team of six in our summer months, which includes two summer students.
Our marketing activities focus on promoting Grey County to our visitors, both the VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) market and pleasure travelers, usually from the Toronto (GTA) and Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) regions. We are also seeing an increase coming from Barrie, London and other major population growth areas in the province. Our visitation from the US and the border provinces, particularly Quebec has grown over the past few years. We typically see families in the summer & winter months and mature couples in the spring & fall.
In 2017 a new Grey County Map was created to replace the Grey Bruce Official Visitors Map. This is our most popular print brochure. We also produce the Grey County Waterfall Tour and Grey County Cycling Routes brochures. In a limited way we contribute to the publication of the Grey Bruce Escape Magazine and the Southern Georgian Bay See & Do guide, which are both popular regional publications.
Grey County Tourism does an extensive amount of advertising both locally, regionally and across Ontario, concentrating more in recent years on social media platforms such as Facebook rather than print advertising. A major revamp of www.visitgrey.ca website was completed in 2015 with an entirely new look and back-end operating system. Our website is mainly powered by a very complex "database" of Grey County tourism businesses and experiences, as well as digital assets such as photos, videos and graphics.
Product development (creating new experiences) also plays a major role in our mandate. We developed the Waterfall Tor several years ago and since then we have developed on-road cycling product, assisted in the Apple Pie Trail information, helped support the development of local food and its importance to our visitors.
We continue to work with several entities who support regional products and experiences, such as Rural Gardens, GreyBruceGolf, The Art Map and OFSC District 9. We also work closely with Regional Tourism Organization 7 (BruceGreySimcoe) to increase awareness of what our area has to offer visitors.
Grey County typically attends three consumer trade shows during the winter months including The Toronto Automobile Show, the Outdoor Adventure Show and the Toronto Bicycle Show.
Finally we measure who is coming to Grey County and why, through our website visitation statistics (Google Analytics) as well as telephone & email inquiries, walk in traffic and more recently through postal code information gathered from some social media campaigns and actual visitors. We use this information to drive our marketing plans & strategies.