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Five tips for staying safe while exploring Ontario

What tourism experts want you to know about traveling in Ontario right now:

“The first thing to know is that you shouldn’t be fearful of traveling within Ontario this fall. The businesses of tourism — the attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc. — are hyper-vigilant about ensuring that their spaces are disinfected and, more importantly, that all of their guests are following the provincial guidelines for group sizes, social distancing, and face coverings. They would also love to see you. While they are re-open, many are still only seeing 20 to 30 per cent of their normal visitors and they need your support. Planning all aspects of your trip will make things go a lot smoother.”

-Chuck Thibeault, executive director of Central Counties Tourism

“People have missed celebrating so many special occasions, so unique activities you can do with your bubble have been very popular. People are escaping to a country inn, a private campfire at Snyder’s Family Farm, making truffles at Truffle Camp and crafting their own charcuterie board at Tree to Table. There are great opportunities to explore Ontario in a safe responsible manner when the time is right.”

-Meredith Maywood, tourism specialist at Oxford County

“For those travelling now, support for Indigenous tourism businesses is very much wanted and needed. But due to a highly vulnerable population in Indigenous communities, especially on First Nations, we advise travellers to be respectful of the local Indigenous health and safety protocol.”

-Kevin Eshkawkogan, president and CEO of Indigenous Tourism Ontario

“Front-line tourism businesses like restaurants, hotels and attractions all have safety at the forefront of their minds as they continue to offer great service with new protocols and procedures. These businesses rely on visitors to survive and are innovating and transforming to stay on top of the game as tourism in Ottawa changes, too. There are tons of great options for dining in Ottawa, from upscale fine dining to street food, from views of Parliament Hill to speakeasies, there truly is something for everyone!”

-Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism

“The tourism and hospitality sector has been especially hard-hit by COVID-19. We are working closely with our sector partners to respond to this challenge, with mental health support for employees and new training programs focused on delivering excellent customer service in a safe, responsible way.”

-Adam Morrison, CEO of Ontario Tourism Education Corporation

as part of the Great Taste of Ontario Special Report