Building a Quality Tourism Destination – Best Practices Mission

Building a Quality Tourism Destination – Best Practices Mission

Building a Quality Tourism Destination: Taking Inspiration from Lake Superior's South Shore (BPM) will showcase tourism organizations, partnerships and practices in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan on the U.S. side of the Lake Superior Circle Tour, a longstanding, successful touring route. This BPM will provide you with the practical knowledge and inspiration you need to further develop your community’s and region’s tourism offerings and touring routes and partner with neighbouring communities and organizations to grow your share of the touring route market. BPMs are one of the best ways to be inspired, to make new connections and to learn. 

Who Should Attend? 

This BPM will appeal to tourism marketers, event planners, product developers and other decision-makers and managers from tourism operations and communities across Northern Ontario who want to expand their appeal to visitors, attract new and repeat markets and further develop touring routes in their vicinity. Target participants include those whose regions, communities or businesses are on emerging or established Northern Ontario touring routes.

Northern Ontario Touring Routes can include complete or sub-sets of:

  • Northwest Tour Loop (Heart of Canada Touring Route)
  • Lake Superior Circle Tour
  • Lake Temiskaming Tour

Don’t see your route on this list? Contact the WDIT Senior Coordinator, Karen Peacock, at to discuss your goals for this BPM.


Monday, April 15 – Thursday, April 18, 2024

(Participants are expected to arrive in Thunder Bay, ON, by Sunday, April 14 late afternoon or early evening.)


Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan U.S.

This four-day trip will start and end in Thunder Bay and will see participants visit with and learn from tourism officials in Grand Marais, Minnesota (Visit Cook County); State parks; Duluth; Bayfield and Ashland in Wisconsin; the Keweenaw Peninsula; Two Harbors (Lovin’ Lake County;) and the Split Rock Lighthouse.

Why the U.S. side of Lake Superior? Sometimes great ideas and inspiration can be found close to home! The Superior Circle Tour is a world-class, well-established auto, RV and motorcycle touring route, highlighting communities and regions all around the world’s largest freshwater lake. This BPM will enable participants from Northern Ontario to get to know the tourism professionals on the other side of the lake and learn about how they have built partnerships, developed new products and experiences and applied out of the box thinking to build tourism in their communities and regions.

Specific Learning Themes Include:

  • Learn about the role of community and municipal partners in the tourism landscape
  • Hear about the journey towards the implementation of an accommodations tax
  • Hear about products, events and experiences that have been developed to generate interest in and traffic from a community’s or a region’s target markets including their icons such as trails, cycling and waterfalls
  • Learn from best practices in attracting shoulder and off-season visitors
  • Learn how tourism partners have successfully navigated change – pre-, during and post-pandemic
  • See how communities and operators have adapted to position themselves to embrace tourism
  • Learn about how to build and manage partnerships across regional and municipal boundaries in support of touring routes and tourism overall.
  • Gain insight into this region’s responsible tourism practices
  • Stimulate new ideas and ways to collaborate and enhance the visitor touring experience in Northern Ontario and with U.S. partners

Who is Leading the Mission?

The BPM will be led by Training Specialist Pat Forrest, President of Forrest Consulting, a Northwestern Ontario-based firm that focuses largely on Northern Ontario marketing, tourism product development and economic development. Recent projects include Fast Track to Success product assessment initiatives in Kenora, the Lake Superior North Shore Cruise Ship Market Readiness and Marketing Plan, a Wawa tourism development and marketing plan and a 2SLGB+ Marketing and Product Development Plan for Superior Country and Tourism Thunder Bay. Forrest Consulting also recently led the creation of a COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Plan for the communities of Ear Falls, Perrault Falls and Red Lake, completed research for a Kenora tourism plan and rebranding initiative and, with the Culinary Tourism Alliance, prepared a food tourism plan for the Lake Superior North Shore.


Participant trip cost is $750/ individual.

Participants must apply and have their applications approved. *Out of province (Ontario) applicants must contact TEN to determine pricing for this trip. The $750 fee is payable upon registration.

Registration will open soon. This cost will cover all on site travel, accommodation, set meals and activity fees during the four-day trip. Additional discretionary spending will be the responsibility of participants. You are responsible for travel arrangements and related costs to/from Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

Space is limited to 12 participants.


Monday April 15th, 2024 – Thursday April 18th, 2024


Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan U.S.

Who is this for?

  • Communities & Destinations
  • Tourism marketers
  • Tourism operation managers