What's New IN THE LAb


Round 2 of the Indigenous Tourism Skode Program in Ontario launched!


Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) and the Tourism Innovation Lab have launched the 2nd edition of the Skode Program, an initiative to spark new Indigenous tourism ideas and experiences that authentically represent, celebrate and promote Indigenous culture, heritage, language, cuisine and communities in Ontario.

The program matches selected applicants with a mentor and provides a $5,000 non-repayable contribution to advance their new tourism ideas to the next level of development. Applications are being accepted until March 4th. Following a review by a jury of Indigenous tourism leaders, entrepreneurs and partner representatives, finalists will be invited to a virtual pitch session being held on March 29th where three winners will be selected.

“Supporting passionate entrepreneurs through their tourism journey is a common goal between ITO and the Tourism Innovation Lab,” said Kevin Eshkawkogan, President and CEO of ITO. “Bringing this exciting program to Ontario Indigenous communities to support continued tourism growth and innovation is something we are extremely proud to be a part of.”

Register for an upcoming Info Session (webinar) to learn more about the Skode Program, how to apply, and to ask questions live:

Info Session #1: Thursday, February 10 @ 11:30am-12:15pm ET
Info Session #2: Tuesday, February 22 @ 5:00-5:45pm ET

​Cariboo Chilcotin Coast "Spark" deadline is February 18


​Tourism Industry Association of BC hosting the Tourism & Hospitality Conference March 9-11


The Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) advocates for the interests of British Columbia’s $22.3 billion visitor economy (normalized year). As a not-for-profit tourism industry association, TIABC works collaboratively with its members – private sector tourism businesses, industry associations and destination marketing organizations – to amplify concerns, provide recommendations to all levels of government and to ensure the best working environment for a competitive tourism industry.

TIABC believes there has never been a more important time in the history of BC’s tourism and hospitality to band together than this year, and they are doing just that, at this year’s in-person, Tourism & Hospitality Conference, scheduled for March 9th to 11th in Richmond, BC.  This is a must-attend event, and if you haven’t already registered, we encourage you to do so!

REgister here

Partner Spotlight:
​​Société Économique de l'Ontario (SÉO)


The Tourism Innovation Lab collaborates with the Société Économique de l'Ontario (SÉO) on a number of initiatives, including a current research project looking at tourism businesses, technology and workforce development.

The SÉO, established in 2001, is a provincial network providing economic development, tourism, entrepreneurship, employment and immigration services for Ontario’s Francophone and bilingual communities.

To learn more about the SÉO visit www.seo-ont.ca/en 

Southern Ontario Tourism Conference
March 8 & 9


Mark your calendars for the two-day Southern Ontario Tourism Conference presented by both Ontario’s Southwest​ and Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association (HHBRTA)! This conference will be offered both in-person and virtually.


More "Spark" Regions coming in 2022

The "Spark" Mentorships & Grants Program​ will be expanding to new regions in 2022. Stay tuned for announcements. 

Building Mentorship in Canada's Tourism Sector

Are you a recognized tourism innovator, successful entrepreneur, experienced operator and/or sector expert?

​Join our "Spark" Mentor Network and support up-and-coming and early stage tourism innovators in Canada by providing advice and guidance to help them take their new tourism ideas to the next level of development. Contact us at info@tourisminnovation.ca​ for more information on the program and how you can be a mentor.

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What's Your New Tourism Idea?