The Bay of Quinte Region continues to lead golf tourism in the Province of Ontario. That’s what a recent report from GolfInOntario.ca, a provincial partnership between multiple Ontario destinations, showed at a recent series of wrap-up meetings hosted by Collingwood this fall. Representatives from destinations across the province met recently to review and discuss the successes and challenges of the program to wrap up the season and set their sights on another year.
The program, which develops and markets custom packages for groups of any size, has booked approximately 9,000 rounds in Ontario over the past two years and almost half of those bookings have been in the Quinte region. Funding and coordination at the local level comes from the area’s destination marketing organization, the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board.
“We’ve really become a leading golf destination in Ontario,” says Dug Stevenson, the Regional Marketing Board’s executive director. “Not only do we have courses like Black Bear Ridge, which is regularly ranked within Score’s Top 100 courses in Canada, we’ve also got other very strong courses to pair that with, like Trillium, Timber Ridge and Bay of Quinte. When we look at it from a tourism perspective, the cost to play our courses relative to the value that you get for their quality, it’s no surprise people are booking here year after year.”
He also credits local staff for helping to support golf’s growth as a tourism product in the region. “The people who operate our courses and who run our hotels are amazing. They are so customer-focused and I know for a fact that’s why travellers often choose the Bay of Quinte over other destinations.”
When it comes to economic spin-off, Stevenson estimates upwards of $500,000 in spending is generated within the region as a result of the overnight golf package program. “So, when you compare that to our investment of $15,000 to participate in the partnership, the return on investment is massive. We want to keep that kind of momentum so through the winter we can start thinking of ways to increase spending in the region, but keep the quality in place for 2024.”