Influential Wandering: August 2017

Since the launch of Come Wander, the Ontario’s Highlands region has been buzzing with excitement, and it’s clear that this buzz has piqued the interest of not only visitors, but Ontario’s storytellers as well. This summer, OHTO and the Come Wander brand platform have been featured in local media outlets, and local journalists have been showing their Ontario’s Highlands pride by working with us to write stories about the towns and communities they call home –but that’s not all!

We’ve also been working with destination media and major Influencers –people with large social media followings and influence over these followers –from the Toronto and Ottawa areas to share the rich stories of the region and invite others to find their Inner Wanderers. We’ve been encouraging these influencers to Come Wander through targeted messaging and the distribution of Wandering Kits.

Wandering Kits –branded boxes filled with tools and tips to wander, and tailored to influencers’ specific wandering persona. The “bottles of fresh air from Ontario’s Highlands” seem to be the most popular item with influencers saying that it’s just what they need during busy summers in the congested city!

Over the months of June and July, we worked with the following influencers and destination media members:

  • Ayngelina Brogan, from Bacon is Magic, one of Canada’s most popular travel foodie blogs, visited the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County to experience “maple season” in the summer.  As someone who loves “the good stuff” (maple), she was surprised and delighted to learn more about maple syrup history, take part in Ottawa Valley Maple Adventures, make her own syrup in the summer, and explore the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario (Lanark) with experiences like maple sausage making with Don the “Sausage King”.

This trip, hosted in partnership with Ottawa Valley Tourist Association and Lanark County, has already resulted in a post about 9 Reasons to Wander Ontario’s Highlands as well as one about Making Maple Syrup with Ottawa Valley Maple Adventures, and a third planned to highlight the maple syrup experiences available in Lanark County.

  • Victoria and Mariellen Ward, of popular travel blog Breathe Dream Go, visited Haliburton to explore the arts and culture as well as the natural landscapes. As an artist herself, Victoria was able to get her creative side flowing during a pottery workshop, a visit to the Sculpture Forest, and when meeting other local artists.

This trip resulted in one blog post exploring Art and Culture in the Haliburton Highlands and another one planned to highlight the natural beauty of the Haliburton Forest and Silent Lake Provincial Park.

  • We partnered with Candace Dericx, of the Life in Pleasantville blog and What She Said radio channel (airing in GTA and Ottawa region) to produce a sponsored radio segment and blog post based on a trip that Candace, a Memory Maker, took to Perth and Almonte with her girlfriends a few summers ago.

The resulting coverage included both a filmed segment of the radio show and a blog post highlighting The Ultimate Memory Maker Girls’ Getaway, both of which encouraged others to find their Inner Wanderers in Ontario’s Highlands.

Summer is not over yet and we have four more partnerships planned, with influencers exploring a diverse selection of experiences across the region and sharing their stories to inspire others to do the same. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be hosting the following:

  • Ashley Rae, of She Loves to Fish, will be fishing across the lakes in Ontario’s Highlands and producing blog content, videos, photos and a social media campaign for the region.
  • Vloggers Melanie and Laszlo Papp of LazMel Escape will be wandering Haliburton to take part in outdoor adventures designed to answer the difficult question: Am I Serenity Seeker or Freedom Finder? They will be producing a vlog about their trip, which includes a stay at Sunny Rock B&B and rock climbing with Basecamp 35.
  • Two travel blogging friends, Lauren from Justin Plus Lauren, and Lindsey, from I’ve Been Bit, will be traveling to the Land O’ Lakes region to learn in nature. As Creative Cruisers, they will be taking a trip to Bon Echo for a ride on The Wanderer where they will learn about Mazinaw Rock and how it helped to inspire The Group of Seven.  They will also be taking part in a stargazing event that will have them seeing meteors at the Dark Sky Viewing Area in Northbrook. They will both be producing blogs and social content.
  • Family blogger Carin Harris, of Eclectic Soap Box, will be visiting Perth for a Mother/Daughter trip with her 18-year-old daughter to take in some small-town shopping, culture, and beauty. Their trip will include high tea at The Crossroads Tea Room, a paddle with Perth Outfitters and a visit to the Perth Museum.

Keep an eye out for influencers and media travelling this summer and be sure to engage with any at your business or in your community, both in person and online by keeping an eye on our social channels, following along with the #ComeWander conversation, and watching for new stories on ComeWander.ca.

Julie Mulligan

Marketing Manager, OHTO

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