Ottawa residents and visitors alike will experience a year of culture in 2022 as Ottawa Tourism spotlights events and campaigns that focus on the creative arts.
While the pandemic has brought many of the city’s beloved events and festivals to a standstill and has crippled the tourism and hospitality industry, 2022 remains an opportunity to rethink tourism in the capital and find ways to improve it. more sustainable, says Jantine Van Kregten, director of communications at Ottawa Tourism.
This year, food festivals, exhibitions and outdoor gatherings will return safely to the community, along with new ways for residents to get involved in reshaping their city.
“We want our community and our tourism leaders to find their part in rebuilding and have a sense of freedom of choice in elevating Ottawa as a travel destination,” she says. “We want to hear from residents, from the workforce whose livelihoods depend on tourism, and from visitors to the capital, what makes Ottawa great — and how we can improve it.”
Looking ahead to 2022, there are plenty of opportunities for residents, talent and visitors to get involved:
Have a voice in your community
Throughout 2022, Ottawa Tourism will work on its 10-year Destination Master Plan – an in-depth look ahead at how the city can grow and evolve as a tourism destination over the next decade.
While visitors are an important part of the destination development puzzle, it’s equally important to hear from residents what they would like to see in their city, said Catherine Callary, vice president of destination development at Ottawa Tourism.
Residents will be invited to participate in surveys, focus groups and stakeholder interviews to ensure everyone has a voice in Ottawa’s recovery.
“We want to know what Ottawa’s strengths are as a city, but also what the gaps are for the people who live here,” Callary says. “We give people the opportunity to have their say, because tourism is really a shared social asset.”
Join the tourism workforce
One of the problems facing the tourism industry is an ongoing talent shortage – a problem that Ottawa Tourism will continue to face in 2022.
To help businesses serving the tourism industry, Ottawa Tourism has created a specially curated job board for the local hospitality industry, highlighting the diverse opportunities in the community.
“This is an incredibly exciting time to enter the tourism industry because while things are moving, we are looking for those innovative bright minds to bring new ideas to the table,” says Van Kregten. “People should be excited about tourism because it’s in that rebuilding mode.”
Ottawa Tourism is also looking forward to launching a new online training and awards program for frontline hospitality staff called Shine On.
Users get valuable information about Ottawa as a tourist destination that will help them better serve customers, as well as helpful tips on how to provide top-notch customer service. Shine On participants can also be nominated for awards for exemplary service and be connected to a larger network of tourism talent.
“Shine On teaches users how to meet customer needs from A to Z,” says Callary. “That might mean recommending restaurants, attractions, or tours based on your specific customer, which is a skill worth learning.”
Events and activities to add to your calendar in 2022
Whether you’re an Ottawa resident or a passing visitor, there are plenty of notable activities and events to look forward to during the Year of Culture:
- Hop-on/hop-off bus tours are available in Ottawa until April 2022 thanks to Cobbled Tours.
- Mādahòkì Farm (meaning “part of the land” in Algonquin Anishinaabe) is a new agritourism venture by Indigenous Experiences.
- New Peak to Peak Ziplines – three ziplines totaling 4,478 feet will be available on Camp Fortune this summer, along with the new 400 ft drop mountain coaster that debuted last year.
- A new live music venue will open in early 2022 in the Old Ottawa South neighborhood. red bird also plans to offer music lessons, coffee, craft beer, and Italian snacks.
- Celebrate Canada’s Year of the Garden with multiple self-guided tours to discover some of the best gardens in the region!
- Crave Food & Wine Festival brings gourmet food and fine wine to the Shaw Center from April 1-3, 2022.
- The 70th edition of the iconic Canadian Tulip Festival takes place May 13-23, 2022
- RBC Bluesfest and partners present the immersive Beyond Monet experience from late spring to summer 2022 at the Aberdeen Pavilion in Lansdowne.
Visit the Ottawa Tourism events calendar to learn more about upcoming events, festivals, and experiences.