Tourism Sudbury welcomed close to 200 travel writers and bloggers to the northern Ontario city last week for a national conference held at Dynamic Earth.
“It’s amazing!,” said Lara Fielding, Tourism Sudbury’s manager of tourism and culture.
“We are excited to welcome our Travel Media Association of Canada. We did win this big back in 2019 to host in 2020 and unfortunately due to COVID it was not able to happen. So, we are very happy to finally have our guests here to experience and explore Sudbury.”
Fielding said he believes this event will help grow and expand tourism in the city.
“It’s a great opportunity to look at the offerings we have and do some product development and test it during this week,” she said.
“So we can develop experiences for tourists on a regular basis.”
Among the guests were David Anderson and Skylar Macdonald, travel bloggers known as Davey and Sky. Originally from Cape Breton, the duo drove across the country to take part in the conference.
“We are so excited to be here,” said Skylar Macdonald.
“This is our third conference, the first was virtual, the second one was in our home province of Nova Scotia and now we’re here in Sudbury, Ontario. It’s our first time being in Sudbury, the first time exploring Ontario so this one is extra special because it makes us step out of our comfort zone.”
Macdonald said before they arrived in the city they were part of a pre-tour group that visited Manitoulin Island and an overnight stay in the village of Killarney.
“We had an amazing day there,” said Macdonald.
“We went for a hike on the Cup and Saucer trail and we also got to go to the Bridal Veil falls and stayed at the Killarney Mountain lodge which was so picturesque and beautiful.”
The pre-tour was part of the conference where the group were split to see an area near the city before making their way to Sudbury. Travelers were able to see North Bay, Killarney, Manitoulin Island or to head to our city earlier for golf and other activities offered in Sudbury.
Travel writer Paul Knowles was among the pre-tour Sudbury group and said he loved it.
“I golfed in the pouring rain and had a great time,” said Knowles. “What I love about it is the purpose of the conference is to help its members see different places in the country to understand the cities we visit and feel a certain connection to the community.”
Knowles has been a travel writer since the early 1990s, writing travel stories wherever he goes. Originally from southern Ontario, Knowles said he had never been to Sudbury. Although he said he expected like the Big Nickel, he added he was surprised by the amount of green space around the city.
Pam Womback is the conference chair for the Travel Association of Canada. She said the conference has been happening across the country for the past 29 years.
“It takes about a year or two to kind of build up to the point where they are actually hosting the media like here today,” she said.
Womback also works for Tourism Nova Scotia and hosted the event in her home province in 2022.