Inspiring tourism innovation in Sault Ste. Marie
A program designed to spur innovation in the tourism sector is being brought to Sault Ste. Marie.
Destination Northern Ontario is launching the Spark program in the city, which looks to give successful applicants with new ideas for their business $3,000 in funding and connect them with mentors.
"Basically, it is almost a Dragon's Den-style pitch session," said Stephanie Hopkin, the senior coordinator of marketing and communications for Destination Northern Ontario. "Before that, there's a series of applications that come in where we vet who are the best finalists."
One of those who already gave their best pitch is Erica Hogan at Hogan's Homestead. The maple syrup producer said she's looking to create do-it-yourself sugar shacks with the funds, with the hopes of expanding the tourism side of her business.
"If the pandemic has taught us anything, people are open to trying more things and doing more family-related activities," Hogan said. "We've been able to use that $3,000 in order to purchase new equipment to build these really fun sugar shacks that you can come and rent and make your own maple syrup right on our property with the help of our team."
Business owners are asked to apply before Oct. 19.
After that, a small group of finalists will be selected for a virtual pitch session, with the top three being accepted into the program.