OMCA Report
Sep. 20, 2013

Don't miss out: Appointment selections continue to Sept. 25
Appointment selections for the Conference & Marketplace went live this week on Monday, Sept. 16. Delegates can log on to the Online Passport to make requests until Wednesday, Sept. 25. We have new members and delegates signing up every day, so don't miss out — we encourage all delegates to check the Passport/appointment selections frequently! More

Educational tour operators invited to discuss current issues
OMCA is wondering what is on the minds of our educational tour operator members and what issues are affecting your business. We would like to invite you to attend an open forum discussion on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at the Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto. You do not have to be a registered delegate to attend this meeting. Please RSVP to Carl Sachs at to confirm your attendance. The meeting is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Westin Harbour Castle – Room Pier 9. We will discuss safety, overnight drives, and any other topics members would like to raise. More

OMCA Annual Awards
Today is the deadline to make your submissions for the 2013 Awards Dinner celebrated on Nov. 4, 2013 during the annual Conference & Marketplace. Please have your submissions in by 5:00 p.m. EST. For more information on the awards, criteria, and forms, please visit

Be a Conference volunteer
Sign up to volunteer at our Conference & Marketplace! This is a great way to meet other members and contribute to the Conference. For "freshmen" (first timers at the event) volunteering will benefit you in introducing yourself. We particularly need volunteers for Silent Auction, the Resource Centre, and the Message Centre. Click here for the volunteer registration form.More

Make a donation to the 16th Annual OMCA Silent Auction
We are excited to be hosting our 16th Annual OMCA Silent Auction and hope that you will consider donating to make this a huge success. The auction is not only a fun and enjoyable event — it is a great networking opportunity with exposure to your target market! The Silent Auction is only possible through your generosity and we thank you for your continued support. This year's Silent Auction theme is "Places To Stay & Play." If you have any questions or would like to make a donation, please contact Carl Sachs at or visit: More

Sault Ste. Marie's Agawa Canyon Tour Train cancelled until Sept. 24
The Agawa Canyon Tour Train in Sault Ste. Marie had a record rainfall (almost 6 inches in just a few hours) which washed away a big portion of the train line, and as such they have had to cancel the tour train until Tuesday, Sept. 24. This has been devastating to the tourism industry in Sault Ste. Marie as they were going into their peak season. They have been spending the last few days calling all of the people that had reservations to inform them of the situation. Some of the bus tour companies are still coming as the tour train was just one stop on a much longer tour. In the meantime, they are finding other things for them to do while in the city. More

Driver, 5 passengers confirmed dead as OC Transpo bus, Via train collide
Ottawa Citizen
Investigators have formally identified three of the six people killed in the horrific collision between an OC Transpo bus and a Via Rail train in Barrhaven, ON. The collision between a northbound Route 76 double-decker bus and a Via Rail's Toronto-bound Train 51 occurred at a level crossing on the Transitway, which runs parallel to Woodroffe Avenue, just north of Fallowfield Road. More

Free Ontario's buses
Canada Free Press
As is often the case, our politicians are ignoring an easy way to solve the massive traffic jams that have become a permanent fixture on the highways between Ontario cities: buses. Despite the infatuation many have with rail, buses offer more convenient, flexible, and efficient transportation. And in Ontario, there is actually a queue of privately owned bus companies trying to break into this lucrative, and yet highly protected industry of inter-city transportation. More

Top choices for bus tours this fall
By Archita Datta Majumdar
Bus tours do not cost as much as rail and air, yet offer the pleasures of a road trip without the need for travelers to arrange all the details. All you need to do is pay, and you are all set for a wonderful adventure. Naturally, the ease of travel and the cost benefits have registered with the consumers leading to more people opting for bus tours. This has been the trend for this year's spring and summer and seems to be the preferred choice for the upcoming fall travel as well. More

Tourism guru to speak at Kitchener museum
The Record
The tourism guru credited with transforming Glasgow from a decaying industrial eyesore into a major cultural destination is visiting Waterloo Region. Eddie Friel will speak at Themuseum in acknowledgement of the downtown Kitchener museum's 10th anniversary. Friel's 40-minute talk will examine the role of cultural tourism in destination image-building and as a driver of economic generation. More

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission proud to be carrying the troops
North Bay Nipissing News
When the North Bay Battalion hit the road for their first Ontario Hockey League season in the north, they will board a bus provided by the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. "The bus is an extension of the dressing room environment," says North Bay Battalion president Mike Griffin. "We get a first-class coach to transport us around. They're a lot different than 20 years ago."More

Smart glasses will re-envision travel as we know it
A couple runs through an airport, anxiously looking at real-time flight updates via a head-mounted display. A man asks his smart glasses how to say "delicious" in Thai while using both hands to eat. Another man sees factoids about various landmarks appear in front of him while touring California's wine country with friends. The future? Not at all: these are all things Google Glass can do right now.More

Mayor wants more public money for major events
Ottawa Business Journal
Mayor Jim Watson is planning to increase the amount of money the city allocates to attracting major sporting events to the capital. The city already invests around $500,000 in bringing big events, he said, such as this year's world women's hockey championship or the FIFA women's World Cup in 2015. More

World Tourism Day 2013: UN creates Twitter competition for water saving tips
The Huffington Post
In an effort to make more environmentally friendly travelers of us all, the United Nations has launched a Twitter competition inviting users to share their tips on how they save water while they travel.More

OMCA responds to The Globe and Mail's attack on tour buses
Doug Switzer, president and CEO of OMCA, responded to The Globe and Mail regarding a recently published article on tour buses:

Double-decker-vision rolls on for peace
Hamilton Spectator
You are — and are not — seeing double when you look at the Peacemaker bus. The cream-and-maroon motor home, parked at Pier Four Thursday afternoon and evening, was made by fusing a 1955 GMC Semicruiser and a 1949 American Aerocoach. More

A crisis in leadership
By Michael J. Berens
Leaders must make difficult decisions that are not always popular. They instigate changes that upend people's lives and shift the balances of power and wealth. Are we too close to our time to recognize truly gifted leaders or to fully appreciate the effects of their decisions? Should we not be concerned about the ostensible leadership vacuum? Perhaps. But I suspect there are other forces at play. More

Ontario Tourism says conditions good for fall colours
CTV News
It could be a good season to watch the leaves change colour. Tourism Ontario says the show is just beginning. Leaves in Algonquin Park are about 19 per cent changed so far, with little leaf fall. Tourism Ontario says that's slower than last year, and is creating an opportunity for a colour tour across Highway 60 and hiking trails into early October. More

Wine tourism
Some call it vinitourism, some call it enotourism and some refer to it simply as wine tourism. Whatever you call it, it's experiencing tremendous popularity as wine enthusiasts combine the luxury of travel with the thrill of sampling wine close to its source. More