OMCA Report
Nov. 1, 2013

Conference update: Daylight Saving Time, weather forecast
OMCA
We would like to remind all attendees of our Annual Conference & Marketplace to please turn back your clocks by one (1) hour before you go to sleep on Saturday night. Daylight Saving Time will end and revert to standard time as of 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 3.

As well, we want to let you know what the weather forecast is predicting during our week-long event:

Saturday, November 2
Cloudy with showers – H 11°C (51.8°F), L 3°C (37.4°F), 60% P.O.P.

Sunday, November 3
Mainly sunny – H 4°C (39.2°F), L -1°C (30.2°F), 20% P.O.P.

Monday, November 4

Cloudy periods – H 6°C (42.8°F), L -2°C (28.4°F), 20% P.O.P.

Tuesday, November 5
Mainly sunny – H 12°C (53.6°F), L 2°C (35.6°F), 20% P.O.P.

Wednesday, November 6
Light rain – H 14°C (57.2°F), L 8°C (46.4°F), 90% P.O.P.

For more up-to-date weather, check online at http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/canada/ontario/toronto .More

Buses welcome to cross into Detroit at Ambassador Bridge, however...
OMCA
In the past few weeks, OMCA has heard accounts from a few bus and tour operators about bus passengers processing by U.S. Customs & Border Protection at the Ambassador Bridge. Passengers are asked to get off the bus, claim their luggage and line up outside in the cold during the clearance procedure. When the drivers or tour directors expressed a concern about having to do this outside in the cold, the officers responded that the tunnel has better (indoor) facilities for bus processing. Some allege that the officers said they should not be using the bridge but rather buses should use the tunnel.

We called U.S. CBP at the Ambassador Bridge and spoke to two Chiefs about these concerns. The Chiefs told us that buses are welcome to cross at the bridge, and U.S. CBP officers have no authority to tell drivers or tour directors that they should not be using the bridge. However, they explained that the "new normal" for clearing buses (both at the tunnel and the bridge) is for everyone to get off the bus, line up, and present their luggage for inspection. Unlike the tunnel that has a dedicated (indoor) bus processing facility, the bridge lacks indoor facilities, which means passengers have to stand outside in the weather. Bus and tour operators should therefore bear this in mind when choosing which border crossing to use. While the Bridge is preferred by many operators due to its direct access to Interstate 75 and the tunnel has a couple of tight left turns near the exit, in cold or wet weather the tunnel has its advantages.

We will continue discussions with U.S. CBP on ways to improve bus processing at the bridge between now and when they eventually construct an indoor passenger processing facility.More

Bus driver saves woman from jumping off bridge
The Globe and Mail
A bus driver is being hailed as a hero for preventing a woman from jumping off a bridge over a Buffalo highway. Darnell Barton stopped his bus over the Scajaquada Expressway when he saw the women standing on the wrong side of the guardrail.More

Alberta lays out plan to grow tourism industry
Calgary Herald
Alberta's government recently unveiled a plan aimed at growing Alberta's tourism industry by 32 per cent by 2020 — a plan that calls for more development of tourist attractions in parks and on Crown land. The new Alberta Tourism Framework, a strategy for turning what is currently a $7.8 billion industry into a $10.3 billion industry, was developed in consultation with Travel Alberta and industry representatives. More

'Canada a hit among Indian tourists'
Deccan Herald
When it comes to holiday destinations across the world, Canada is one of the most preferred countries by Indians, according to the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario are among the most visited places by Indians. The CTC recently gave a presentation on various places of interest in Canada, in order to encourage tourists from the City. More

British Columbia tourism business finalist for national award
The Journal Pioneer
Experience PEI, owned and operated by Mary and Bill Kendrick of Fernwood, B.C., has been named a finalist in the Tourism Industry Association of Canada 2013 Canadian Tourism Awards. The experiential tourism company is one of four businesses from across Canada in the running for the Best Small or Medium-sized Tourism Business of the Year Award.More

Looking for a bus or train? New sites aim to help
The New York Times
If you want to search a single website for fares across multiple airlines, there are plenty of options — Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia — that allow you to do just that. But the same cannot be said if you're planning to travel long distance by bus or train. Typically you have to know the name of the company you plan to use and make a reservation through its website. Now, however, a handful of Internet startups are trying to make searching for bus and train routes and fares as easy as searching for flight information. More

Ontario chips in for Playboy model in Parry Sound tourism campaign
Toronto Star
The Ontario government's tourism marketing agency paid for a Playboy model to help promote travel in the Parry Sound region as part of a provocatively framed publicity campaign. Under the rubric #edgyadventures, which was used to label events on social media, American model Leticia Cline and professional Canadian motocross racer Ami Houde participated last week in a variety of outdoor activities to promote local tourism, hosted by snowcross professional Shelby Mahon.More

Gardiner Expressway repairs will slow traffic for years
Toronto Star
The future of the crumbling Gardiner Expressway may remain unclear but one thing is certain: short-term repairs to downtown Toronto's main commuter artery can’t wait. There are currently eight projects underway along the 18-kilometre highway: more than $100 million worth of fixes from repairing off-ramps and medians to replacing of 800 metres of actual elevated roadway. More

An open letter to tour company suppliers
By Shebby Lee
I am a writer. Not surprisingly, I like to have my work read. Mostly I write tour descriptions, ad copy, newsletters or blogs encouraging prospective customers to book tours. But there are other uses for my golden prose, and it always surprises me that more travel professionals don't take advantage of these opportunities to get to know their current and prospective clients better. More

No shortage of things to do in and around the Kingston area
CTV News
There is no shortage of things to do in and around the historic city of Kingston, ON. A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to visit Fort Henry. When I was there it was all decked out as Fort Fright and if you saw the segment, it was actually pretty scary! But Fort Henry is well worth visiting year-round. It has the honour of being Ontario's only UNESCO World Heritage Site. More

Ontario Music Fund: Province doling $45 million to boost industry, artists
The Huffington Post
More details have emerged regarding the $45 million Ontario Music Fund to support various aspects of the province's music industry. The Toronto Star reports the money will be used over a three-year period with promoters, record labels, startup music companies and industry associations. More