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Association News

Get ready for the next Quarterly Driver Licence Status Check
Subscribers to OMCA's Driver Licence Check service are reminded the next licence status check will occur on Tuesday, Aug. 26, and to be sure to update driver rosters on the system. The cut-off time for any last-minute changes to the driver roster is 5 p.m. that day.
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Renovation of existing Rainbow Bridge (Canadian Side) bus inspection facility to begin Monday Aug.18, 2014
Construction work related to the renovation of the Rainbow Bridge Canada bus processing facility begins Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. This project is expected to be completed by May 2015 and will encompass a series of infrastructure improvements and enhancements, including the addition of new floors and processing space, exterior canopy modifications, shifting of the Canada-bound Currency Exchange, and additional parking capacity. This renovation effort is intended to upgrade the port in order to better handle the steady stream of tourists and motor coaches that cross on a daily basis. Improving the bus inspection area will add space for enhanced processing efficiency by Canada Border Services Agency.

During construction, a temporary bus inspection facility has been installed. While some impact to the regular processing experience is anticipated, the Rainbow Bridge will continue to accept Canada-bound buses and motor coaches throughout the construction period. Bus companies are reminded however that the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, which is located just 7.7 miles/12.4 kilometers to the north along the Lower Niagara River, offers state-of-the-art bus and motor coach processing capabilities for Canada-bound traffic. Buses and motor coaches are advised to consider utilizing the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge for all Canada-bound trips over the duration of the construction project. No impact to United States-bound bus traffic is expected at the Rainbow Bridge during the construction period.

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Educational Tour Operators: 2014/2015 Attractions Ontario Field Trip Planner
OMCA is once again taking part in the Attractions Ontario Field Trip Planner. Attractions Ontario currently has 52 school boards onboard to distribute the 2014/2015 planner to schools and teachers across the province. Below is a description from Attractions Ontario's website:

Ontario's Field Trip Planner for Students and Youth Groups is designed to inform teachers, tour operators and youth group leaders about the curriculum-based educational programs available at Ontario attractions. Are We There Yet? represents a new focus for Attractions Ontario- Education Tourism. This is the fastest growing segment of the group tour market today. Are We There Yet? has been sent to all schools in the Province of Ontario, both public and separate.

Click here to view the current guide for 2013/2014 (OMCA is on pages 4-5)

The cost for tour operators to participate is $200.00, before tax. If you would like to be included in this year's edition, please send an email to Christine Loo at by or before Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

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Industry News

Are thousands of Ontario drivers on the road illegally?
Ottawa Citizen
Tens of thousands of Ontario drivers could be on the road illegally after the province failed to remind them to renew their driver's licence and plates. What's being called a "unique" technical glitch prevented the provincial government from sending nearly 100,000 licence and plate renewal reminders to drivers who had birthdays in July.
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Come Find Your Happy Place

Here in Lafayette, Louisiana we’re smiling from ear to ear thanks to Wall Street Journal’s naming us the ‘Happiest City in America’. That’s in large part because we’re known for letting the good times roll. With our distinctive blend of food, music and culture it’s no wonder people are heading down south with a smile on their face.

Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highways 417 and 174
Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions between Lees Avenue and the Hwy 417/174 split at 15-minute intervals between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. starting Monday, Aug. 11 until Saturday, Aug. 16. During these periods, Ontario Provincial Police will be on hand to direct traffic; however, motorists are urged to consider alternate routes.
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Investing in transit infrastructure to build Ontario up
Government of Ontario
Premier Kathleen Wynne was recently in Ottawa to celebrate progress on the city's Confederation Line LRT, which will help relieve congestion, increase productivity and create up to 20,000 jobs. Investing in public transit and supporting jobs is part of the government's comprehensive plan for a strong Ontario that builds people's talent and skills, builds a more dynamic business environment, builds new infrastructure and builds a more secure retirement for Ontarians.
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Crosstown construction will clog Eglinton for at least 6 years, but the heralded arrival of mass transit sparks gold rush of developers
National Post
Sixty years after Toronto opened a subway linking Union Station to Eglinton Avenue, workers are finally digging tunnels to run mass transit under the east-west thoroughfare. It will never be the same. Crews building Metrolinx's new Eglinton Crosstown light rail line have left the historic street crippled and clogged, as it will remain for at least six years until its targeted completion in 2020.
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Northern Ontario tourism up, despite cooler summer weather
CBC News
The cooler weather isn't putting a damper on summer tourism in northern Ontario. Communities across the region are reporting visitor numbers that are either higher or on par with last year. The executive director of Tourism Northern Ontario said part of the reason is because more Americans are crossing the border.
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Beef and Wine Tour

Explore the University of Nebraska Extension Center were the latest agriculture research on beef nutrition, week ecology, wind drift and irrigation is being done. Then take a short drive to Feather River Vineyard and learn how to pair foods and wines together while the chef cooks for you.

Increased annual funding for Northern highways
The province is moving forward with its commitment to expand and improve highways in Northern Ontario with an investment of $527 million this year to support highway rehabilitation and expansion projects across the North announced David Orazietti, MPP. "Our government is delivering on our commitment to increase funding for transportation infrastructure in Northern Ontario ‎through the Northern Highways Program because we recognize the importance of modern and efficient infrastructure," said Orazietti.
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Monster tour buses conquer any terrain in Canadian Rockies
Welcome to the Brewster Ice Explorer, a fifteen-metre-long multi-passenger behemoth that looks like Grave Digger had an illicit affair with a tour bus. It's a beast, standing just under four metres high, and fitted with six gargantuan Goodyear Terra tires, each one over one and a half metres in diameter.

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European tourists lament Canadian car culture
Ottawa Citizen
Yours to discover: parking garages, strip malls and Tim Hortons drive-thrus. A pair of European tourists say they're coming back from a five-week tour of Canada, including Ottawa, with a disappointing impression.

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Your Questions, Dorian Werda, Travel Industry Council of Ontario, TICO: Motor coach tours suit seniors
Toronto Star
Motor coach tours are an excellent and innovative way to travel. You can select your itinerary in advance, and, best of all, you don't have to do the research or the driving.

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Company says tour merger largest in Canada
Metro News
Nova Scotia's Ambassatours Gray Line said it has acquired the Halifax-based Murphy's The Cable Wharf to form the largest sightseeing company in Canada. Ambassatours said the merger means it will be able to provide people with more tours on both land and water. The motorcoach company's CEO Dennis Campbell said Ambassatours is now twice the size that it was and offers more than double the services it did before.
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Oklahoma Conference & Visitors Bureau
If you're a leisure traveler, we are the in-the-know locals who can suggest where to stay, tell you the best places to eat, and recommend the sights and attractions you don't want to miss.

Advertise here!

To find out how to feature your company in the OMCA Report and other advertising opportunities, Contact Joseph Gonzales at 289-695-5420.

New Ottawa Tourism office opens on Elgin Street
Ottawa Citizen
Premier Kathleen Wynne, Mayor Jim Watson and other dignitaries were on hand to officially open Ottawa Tourism's new digs in one of the city’s newest buildings. At a ceremony on the seventh-floor balcony of the Morguard building at 150 Elgin Street, Watson said the new space will provide the not-for-profit organization with a better facility to showcase the city's tourism assets.
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Will new streetcars, in the end, be motorists' friend?
Toronto Star
As sightings of the TTC's new — and very long — streetcars increase on city roadways this month, a question may well occur to gape-mouthed Toronto motorists: "How am I going to get past that sucker?" The short answer is — you're probably not. In the hopscotch game of streetcar passing that Toronto motorists uniquely learn — pull up behind the open door closest to the Red Rocket's front and blast on by when it closes — the gig is almost surely up.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    European tourists lament Canadian car culture (Ottawa Citizen)
Your Questions, Dorian Werda, Travel Industry Council of Ontario, TICO: Motor coach tours suit seniors (Toronto Star)
The hard numbers on why hotels are losing the online booking wars (Skift)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

OMCA Report
Frank Humada, Multiview, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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Oliver Kirby, Multiview, Content Editor, 289.695.5401   
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Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed in those articles not written by OMCA staff do not reflect the views of OMCA and are presented here merely for the information of our members.

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