Grey County was recognized among the Ontario tourism industry’s finest at the annual Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala on November 22 in Ottawa. Grey County Tourism took home the Tourism Digital Marketing Award for its 2015 summer/fall online campaign.
“Tourism is a driving force in our regional economy,” said Bryan Plumstead, Grey County’s manager of tourism. “In a digital world, it’s crucial that we grow awareness of Grey as a destination in southern Ontario by ramping up our online presence. We’ve been successful in doing this so far, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team, industry partners and the amazing community that we get to represent.”
The 2015 campaign was created by Owen Sound marketing firm BC Hughes and was supported by local photographer Allison Davies.  The campaigns digital ads focused on trip-motivating experiences in Grey County such as waterfall hikes, paddling and hiking. Fall harvest touring was also featured which included the Apple Pie Trail, Owen Sound Salmon Tour and the Saints & Sinners: Craft Beer, Wine & Cider Trail.
The highlight of the 2015 campaign was the ‘Ultimate Fall Colour Adventure Contest’ that generated 3.2 million social media impressions, a 118 per cent increase in website visits and a 250 per cent increase in Facebook engagements. A total of 5,000 information packages were also mailed out through the contest and 6,500 brochures and maps were downloaded.
“This campaign significantly increased tourism to Grey County and taught us some valuable lessons we have been able to incorporate into other promotions,” said Plumstead.
Grey County was represented well with two other winners from the community.  Owen Sound Transportation Co. (link is external) was recognized for growing awareness of the Chi-Cheemaun ferry and Colin Field (link is external) of Clarksburg took home the Travel Media Photography Award.