Long-Standing Businesses Honoured with Tourism Awards

Walton Motocross and Joan Karstens of Brentwood on the Beach werepresented with tourism industry awards at the Huron Tourism Association’s 22ndAnnual Tourism Event and Brochure Swap in late April.

Each year the Huron Tourism Association (HTA) recognizes a member whohas demonstrated leadership, creative invention, partnership initiative,community impact and excellence in the tourism industry. This year the Tourism Development award, initiated by the Blyth Festival in 1993, was presented to Chris Lee and his team at the Walton Motocross.

The Walton Motocross is an event that has a 40 year history in Huron. Like many good things, it started with an idea; a family with a farm, and apassion for motorcycles and off road riding. From the original days of the‘Maitland Dirt Riders’ club of casual riders and aspiring competitors, the Leefamily has built an impressive international event attracting hundreds of ridersand tens of thousands of spectators. In 2011, the Walton Motocross celebrates 20 years of hosting the TransCan event and 40 years as the Walton Motocross track.

“The Walton Motocross is always a leader in innovation and cutting edge marketing”,says Cindy Fisher, Tourism Coordinator for the County of Huron. “The Lee family has worked diligently to market not only their event, but the entire County by showcasing the best this area has to offer”.

This year, the Huron Tourism Association introduced a new award, theTourism Champion award to recognize an owner, operator, staff or volunteer of abusiness, attraction or special event that demonstrates stellar hospitality, creative marketing savvy, inclusive partnerships, forward thinking leadership, ongoing promotion of Ontario’s West Coast and the areas tourism businesses and experiences.

The first annual Tourism Champion award was presented to Joan Karstens of Brentwood on the Beach in St. Joseph. With over 20 years in the hospitalitybusiness in Huron County, Joan and her team welcome return visitors from aroundthe world. Joan’s hospitable nature, her networking charm and her service tothe Huron Tourism Association are commended.

“Joan can top ticket sales for any tourism or community event“, smiles Cindy. “She believes in partnerships and she’s always promoting Ontario’s West Coastand the region”.

The tourism awards were presented at the 22nd Annual Tourism Event and Brochure Swap held at the Seaforth Community Centre. The Municipality of Huron East gave a wonderful welcome topeople in the tourism industry from across Huron County and showcased some ofthe heritage, sporting and other attractions and experiences of Seaforth,Walton, and area.

“The event provides a great opportunity to network with other tourism professionals from the countryside and coastline of Ontario’s West Coast,” said Tim Cumming, President of Huron Tourism Association.“The event reminds us to challenge ourselves to develop effective tourism products and to provide the best tourism experience possible”.

Our association, more than 170 members’ strong, thanks each of those nominated for their commitment to tourism and hospitality in Huron County. We look forward to another year of welcoming visitors, including friends and relatives, who will discover the pleasures and treasures of Ontario’s West Coast – Huron County. For more information or for a copy of the new 2011 vacation guide, please visit www.ontarioswestcoast.ca.

Photo Captions:
1 – Cindy Fisher, Tourism Coordinator for the County of Huron (left) andTim Cumming, Huron Tourism Association president (left) present Joan Karstensof Brentwood on the Beach in St. Joseph with the first annual Tourism Championaward to recognize her dedication and excellence in the tourism and hospitalityindustry in Huron County.

2 – Tim Cumming, Huron Tourism Association president presents Chris Leeof Walton Motocross with the annual Tourism Development award that recognizesleadership, initiative, partnerships and community impact.