Tourism Oxford is launching three new experiences that feature small group experiences and hands-on activities.
The new experiences are Affinage 101 at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, Brewed Exploration at Upper Thames Brewing Company and Discover Your Creative Nature with wildlife artist Rhonda Franks.
“Experiential tourism allows Tourism Oxford to truly give travellers the opportunity to connect with our rural roots in Oxford County and all the unique experiences that are possible because of those roots,” Meredith Maywood, the tourism specialist with Oxford County, said in a release.
“Providing visitors with the chance to immerse themselves into activities that are driven by passionate local artisans and creators will no doubt leave a lasting impact on our visitors, leaving them with fond memories that will last them a lifetime.”
These three new experiences will join Chef’s Table at SixThirtyNine, Tree to Table at Ottercreek Woodworks and Truffle Camp Chocolatea, which give people the chance to work with local artisans and creators.
“Experiential tourism connects travellers with the essence of a community by offering purchasable, immersive activities that are crafted by local guides and makers to engage visitors’ senses to participate in something memorable,” Celes Davar, a experiential tourism expert and designer with Earth Rhythms, said. “Travellers may leave thinking about life and responsibility on this planet, just a little differently. Experiencing local traditions in food, art, cuisine and being outdoors can turn an ordinary trip into an extraordinary memory where travellers learn from locals and leave a smaller footprint.”
The experiential tourism allows small groups of people enjoy an intimate experience and see firsthand what Oxford artisans and creators do, the release said.
Oxford County was selected to host Unlocked and Inspired Experiential Tourism training by Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation last year. Tourism Oxford employees attended the training offered in the program in 2017 and applied to be a host.
“(Southwest Ontario Tourism) is delighted to work with Tourism Oxford and community leaders to develop new tourism experiences in Oxford County,” Joanne Wolnik, a tourism development manager for the corporation, said. “ We are investing in experience development training because it’s creating new opportunities for travellers to engage with our storytellers, places and traditions that honour and respect our communities.”