RTO 9 Introduces Free Training Initiative Project Tourism Skillsnet


Kingston, ON – May 3, 2023 – In collaboration with Destination Northern Ontario (DNO), Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO), and the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC), Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO 9) representing South Eastern Ontario has partnered to expand Tourism SkillsNet North (TSNN) – an initiative designed to identify workforce labour gaps and match job seekers with available job opportunities within the tourism sector in Northern Ontario.

As a result of new partnerships with Regional Tourism Organization 9, Tourism SkillsNet (TSN9) will be able to identify specific workforce labour gaps in South Eastern Ontario, as well as identify and train 100 potential employees in the region.

Regional Tourism Organization 9 will work to connect employees hired after April 1st, 2023, and prospective employees with free training provided virtually by project partner OTEC (Ontario Tourism Education Corporation). Additionally, Regional Tourism Organization 9 will work with employment service providers in South Eastern Ontario to match prospective employees with available job opportunities within South Eastern Ontario’s tourism sector.

For employees hired after April 1st, 2023, while the training is free, qualified employers will be eligible for a 50% wage subsidy for up to 10 employees. This subsidy is capped at:

• Seasonal employer (new TSNN job seeker/employee): $3,000

• Seasonal employer or year-round employer (returning TSNN job seeker/employee): $2,500

• Year-round employer (new TSNN participant/employee): $5,000

“As we work collaboratively with our partners to support post-pandemic workforce recovery, it’s critical that we focus on attraction and retention of highly skilled people who have a passion for the vital tourism sector,” states Bonnie Ruddock, Executive Director of RTO 9. “The South Eastern Ontario Tourism SkillsNet (TSN9) program will serve to rebuild the tourism workforce in our region by providing skills training and working with employment service providers and regional support networks to draw out people who may be interested in jobs in the tourism industry,”

Participants and job seekers will be enrolled in a free blended learning environment which includes virtual, instructor-led workshops and self-directed e-learning courses. Employers participating in the program are eligible to enroll in free instructor-led training. In addition, Regional Tourism Organization 9 will work with various Employment Service Providers in the region to help match employees with employers.

“This program will serve to showcase the wide variety of jobs in South Eastern Ontario,” states Anne Awori, Project Manager for Tourism SkillsNet (TSN9). “It will also go a long way in building a workforce that is ready for careers in the tourism industry which will ultimately help our tourism businesses.”

Registrations will be accepted from May 1, 2023, and the program will run until March 29, 2024, pending available funding. Registrations are being accepted from both employers and job seekers/employees with an emphasis on spreading out the funds over the RTO 9 region. Each organization is eligible to receive wage subsidies for up to a maximum of 10 employees for the program.

For job seekers/employees and employers looking to participate in the program, please click the learn more button.

Learn More

For more information about the program, please contact:

Anne Awori, Project Manager


RTO 9 South Eastern Ontario

About Regional Tourism Organization (RTO 9)

RTO 9 is a Regional Tourism Organization established in 2010 that is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. RTO 9 actively promotes tourism for the South Eastern Ontario region and works to support and grow the tourism industry through marketing, product development, investment attraction, and workforce development initiatives.

For more information please visit our website: https://rto9.ca/

About Destination Northern Ontario (DNO)

Destination Northern Ontario is one of 13 not-for-profit regional tourism organizations funded by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  We are the largest tourism region in geography, the second largest in expenditure and the only region that includes sub-regions. 

Our Vision: Northern Ontario will be a unique and distinctive tourism destination wherein high-quality products and experiences resonate with consumers, entrepreneurship is valued, and tourism provides local, regional and global connections for the entire region. Destination Northern Ontario will take a leadership role to strategically guide and champion growth in Northern Ontario’s tourism industry, through strong communication, collaboration and partnerships with industry. 

For more information on Destination Northern Ontario, please visit: www.destinationnorthernontario.ca  Follow us on Twitter or on Facebook for the most up-to-date news and information. 

About Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO)

NOTO is a sector organization that has been representing the needs of over 1,100 resource-based tourism businesses in Ontario since 1929. We are a membership-based organization that works to advocate for policies and regulations that support a vibrant and prosperous outdoor tourism industry in Ontario. We engage with all industry stakeholders, tourism organizations, and government offices at all levels to collaborate for optimum outcomes.

For more information please visit our website: https://noto.ca/

About The Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC)

The Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC)The Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) Ftois a not-for-profit organization delivering award-winning skills training, consulting, research and insight – guiding workforce strategy and evidence-based investment for a wide variety of industries, business and destinations. OTEC leads Tourism SkillsNet Ontario – an award-winning alliance of industry partners aligning provincial workforce strategy with local labour challenges to build an empowered, resilient industry.

For more information please visit our website: https://otec.org/