Project Name: Urban Destination Development – Guelph

Guelph – a major university city – has a vibrant and 3-dimensional downtown and is primarily known as a music, festival and event destination, with some elements of sports tourism. There is the opportunity to work together to leverage these core assets in a sustainable manner. RTO4 will continue to support the City of Guelph as they transition from a DMO to a DMMO and will focus on strengthening the group of stakeholders that are willing to contribute to the shared vision.


For the past four years a wide group of engaged stakeholders, including the Mayor, DMO, Chamber of Commerce, BIA and tourism operators and organizers have been playing an active role in shaping the collective tourism future of Guelph. As part of Year 1, the steering committee met every six to eight weeks through the DestinationNEXT process (facilitated by InterVISTAS Consulting Firm) to determine a strategy based on its core DNA and tourism assets.

The group aligned around the following four strategic goals:
• Steward the Guelph story.
• Strengthen Guelph’s reputation as a premier festivals and events destination.
• Build a downtown Guelph destination.
• Investigate and grow the sport tourism opportunity.

Years two and three of the Guelph destination development project focused on implementing collaborative projects to achieve these goals. The following projects were achieved in the last fiscal year:
• study on economic impact of tourism
• video creation and distribution
• daytime series: music in the downtown
• Quebec St. micro destination marketing and animation
• Guelph Destination Animation Partnership Projects

The next year will capitalize on the momentum to date and continue implementing collaborative projects to achieve the four strategic goals.

2019/2020 Objectives

OBJECTIVE #1 –Facilitate and collaborate on destination development projects to animate the downtown,
improve the visitor experience and steward the Guelph story in an engaging and authentic
way to potential visitors.

Key Activities

  • Implement collaborative animation projects resulting from the Guelph Destination Animation Partnership Process.
  • Facilitate the creation of video storytelling assets to enhance Guelph’s DNA.

For more details on this project, please visit the 2019/2020 RTO4 Business Plan, pages 39-40.