In consultation and partnership with Bruce County Tourism, Grey County Tourism, and Tourism Simcoe County, and in collaboration with BruceGreySimcoe tourism organizations, Regional Tourism Organization 7 hopes to develop a shared, integrated tourism database that will:
  • Provide ‘one record’ management and updating for operators
  • Improve data integrity and accuracy for consumer and stakeholder purposes
  • Reduce administrative and support costs for tourism organizations
  • Strengthen regional collaboration and alignment
 
If successful, this database will reduce the administrative burden of capturing and maintaining information for both tourism organizations and for tourism operators. Most businesses and attractions maintain information and/or online listings with multiple agencies such as one or more municipalities, chambers, BIAs or DIAs, with tourism organizations including DMOs, and other groups, with their county tourism organization, and with RTO7 (BruceGreySimcoe). Apart from duplication of effort, operators must contend with multiple points of contact, platforms, procedures, logins, passwords, etc.
 
The objective is a shared database, where participating tourism organizations would have collective ownership of the data.  In return these organizations would collaborate to share responsibility for assisting with the maintenance and accuracy of the information it contains. This project consists of two phases.
 
In Phase I, information needs, technical and resource requirements will be assessed. Key questions include:
  • What data are required, and how will specific or unique requirements of organizations be accommodated
  • What measures will be required to ensure data integrity, and how much responsibility will organizations have for maintaining the database?
  • What resources (financial, technical, human) will be required to support the database? 

Based on these findings, technical requirements and specifications as well as a plan for database hosting, management and support will be developed. A detailed project undertaking (memorandum of agreement) will be created before proceeding to actual development. Phase I is scheduled to be completed by December 2013, and RTO7 will fund Phase I costs for technical documentation and related analysis.
 
In Phase II, the database will be built and implemented. This involves:
  • Development of secure web service (application programming interface, or API)
  • Development of administration tools (enterprise and operator)
  • Data loading, conversion, cleaning
  • Development of data integrity and maintenance tools
  • Testing and implementation

On behalf of the region, RTO7 would assist its stakeholders by absorbing, to the greatest extent possible, Phase II development costs as well as ongoing maintenance and hosting costs (i.e., beyond 2014). What these costs are, and whether RTO7 can absorb 100% of these costs is an open question that will be answered in Phase I. Phase II is scheduled to be completed by March 2014 but will extend later into 2014 as necessary.
 
RTO7 is acting as project sponsor and project manager, working with a partner group who will steer the project. This working group will be comprised of Bruce, Grey and Simcoe County representatives. As well, it is hoped that one or more organizations interested in participating in the database at implementation will participate in the steering process.

Information presentations were conducted in partnership with Bruce County and Grey County (Oct 17th, Owen Sound) and Simcoe County (Nov 6th, Barrie). The presentation files are posted on this page.
 
Additional information will be published on this page as it becomes available, or please feel free to Contact Us.