After two days of enriching education and endless networking opportunities, the 2023 Canadian Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo on Thursday night came to an end as the Canadian Camping & RV Council (CCRVC) recognized the industry’s best.
Outdoor hospitality businesses were awarded by the association in four categories including Campground of the Year – Small, Campground of the Year – Large, Supplier of the Year, and Camping and RV Industry Person of the Year.
One of the biggest awards a Canadian campground can receive is the Campground of the Year award. This year, Twin Shores Camping Area in Prince Edward Island victoriously accepted the award for the large parks category, while Debonair Campground in Manitoba brought home the bacon same for the small parks category.
“On behalf of everyone at the park and our owners and managers, I thank you so much for this. We really appreciate it,” said Twin Shores Camping’s Marketing Manager Nicole Wilson.
“Our team puts a lot of work into running the park, and we’re one of the largest campgrounds in eastern North America, so to be recognized is huge for us, and we’re very appreciative,” she added.
Located in Darnley, PEI, Twin Shores is a 200-acre camping resort that offers close to 700 sites. The park also features a general store, café, daily activities, shuffleboard, tennis, arcade, playground, fitness center, golf driving range, cottage rentals, and more.
On the other hand, Debonair Campground, the winning campground for the small parks category, is only 40 minutes south of Winnipeg near the community of St. Maloprides. This park prides itself on providing unforgettable camping experiences to families while maintaining peace among campers.
The campground features a private beach, three-play structures, wifi hotspots, horseshoes, volleyball, and more.
For its continuous support and service to the outdoor hospitality industry, marketing and advertising agency Insider Perks has been named CCRVC’s Supplier of the Year.
Brian Searl, in his acceptance speech, credited the achievements of the company to the hard work and dedication of his team, the association, and the campground owners.
“It is not possible for me to be a supplier that can potentially possibly win supplier of the year without amazing campground owners who provide amazing service and make guests who want to come back,” he said.
Robert Trask of Chesley Lake Camp in Ontario was also recognized at the conference as the Camping and RV Industry Person of the Year. The award came as a recognition of Trask’s decades of commitment to Canada’s provincial and national associations, expertise in campground operations, and “tireless support of the industry as a whole,” the CCRVC said.
The 2023 awards were held after two days of education, with an army of industry leaders and experts spearheading sessions that were designed to help campground and RV park owners in Canada.
With the promise of bringing more educational content to industry stakeholders in Canada and everywhere, the 2023 Canadian Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo kicked off on Wednesday with a keynote session from Kampground of America’s (KOA) Toby O’Rourke.
In the morning, the industry leader delivered an informative presentation on the headwinds and tailwinds that await the outdoor hospitality industry in 2023.
During the session, she highlighted the economy, lasting COVID-19 effects, labor market issues, site availability, and meeting camper expectations as the headwinds that threaten to slow down the industry’s growth this year.
However, O’Rourke stressed that some headwinds can switch to tailwinds that can powerfully propel the industry forward.
In this session, she also underscored the resilience of the campground industry even amidst the external factors she mentioned.
Soon after, speakers delivered multiple educational sessions to help owners of campgrounds and RV parks.
Camspot, the conference’s main sponsor, on Wednesday delivered a session spearheaded by Senior Manager of Demand Generation Michelle Hollenbeck and Chief Marketing Officer Erin Stender took a deep dive into how parks can establish a strong foundation, advance into best marketing practices, and optimize revenue.
Within two days of the conference, industry experts delivered sessions on EV implementation, insurance for RV parks and campgrounds in Canada, exceeding guest expectations, environmental stewardship in campgrounds, government relations, staff hiring and retention, together with more topics.
Throughout the event, leaders from associations in Canada, Australia, and Germany were present to speak at the sessions such as “Associations Around the World” and “Tourism Outlook for 2023 and Beyond”.
Cara Csizmadia, CCRVC’s member services director, in a press release commented on the event’s conclusion. She said: “The third annual installment of the conference was another big success, and we are so grateful to our sponsors, attendees, and presenters for their time, support, and commitment to our industry.”
“The quantity and quality of information and industry-focused training is so valuable to campground owners and operators who work hard to continue to deliver wonderful camping experiences to their guests from coast to coast,” she added.
The virtual 2023 Canadian Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (COHCE) was organized by the Canadian Camping & RV Council (CCRVC), the country’s association dedicated to serving the outdoor hospitality industry.