For some reason that I will never understand (Oh, to save money...?), when the Ontario government sliced up the tourism pie a few years back, parts of the Lake Simcoe Watershed were put into three different RTOs - Regional Tourism Organizations.

One includes the GTA, another includes southern Georgian Bay, and the other includes parts east of Lake Simcoe.

Lake Simcoe takes a second - or third - back seat to other attractions in all of these districts.

Lake Simcoe needs its own RTO.

Here's why:

•  The separate geography is already defined by the Watershed.
•  The province has already recognized the importance of the area with the Lake Simcoe Protection Act/Plan.
•  The demographics support it... Lake Simcoe is one hour from half the population in Ontario.
•  A single RTO for Lake Simcoe would encourage tourism organizations and businesses on the Watershed to work together. How can they be expected to work together for the lake, when different areas around the lake are pitted against the other for tourism dollars?
•  A single RTO for lake Simcoe could get everyone around Lake Simcoe working together on establishing a Heritage Trail that you can walk, bike, wheelchair or drive (or even paddle?) around the lake and see markers for all of the important historical and heritage sites.

Right now the Ontario government is looking at a recreation and tourism policy for Lake Simcoe.

Establishing a Lake Simcoe RTO would be an excellent place to start.

What do you think?