To protect the health and safety of staff and visitors, this event is postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. No new date has been selected yet. Refunds will be given to anyone who has purchased a ticket. 

Chatham-Kent Tourism, in partnership with Grey County Tourism, is pleased to host the third annual Rural Tourism Symposium. You can find the agenda for the day here and purchase tickets through Eventbrite
This one day event is designed to raise the profile of rural tourism as an integral part of the provincial and national visitor experience. It's targeted to those in the rural tourism industry and seeks to inspire tourism industry professionals to redefine their success by leveraging up, capitalizing on opportunities and partnering for success. Join Chatham-Kent Tourism as we host rural tourism stakeholders, destination marketing organizations and tourism businesses in partnership with Grey County Tourism.

Keynote Speaker

This year we are pleased to announce this year's theme "Rural Experiences" and are excited to welcome Celes Davar of Earth Rythms as our keynote speaker. 

Celes Davar, Experience Designer, Earth Rythms

Celes Davar is a biologist, photographer and walker. He is passionate about connecting people in his community to those who wish to learn about local culture, art, live music, and food. He is dedicated to coaching and helping local people share stories about their life, culture, and what they love doing as life-work. He works throughout Canada helping people and their communities express their traditions as stories and interactive experiences for travellers.
His company is award-winning, having won the Travel Manitoba award of distinction for leadership in tourism when they were resident in Manitoba. He is well-known as a facilitator, storyteller, and guide throughout Atlantic Canada. He is passionate about exploring ways for us to lower our ecological footprint. For over 22 years, they have been influencing chefs, caterers, transportation companies, and guides to practice zero waste, and use local foods as part of all menus.

In keeping with the theme of past symposiums, it is our intent to be as sustainable as possible, considering the long-term impacts of tourism and events, particularly in rural destinations. An event app will keep you up to date prior and on the day of the symposium, rather than having print materials. We will also again make great effort to limit waste throughout the day, in particular, related to food waste – and encourage attendees to bring along reusable water bottles for the day, as well as any notepads, or devices for making notes.

Conference Details

Thursday, April 23, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Ridgetown College, 120 Main St E, Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0


Purchase tickets now
$125 - includes lunch
Click here for the agenda
(agenda subject to change)

Available Accommodations

Retro Suites

Contact RetroSuites directly at (519)351-5885 and ask for the block under “Rural Tourism Symposium”. Special Rate starts at $139.00. Book by March 22nd to take advantage of the special rate of $138.99. Rate includes free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and various other amenities. 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chatham

Contact Holiday Inn Express & Suites directly at (800)-265-5257 and ask for the block under “Rural Tourism Symposium”. Book by March 25th to take advantage of the special rate of $138.99. Rate includes full hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, access to salt water pool, and various other amenities. 

Comfort Inn 

Contact Comfort Inn directly at (519)352-5500 and ask for the block under “Rural Tourism Symposium”. Special Rate is $125.00. Rate includes full hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi and various other amenities. 


Contact Travelodge directly at (519)436-1200 and ask for the block under “Rural Tourism Symposium”. Special Rate starts at $105.00. Rate includes free Wi-Fi, and various other amenities.