With some of the twistiest roads in Ontario, some comparable to the renown Tail of the Dragon, Ontario’s Highlands (OHTO) saw the potential economic opportunity in developing their area into Ontario’s newest motorcycle destination.
OHTO hired the BC Hughes’ destination development team to assess the opportunity and to develop a motorcycle tourism product for the region.
With BC Hughes’ expertise in motorcycle route development and the amazing roads handcrafted by the region’s early road builders, the team worked with Ontario’s Highlands to develop Ride the Highlands. Routes were assessed, tourism assets were inventoried and evaluated against a criteria and operators were coached to increase their motorcycle friendliness.
Working with OHTO and local stakeholders, the BC Hughes destination development team created four themed routes, as well as a list of the Top 10 motorcycle roads. Since this original development, BC Hughes has continued to add more motorcycle friendly assets to the routes, and to create additional themed routes and hub and spoke riding opportunities.
Moving to the marketing phase, the BC Hughes marketing team outlined an effective marketing strategy, brand and route map. The Ride the Highlands website was also created which includes an interactive route map for trip planning, a list of must see locations, and motorcycle friendly operators.
BC Hughes created and currently runs the Ride the Highlands social media Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as all ad campaigns for the program. Each year BC Hughes finds new creative ways to market Ride the Highlands. Tactics have included implementing digital ad campaigns, Instameets, handcrafted giveaways for riders and original content for its Road Cut blog.
The Ride the Highlands product development initiative has put Ontario’s Highlands on the map as one of the best places to ride in the province and is one of the region’s top performing tourism products.