May 15, 2023

With a theme like, Getting Down to Business, of course you can expect a dynamic, inspiring collection of speakers coming together to offer insights, reminders, and suggestions to Canada's accredited Travel Media Professionals when they gather next month for their SOLD OUT conference in Sudbury, Ontario, June 14 - 18. Representing Canada’s most professional and productive experts in the field of travel media, 200 travel media and industry media relations managers will spend four days in pre-Conference Media Tours followed by a 4-day Conference. 

In a communications world that is constantly evolving, at a pace never before witnessed, it's not surprising to see this diverse line-up of topics and speakers on the agenda for the 2023 TMAC Conference & Media Marketplace, each are accomplished and experts in their subject matter, they are ready to bring their perspectives to TMAC members.

Opening Keynote Speaker Rona Maynard kicks of the conference with 'Renew, Recharge, Reimagine: Tap Your Inner Wellspring'. Many see travel media as professionals who live a luxurious, adventure-filled life, and perhaps they do but it's hard work, it's a business, one they often operate solo. As the editor of Chatelaine in a time of unprecedented change, Rona learned to access the inner wellspring that restores energy and purpose on the wildest days. She promises to share her shortcuts to renewal.

Tying it all together at the end of the conference is columnist, speaker, travel ambassador, TV host and author of some of Canada’s biggest selling travel books - Robin Esrock. As the Closing Keynote Speaker, Robin will acknowledge that travel media is at a crossroads. "Having weathered the biggest challenge yet faced by the industry, artificial intelligence, climate change and shifting consumer trends suggest we’re on the cusp of yet another new era, laced with pitfalls and opportunities" says Esrock. During his session delegates can expect to be invited to step back, look ahead, and celebrate that authentic destination storytelling is not going anywhere.  Drawing on current trends, insights, and his own unusual journey, expect an engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining keynote to inspire attendees for whatever comes next. Robin has also recently become an accredited member of TMAC as well, as you might expect, this top is near and dear to his heart given his audience of colleagues.

Delegates will also have to make some tough decisions too. The Professional Development sessions curated by the National PD Committee are robust and timely. Offered concurrently throughout the conference are the following:

  • Think Outside the Box: How to Reinvent your Business and Grow Your Brand
    with TMACer Carolyn Ray, JourneyWoman
    The travel market is poised for growth, and as entrepreneurs and influencers, we have an opportunity to lead the way. But how do you drive demand and stand out? How do you innovate new services and create new sources of revenue? Using her experience at Interbrand and JourneyWoman, Carolyn Ray will share lessons from branding and help you protect, grow and position your travel business for long-term growth.
  • Metrics That Matter: Understanding Qualitative Communications Measurement
    with TMACer Karyl Leigh Barnes, Communications Chair, Destinations International and President, Tourism Practice, Development Counsellors International.
    Public Relations has evolved to be more than just media relations. PR professionals are the vessel of information for communities and provide overall reputation management for an organization. As such, Destinations International recently partnered with AMEC, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, which is the world’s largest media intelligence and insights professional body, to establish public relations and communications measurement guidelines for destination organizations and their partners.
  • Good Pitch/Bad Pitch
    with a duo of TMACers including: Tania Kedikian, Account Director, DCI; and Jerry Grymek, Executive Vice President, LMA
    Top PR Agency representatives present success stories, best practices and offer practical advice to PR’s when pitching media in Canada and the US. During this session, gain insights into:
    1.​ ​​​​​​Practical examples of what works to land digital, print and broadcast coverage (and when paid partnerships are a better match to meet destination goals!)
    2. How the approach to publicity differs in each market. 
    3. Understand the criteria destinations use to shape which story angles are worth pitching and what ends on the cutting room floor. 
  • Monetizing Your Travel Media Business
    with a trio of TMACers including: Vanessa Chiasson, Freelance Writer; Pete Heck,  Content Creator & Digital Marketing Consultant; and Skylar MacDonald, Travel Blogger & Content Creator.
    It's no longer just enough to be passionate about travelling the world and sharing it with likeminded people. Join a diverse panel of writers/content creators to discover the latest strategies for monetizing your travel business. Learn about the importance of a business plan, hear examples of various revenue streams, and get tips on how to negotiate for fair compensation for your work. Whether you're a travel blogger, freelance writer, or content creator, this session provides the insights and tools you need to take your travel business to the next level. 
  • Building Stronger Relationships with Indigenous Tourism Businesses
    with TMACer Ryan Rogers, Communications Manager, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
    The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is a global leader in the marketing and development of Indigenous tourism experiences. Representing authentic Indigenous-owned and/or controlled businesses across the country, ITAC is the lead organization tasked with growing and promoting the Indigenous tourism industry. TMAC members are valuable allies and collaborators in helping to give voices to Indigenous Peoples, experiences and stories. While taking different approaches to strategic alignment, the outcomes all point to the same priorities of building Indigenous economies and creating space for Indigenous-led narratives.

As they gather in 2023, TMAC is also focused on 2024. Next year they will celebrate their 30th Anniversary. Rooted in Canada with international roots, the value and need for authentic storytellers who inspire, educate, and motivate travel is more relevant and important now that ever before. With a Strategic Plan underway, delegates will be presented with the draft plan, a framework to guide the nation-wide organization into its 30's . 

Sudbury has been waiting to host this annual conference since 2020 when it needed to be postponed, yes, due to COVID-19. The enthusiastic appetite for attending this conference was evident in the 'sell out' prior to the Registration Deadline. One of the most anticipated aspects of the conference, is the Media Marketplace where it is expected nearly 2,000 appointments, or meetings, between travel media professionals and tourism industry colleagues takes place. It's like 'speed dating' on steroids, but at the close of 10 minute appointments, work for the next year to two years will be confirmed. 

For more information about the speakers and the full conference line-up, visit: and be sure to follow along, #TMACsudbury. 


Media Inquiries

Donna Hatt, CAO
Travel Media Association of Canada