On Thursday, October 10th, Hospitality and Tourism Management degree students, accompanied by Program Professor Anke Foller-Carroll, went on an excursion to Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh & Muskoka Lakes Winery in Bala, ON.
The Cranberry Marsh and Winery were designated “Signature Experiences” by Destination Canada, the highest distinction given by our national tourism marketing body to select members. In popular news, the marsh was the site of the final installment of this year’s Amazing Race Canada, and, was featured previously on the Rick Mercer Report. It is also the central location of the annual Bala Cranberry festival that takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Students learned about the opportunities and challenges of Agritourism, the impact of the winery on their tourism arrivals, the events that the property arrange to make the marsh a year-round destination outside of its prime harvest season, and the benefits of being internationally marketed by Destination Canada, on account of being a recognized a tourism experience.
The hands-on experience included a wagon ride tour of the Cranberry Marsh, seeing the harvest in action throughout the visit, and sampling some of the award-winning wines. Some of the students even dared to take the cranberry plunge just like all the workers do who are harvesting.