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Rob Thorburn wins Award (Posted On: Tuesday, October 11, 2011)

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Collingwood resident and owner of Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, Rob Thorburn, has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Provincial Government’s Ministry of Tourism at its Gala Awards Dinner in Hamilton. Upon accepting the prestigious Award, Thorburn said:

”I accept this honour with HUMILITY and HAPPINESS. Thank You! It will be appreciated not only by myself but by my family,

the Team at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, the Tourism Community in Central Ontario and the Georgian Bay Destination Development Group.”

Thorburn went on to say: “In a very competitive world industry, if we work HARD together, not only locally, but provincially and within Canada, we will win more than our share of the world tourism market.

We must promote the best in our regions and represent them effectively. As individuals within a dynamic industry I urge you to get directly involved with your tourism organizations.”

Rescued from bankruptcy by Thorburn in 1993, Scenic Caves Nature Adventures today sees 100,000 visitors annually pass through its gates. The one-product attraction is now open 12 months of the year with three core areas supporting a very successful business.

The expansion and development of Scenic Caves is consistent with Thorburn’s overarching vision of best tourism practices: constantly invest in your product; look for complimentary products to a cluster of experiences for your guests and position your product in the larger tourism mix to maximize revenue.

“Rob is an innovative, driven owner with incredible foresight in this business and the industry,” says Linda Service, General Manager of Scenic Caves.

At the same time, Thorburn has always appreciated the need for joint efforts in the tourism industry. When Attractions Ontario was in serious trouble, Thorburn applied his business experience to the struggling association and helped create the operational base for the future success. As fellow former board member, Elaine Bald, says:

“The man is brilliant and his vision for Attractions Ontario led us through the difficulties. His political acuity helped position Attractions Ontario as a viable force within the Tourism Industry.”

Thorburn has also been an innovative leader in the area of policy development.
“Rob’s understanding of the big picture in tourism helped us do the first Premier Ranked Tourist Destination Evaluation Frameworks and eventually the Georgian Bay Tourism Project.”  Said Paul Samson, Tourism Industry Advisor, Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

Thorburn has put his leadership skills and enthusiasm for tourism development
and into practice through many years of volunteer work with several industry associations. Perhaps Elaine Bald sums up his many contributions best: ”On a personal note, not only does Rob exemplify the best qualities as a business leader but as a mentor, friend, fellow board member and supporter–he can’t be beaten.”

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures
P.O. Box 215
Collingwood, Ontario
L9Y 3Z5


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