DSC_2760_JPG_t285It's historic. Every time a recession has hit, camping in the great-out-of-doors has increased. It's actually a topic I lecture on where I teach part-time (Sir Sandford Fleming College). It's also something I've noted with numerous outfitters and outdoor stores. They've all took notice that sales were not down as much as anticipated; some have even recorded that sales are up. So, it was no surprise that I received this press release from Ontario Tourism the other day. It's an interesting read.

In a time of economic crisis and financial uncertainty, one industry stands poised for growth.

Peterborough, ON, December 18, 200 "When times are tough, we get busy" says Jeremy Dickson owner of Canoe Canada Outfitters in Atikokan, Ontario. "The wilderness experiences we provide our customers are the perfect reprieve to a slumping economy." And Jeremy is not alone, according to a report prepared by the Outdoor Industry Association, the relatively inexpensive and convenient outdoor vacation has remained appealing to outdoor shoppers throughout the year. The trend points to outdoor vacations being the industry's bright spot as consumers look to the outdoors as an escape from the pressures of daily life.

Ontario Tourism has recognized this trend and responded with a campaign showcasing the diversity of the province's four season outdoor experiences. At the centre of the campaign is their complimentary Great Ontario Outdoor Adventure Calendar. The calendar provides a daily dose of visual stimulation and motivation to get outdoors. It contains a vibrant mix of action and landscape photography, inspirational artwork by the Group of Seven and dozens of outdoor event listings. Used in combination with the Great Ontario Outdoor Adventure website, no weekend will be wasted indoors again.

The free calendar can be ordered on the Ontario Tourism website, which also contains the details on the Great Ontario Outdoor Adventure of a Lifetime contest. Running until May 17, 2009, the contest will give one lucky adventurer and three guests a chance to Win Seven Days on Superior's North Shore. The seemingly endless prize package contains round trip airfare to Sault Ste Marie, six nights accommodation, a float plane tour to a wilderness lodge, wildlife viewing in Canada's largest game preserve, a paddling adventure on Lake Superior as well as both a Nikon and Mountain Equipment Co-op prize pack. With an approximate value of $20,000, this contest will truly provide a trip of a lifetime in the face of our economic turmoil.

To enter and for full contest details visit: Theres No Place Like This