Comprised of over 270 organizations and 12 destinations across Ontario, Tourism SkillsNet Ontario (TSNO) delivers workforce planning, partnership building, talent pool development and skills training at the community level through regional delivery hubs across the province. These hubs serve as action centres to assist workers in need of retraining, up-skilling, employment and support, including those whose jobs were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through Tourism and Hospitality Emergency Response - A Recovery Plan for Workers and Workplaces


TSNO brings a wide range of sector stakeholders together with the shared goal of driving innovative workforce development solutions - including employers, industry associations, regional tourism organizations, unions, Indigenous organizations, community employment service providers,  training/educational institutions, municipalities, community workforce development organizations and leaders in up-skilling, re-skilling and HR technology. 


The TSNO alliance delivers impact at both the provincial level (through a provincial council) and at the local tourism destination level (through regional working groups), collectively creating out-of-the-box workforce development solutions. TSNO builds capacity across the alliance by unleashing powerful workforce tools, analytics and industry partnerships to strengthen our sector’s agility and competitiveness in an ever-changing world. 

Skills and labour challenges are among the most pressing issues faced by the tourism and hospitality industry. To address this issue, OTEC directs tourism and hospitality workforce development efforts across the province. Tourism SkillsNet Ontario (TSNO) leverages provincial collaboration and investment to tackle skills, labour and strategic challenges at the local level, offering customized solutions to address these challenges and to build an empowered, resilient and thriving industry.


The TSNO alliance was formed in late 2018 in response to an increasingly chronic shortage of workers in tourism and hospitality. Business owners and employers in the tourism, hospitality and food service sectors cite labour and skills shortage as a critical inhibitor of growth. For example, a 2015 study revealed that there is a growing shortage of qualified front-line, mid-level and management workers, leaving tourism-based organizations at a disadvantage.


Collectively, stakeholders recognized the need for innovative strategies to respond to the lack of skilled workers and the importance of recruiting, training, upskilling, reskilling and retention.


TSNO enables its members to develop collaborative strategies at the local/destination level, aligning recruitment and training with the sector-specific skills businesses need most.

The long-term goal of the TSNO Alliance is to support the Tourism and Hospitality sector to solve provincial Labour Market challenges by increasing the capacity of members to anticipate, plan for and adapt to fluctuations and shocks, creating a more resilient sector.

TSNO has four strategic priorities:

1) Foster a shared vision - an environment of focused collaboration and coordination

2) Develop a skilled, nimble and reliable talent pipeline for employers

3) Secure opportunities for jobseekers aiming to build transferrable skills and experience

4) Increase job seeker’s interest in tourism roles by enhancing the sector’s image and illustrating the range of career options

OTEC leads Tourism SkillsNet Ontario (TSNO). It was formed in 2018 by OTEC together with its partners the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA), the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) and a network of local industry and workforce development organizations, with funding through industry partners, government grants and initiatives.

TSNO makes a significant impact on enhancing the skills of industry workers, and of retaining them in the sector.


  • Be part of an active group/alliance of key stakeholders in the industry who are leading the way in recruitment, training, upskilling and reskilling the future-facing workforce.
  • Increase your workforce resiliency by arming yourself with the latest resources, technology and training such as staff certifications related to pandemics like COVID-19 (i.e. health and safety training and safe return to work protocols.)
  • Access industry-recognized, locally-customized workplace training to improve productivity.
  • Access a platform for employers to share success stories, hiring needs and training needs.
  • Be involved in industry efforts to positively impact labour shortage and retention gaps.
  • Promotion of organizations through initiatives such as the Employer of Choice program, enabling employers in this network to act as ambassadors to uphold quality standards of employment in the tourism and hospitality sector.
  • Hire from a skilled talent pool to access workers’ who have been pre-trained to meet standards and develop skills specific to the tourism industry.

Industry Partners:

  • Collaborate with regional working groups in partnering destinations to adapt and validate strategic plans based on local needs and labour market intelligence.
  • Share information on trends, challenges and resources to promote collaboration and support developments that drive sustainable growth to the industry in local communities.
  • Contribute your knowledge and experience in providing practical solutions and setting directions for long term workforce development efforts in your local community

Employment service partners:

  • Access to the latest HR technology, tools and resources including ALiGN, a psychometric assessment and matching system, and Career Catalyst, which prepares jobseekers for a career in the hospitality and tourism industry.
  • Contribute to the development of a job creation model that is sustainable at the destination level.
  • Connect with a diverse network of projects, employers, partners, funders and investors with shared goals.
  • Deliver sector-specific employment training for jobseekers.
  • Participate in prototypes for virtual service delivery to support industry needs.


  • Contribute to the economic development of your region.
  • Build strong partnerships among diverse stakeholders in the municipal government, and regional economic development departments to develop a synergistic approach to workforce developments.

Community Organizations Serving Job-Seekers:
(Workforce Planning Boards, Immigrant Serving Agencies, Multicultural Centres, etc.)

  • Promotion of opportunities at sector events.
  • Leverage knowledge, technology, and innovation of alliance partners.
  • Refer clients to sector-specific employment training.

TSNO is funding through industry partners, government grants and initiatives.

OTEC (The Ontario Tourism Education Corporation) is Ontario’s leader in workforce innovation for the tourism and hospitality industry.

This not-for-profit organization delivers award-winning skills training, consulting, research and insight - guiding workforce strategy and evidence-based investment. OTEC provides a diverse portfolio of customized, sector-specific workforce solutions designed to ensure organizations achieve the highest standards of service and performance objectives.

OTEC is known for creating innovative sector-based, future-facing workforce solutions, and for driving social impact for diverse, vulnerable populations including newcomers, refugees and young people. OTEC’s mission is to provide thought leadership and dynamic execution to build workforce skills, capacity, and competitiveness throughout the workforce life cycle. OTEC connects and guides industry and community partners through research, technology, skills development and strategic opportunities for collaboration.

The alliance currently focuses its activities in Brantford & Brant County, Hamilton, London, Muskoka, Niagara, Toronto, Windsor Essex County, Kawarthas/Northumberland/County of Peterborough, Kingston, Ottawa Leeds/Grenville/Cornwall/Brockville, Prescott Russell, Quinte West/Belleville/Prince Edward County Lanark County/Renfrew/Perth, Greater Sudbury & Manitoulin District, North Bay, Thunder Bay, and Timmins. 

The tourism sector is comprised of five distinct but related industry groups: accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation and travel services. Restaurants can absolutely join TSNO as they fall under food and beverage services. Businesses of any size – from “mom and pop” businesses to large scale establishments within any of the five related industry groups are eligible to join TSNO.

To inquire about becoming a TSNO member, or to discuss bringing Tourism SkillsNet Ontario to your region/destination, please visit tourismskillsnet.ca or contact us today at:

Kieran Wells
Industry & Community Liaison, Central, West, and Northwest Ontario | OTEC
e. kwells@otec.org
p. (416) 622-1975 ex. 278 / (1-800) 557-6832 / c. (905) 520-8165

Kelly Brintnell
Industry and Community Liaison, East and North Eastern Ontario | OTEC
e. kbrintnell@otec.org
p. (416) 622-1975 ex.267 / (1-800) 557-6832 / c. (613) 328-8380