5-Year Destination Development Plan

Community isn’t something we have. It’s something we do.

In 2020/2021 County Council approved Haliburton Highlands first Destination Management Plan (DMP). Haliburton Highlands has a well-developed visitor economy based on the stunning natural environment, the impressive variety of lodging and experiences, and the hospitality of the people. The Haliburton Highlands DMP is an overarching 5-year framework to help optimize that economy year-round and provide greater benefits for all residents across the County. The development of this Plan was fully informed by community members since the first town hall in May 2019 through to December 2020. The contents and direction are based entirely on the aggregated priorities of local residents and tourism stakeholders who participated in the numerous live and virtual community engagement sessions.

The most fundamental theme in tourism development is that people want to visit a destination for the exact same reasons that people want to live in a destination.

From the DMP three Strategic Priorities emerged:

#1 Strengthen Community Collaboration

#2 Diversify Destination Development

#3 Enhance the Destination Brand

In 2021/2022 the County of Haliburton hired a Director of Economic Development and Tourism, and a Manager of Tourism. In 2022, staff began to execute on the DMP. In collaboration with the tourism stakeholders, County Tourism has been ensuring that the DMP guides the work they do. In 2022, Visitor Experience/Destination Training was provided to the various Welcome Centers, the first annual Tourism & Business Summit (in collaboration with HaliTAC) took place, the tourism website continues to be updated and innovated for visitors, and a Industry Page was added for stakeholders . In addition, under the Strategic Pillar of Strengthening Community Collaboration, the first annual Resident Sentiment Survey (RSS) has been launched.

"Every destination with a successful, sustainable and well-managed visitor economy shares one common trait. They all have proud and industrious citizens who rally other residents around common goals and values to build a better future for their communities and local industries. There are no exceptions. To build stronger communities based on what residents want, the first step is to truly understand what their goals and values are, empirically. That’s why destinations and tourism organizations of all sizes are developing resident sentiment surveys that provide the necessary data to benchmark, track and address evolving public opinion year-over-year." Haliburton Highlands DMP

Thank you for your commitment and love of the Haliburton Highlands!

If you are wishing a PDF of the Destination Management Plan please email: Eric Casper, Tourism Assistant, at: ecasper@haliburtoncounty.ca

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