April RSS Advertorial

The Role of the Office of Tourism & How It Impacts the Overall Prosperity of the Region

You may have seen the recent Resident Sentiment Survey (RSS) that was shared online in December. In this fourth installment of six, we are picking up and adding to last month’s theme with a further look at the County’s Department of Tourism and how the work done here impacts the overall prosperity of the Haliburton Highlands.

The County of Haliburton’s Office of Tourism plays a critical role in not only promoting the region’s natural beauty and unique experiences, but in also actively engaging the local community in these efforts as a way of building up the destination to the benefit of all – visitors and residents alike.

One of the key roles of the office is to create and execute effective marketing campaigns to attract visitors to the region. This includes developing a strong brand identity for the County of Haliburton, highlighting the region’s natural attractions, cultural events, and outdoor activities. By effectively promoting the region to a wider audience, the office helps to increase visitor numbers, which in turn drives the local economy.

Some of the various marketing activities the office engages in include:

  • The development of the 2023 Explore Map
  • The development and distribution of the visitor newsletter (which as mentioned last month continues to outperform industry standards when it comes to engagement)
  • Working with ‘Kawartha Now’ – experts in digital marketing – to promote hiking in the Highlands, reaching a very targeted audience (younger demographics, cottage enthusiasts, and reaching markets in the GTA that are specifically interested in escaping to cottage country)
  • Promoting the Haliburton Highlands on the Ontario Road Map and our hiking trails on the Ontario Trails Map
  • And much more

The development and continuous enhancement of the tourism website – MyHaliburtonHighlands.com – is also an integral part of promoting the destination and enhancing the visitor experience. Staff are always busy upgrading the site, adding new pages (such as a new events calendar for live entertainment), new blogs, and, just recently, a new itinerary feature that is integrated with Google maps to improve visitor mobility.

Furthermore, the Office of Tourism recognizes the importance of community involvement in tourism development and continually engages with residents, community groups, and small business owners to ensure the visitor economy benefits the entire community. This can include collaborating with local organizations to develop cultural and heritage tourism initiatives, supporting local festivals and events, and promoting sustainable tourism practices that minimize negative impacts on the environment and local community.

The office also provides resources and support to local entrepreneurs and small business owners by way of in-person visits (over 75 to-date) and one-on-one consultations. They provide valuable resources, such as market research, and offer training and mentorship opportunities in partnership with various industry associations.

The Office of Tourism plays a vital role in promoting the Haliburton Highlands and building a sustainable and prosperous tourism industry that benefits both residents and visitors. Through effective marketing campaigns, community involvement, and support for local businesses, the office helps to increase visitor numbers, drive the local economy, and minimize negative impacts on the environment. As it continues to engage with residents, community groups, and small business owners, the Haliburton Highlands will undoubtedly continue to thrive as a desirable and sought-after destination for years to come.

Watch this space for more information relating to the results of the RSS. In the meantime, if you have any questions at all, please get in touch with Tracie Bertrand, Manager of Tourism for Haliburton County, at tbertrand@haliburtoncounty.ca.

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