Town hall seeks input on destination development in Haliburton Highlands
By Chad Ingram
Anyone with an interest in the county’s tourism activities may wish to attend a town hall meeting at the Haliburton Legion on the evening of Tuesday, March 3.
The County of Haliburton has hired tourism marketing firm MMGY NextFactor to compile the plan, designed to help further map the sustainable development of the Haliburton Highlands as a tourist destination.
“The destination development plan is a continuation of the stakeholder survey and workshop conducted in spring 2019 by MMGY NextFactor,” county director Amanda Virtanen told the Times. “They will take all of that input from last year, and couple it with the information they are gathering now via a series of 1:1 sessions, focus groups and a town hall. It’s so important for as much of the community to weigh in as possible – not just tourism-related businesses – as this plan will help shape the future of the Haliburton Highlands as a whole. While the County of Haliburton is ‘hosting’ this process, our hope is that the entire community feels a sense of ownership of this plan. We are fortunate to be working with an independent party in the formation of the plan and feel that provides an unbiased approach for many voices to be heard.”
The town hall meeting, open to all members of the public, will take place at the Haliburton Legion at 719 Mountain Street in Haliburton Village on Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m.
In addition to the town hall meeting, a series of focus groups aimed at particular groups will also take place on March 3 and March 4. These sessions will also take place at the Haliburton Legion, and it’s asked that those wishing to attend preregister.
A focus group meeting for accommodators and restaurateurs to provide input will take place on March 3 at 1 p.m. and registration can be done at www.eventbrite.ca/e/94655305567.
A focus group session for tour operators and experience providers will be held on March 4 at 9 a.m. and can be registered for by visiting www.eventbrite.ca/e/94657971541.
A session intended for community leaders will also take place on March 4 at noon and can be registered for at www.eventbrite.ca/e/94658539239.
Another focus group session, designed to attain input from lake and cottage associations, will take place March 4 at 3 p.m. and registration is available at www.eventbrite.ca/e/94658924391.
The destination development plan, a $60,000 project for the county, is expected to be finalized by the summer.