Discussing tourism priorities for 2013 0
Councillors on the county’s tourism development committee discussed priorities for 2013 during a Sept. 19 meeting.
The committee consists of the reeves of the county’s four lower-tier municipalities.
Minden Hills Reeve Barb Reid said she wants to see more development of destination packages she believes are key in attracting visitors from the GTA.
Dysart et al Reeve and County Warden Murray Fearrey wants to finalize a structure for the tourism development department, formerly the economic development department.
“I think we should start that fairly soon,” Fearrey said.
Former department director Bob Smith retired in the spring and the committee took $80,000 out of the department’s budget for the year.
The county has gone without a replacement ever since.
This was a decision Algonquin Highlands Reeve Carol Moffatt decried at the time.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Moffatt reiterated that she thought the revamped department needed a director and expressed concern about the workload of county tourism co-ordinator Maria Micallef.
“How much more can she handle?” Moffatt asked.
Micallef said there is some strain as she splits her time between planning events and performing marketing duties, sometimes one at the expense of the other.
“I think capacity within the department needs to be addressed for sure,” she said.
Along with moving forward with some of the recommendations from Kate Hall’s public input process on the Haliburton County Rail Trail and next steps with the province’s Premier-Ranked Tourist Destination program, Moffatt said she’d like to see the makeup of the tourism development committee re-evaluated.
“I think there are some people working on the ground who might have some more info,” Moffatt said, adding that having members of the Haliburton Tourism Association and other industry stakeholders sit on the committee could be a good idea.