Dean Wilson left and AJ Lounds took on the challenge of swimming the Highlands Aug. 4. The cottagers swam 28 lakes in 14 hours on one day in an effort to get out and see more of the Highlands area. /ALYSSA LOUNDS submitted

Survey says largest group of visitors 45 and older

By Chad Ingram

Published by Jan. 17 2017

The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Jan. 11 meeting of Haliburton County council.

The county tourism department continues to conduct an online survey of visitors to the Haliburton Highlands.

Some 200 of the surveys were filled out between August and December assessing the demography of visitors to the area the route through which they enter the county where they stay etc.

Seventy per cent of respondents to the survey were aged 45 or older approximately 16 per cent were aged 35 to 44 and about 11 per cent aged 25 to 34.

Thirty-nine per cent of respondents identified themselves as being at the family stage of life 25 per cent as empty-nesters and 22 per cent as couples with no kids.

It’s this latter demographic – younger couples with no kids or young kids – where the county focuses much of its marketing attention trying to increase its market share.

Nearly 37 per cent of respondents had household incomes of $100000 or more and more than 72 per cent stay in the area for five days or more during their visits.

To take the survey visit

2017 which is the fourth year since Haliburton County launched its #MyHaliburtonHighlands branding will be about “supercharging the brand” a report from tourism director Amanda Virtanen shows.

Planned social media enhancements for the year include adding new social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest taking advantage of Facebook’s “live” function the launch of an “Ask a Local” video series and the development of a digital magazine.

The county’s tourism office along Highway 35 in Minden closed on Dec. 2 the long-time tourist information clerk moving into the county building on Newcastle Street.

A change in strategy by the department will see roving tourism employees going out into the community more.

Part of the province’s tourism framework has been to encourage municipalities to attract visitors from outside the country.

“There’s been interest in attracting international visitors” Virtanen told councillors adding she’d been working on that with Haliburton Highlands advertising along the American eastern seaboard.