From left Nancy Lowes Leslie Brown Jenn Abbott and Shannon McCracken were more than happy to help boys and girls find formal clothing for a past semi-formal at Make Dreams Come True on Saturday Dec. 1 at Castle Antiques.

Majority of Highlands visitors surveyed are middleaged

By Chad Ingram

Sept. 20 2016

Most visitors to the Haliburton Highlands are middle-aged early results from a county tourism department survey show.

As of the end of August 153 people had filled out the survey what tourism director Amanda Virtanen called a “very small sample” as she presented findings to members of the county’s tourism advisory committee during a Sept. 14 meeting.

So far the survey has been promoted strictly online but the county has printed promotional material that will be distributed at restaurants accommodations other businesses and through media.

“We have these print promotions that will be in the market next week” Virtanen said.

The survey will continue throughout 2017.

Based on the first round of responses 60 per cent of visitors were between the ages of 45 and 65 with 26 per cent of respondents aged 45 to 54 and 34 per cent aged 55 to 65.

A little more than 11 per cent of respondents identified themselves as being between 25 and 34 21 per cent between 35 and 44 and 7.5 per cent of respondents were older than 65.

Forty-six per cent of respondents had a household income of $100000 or more. Forty-five per cent identified themselves as being at the “family stage” of life 26 per cent as couples with no kids and nearly 23 per cent as empty nesters.

“We really kind of wanted that mix” Virtanen said.

About half said they’d heard about the Haliburton Highlands through friends or family and many stay at either their own cottages or cottages of friends and family while in the county.

Fifty per cent enter the county though Minden via Highway 35 with about 15 per cent coming on Highway 118 east through Carnarvon and 15 per cent on County Road 503.

Eighty per cent of respondents stay more than five days when they come to the community with nearly 27 per cent spending more than $2000 during that time.

The survey can be taken here: