The tourism sector is a $34 billion dollar industry in Ontario and is the largest employer of young people. Locally, about 7,500 jobs are estimated to relate to the broader tourism sector, meaning that approximately 30 percent of local jobs relate to or support the tourism industry including retail, accommodation and food services, and arts and culture industries. The arts and culture sector alone contributes over $44 million annually to Halton Hills’ local GDP.
A visually attractive and informative website is integral to attracting visitors and stimulating local spending, and was the impetus for the Town’s investment in a new website: visithaltonhills.ca. The end result is a modern, visually appealing and user-friendly website with an expanded range of features.
“I am excited about the launch of the new website,” said Councillor Ann Lawlor, Chair of the Town’s Tourism Advisory Committee. “This is another great step towards growing Halton Hills’ tourism sector both for local residents and out of town visitors alike. I encourage residents to browse the site and learn about new ways to explore our own community.”
The website that went live yesterday is part of the Town’s Economic Development & Tourism work plan which includes a focus on growing the local tourism sector to amplify its economic benefits. The website represents best practices in destination marketing and incorporates feedback from key stakeholders, including the Tourism Advisory Committee and local businesses and organizations.
“We are in an uncertain social and economic climate,” said Mayor Rick Bonnette. “We recognize that our local tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit during this pandemic. This website will support recovery efforts during the slow and gradual return to the new normal way of conducting business. I look forward to the recovery of Halton Hills’ tourism sector and the return of the countless festivals, events and destinations that make such a big contribution to our quality of life and economic prosperity.”
A key feature of the new website is an events calendar to support the numerous volunteer groups who organize the many annual events that have become local traditions. Business and community groups can submit events for posting on a one-stop, comprehensive platform.
Also included with the new website is a tourism business directory which includes restaurants, local downtown retail, wellness, arts and culture businesses and recreation providers. Businesses can submit/confirm their information and contact the Economic Development team for support as required.
Sources: Statistics Canada, Canada Business Patterns (2018); Watson & Associates, Employment Land Needs Study (2019); Tourism Industry Assoication of Ontario; 2018 Halton Region Employment Survey; Creative City Network of Canada