Hastings Opportunities in Tourism

We are HOT!  HOT stands for Hastings County Opportunities in Tourism.  It is an initiative started by the Hastings County Economic Development Office to implement the County Council approved Premier-ranked Tourism Master Plan.  We even have a HOT Working Group that is volunteer driven and consists of individuals from various businesses, organizations and municipalities throughout Hastings County who have an interest in developing the tourism industry.

What is our purpose? We help implement the Tourism Master Plan, assess our competitive tourism advantage and help Hastings County become a destination of choice.

What are the objectives?  We are working hard to increase the number of annual visitors to Hastings County and increase the average visitor's spending to grow tourism receipts.

Below is a list of our priorities:

  • lead and facilitate destination development in Hastings County;
  • prioritize underdeveloped and underperforming tourism assets: wellness, agri-tourism, arts & culture, outdoor recreation, and recreational geology;
  • implement an annual county-wide visitor survey to measure visitor travel experience
  • implement annual county-wide customer service training addressing gaps identified by the visitor survey;
  • facilitate on-going industry-wide tourism training
  • better understand seasonal residents and cottagers;
  • increase the awareness of the importance of tourism;
  • introduce a tourism ambassador program to empower local residents; and
  • represent the tourism industry and support collaboration and partnerships amongst various tourism development and marketing partners within Hastings County

What's New for Tourism Development?

Currently, we are undergoing a review of our Tourism Master Plan to bring it up-to-date with current and future tourism trends.  This process involves a three-phase approach that began in February 2016 and will be completed by October 2016.  The updated Tourism Master Plan will provide strategic direction for Hastings County, its communities and tourism partners for the next five years (2017 - 2021).

We've Imagined Tourism, Now We're Planning for Success - April 21/16
It's Time to Shape the Future of Tourism in our Region - March 14/16

Accomplished Initiatives:

Hastings County Tourism Master Plan 2010 - 2014 Plan Review
Tourism Awareness Week celebrations in 2012 & 2013
Tourism Awards Celebration - featuring the annual HOTie Awards program
Hastings County Wellness initiativeArts Route initiativeHOT Spots Competition 2012 & 2014
Seasonal Residents Survey 2013 - Partnership with North Hastings Economic Development Committee
2014 Consultation and Recommendations Report on Tourism Marketing Services

Why is tourism development important?

  • Hastings County attracts over 2.58 million visitors annually;
  • Total spending each year by visitors is estimated over $260 million:
    • Over $150 million in direct, indirect and induced contributions to Gross Domestic Product;
    • About $80 million in labour income and salaries;
    • And close to 2,500 part-time, full-time and seasonal jobs;
  • Over 340 businesses in Hastings County are directly involved in the tourism industry, and close to 100 businesses are indirectly impacted by tourism activities and spending;
  • Tourism is a vital component of our local economies.
  • Learn more through our new visitor information infographics

We hope you enjoy exploring this website!

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