The County of Haliburton will soon be on the hunt for a new director of tourism.

After eight years in the role, Amanda Virtanen is stepping down to pursue another opportunity.

County Warden Liz Danielsen said Virtanen will leave behind a strong legacy.

“Amanda has really made great strides in promoting tourism in Haliburton County in the time she’s been with us,” Danielsen said. “She’s worked hard with all the stakeholders and I think she’s done a lot to bring us all together in a single voice.”

Virtanen played a key role in multiple large-scale tourism projects. Those include multi-year initiatives such as the Haliburton Destination Development Plan, which required extensive collaboration and consultation with the tourism community.

She also assumed the role while the tourism and marketing landscapes were shifting.

“Amanda’s resignation is a tremendous loss for us,” wrote Haliburton County CAO Mike Rutter in an email. “She came to us at a time when industry trends in the way communities marketed themselves were changing dramatically, and Amanda has led us through that transition very effectively.”

Rutter said that the County tracks the success of marketing tactics and initiatives. According to those metrics, Virtanen’s work had a large impact on the desirability of Haliburton as a destination.

“Every sector of our community has benefited from that,” Rutter wrote. “We will certainly miss her contributions to the County management team, and I know the stakeholders who have come to rely on her advice and support will miss her as well.”

Virtanen declined comment

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