Haliburton County tourism providers and businesses will gather May 16 at Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride for the first of what is hoped to be an annual tourism and business summit.

County director of economic development Scott Ovell discussed the summit with councillors at their April 13 meeting.

The County is partnering with the Haliburton Tourism Action Committee (HaliTAC) on the venture.

Ovell and manager of tourism Tracie Bertrand have been working with HaliTAC on the idea since the fall and have now added the business component to the tourism component.

HaliTac’s Emily Stonehouse said the idea came about because there have been “a lot of major changes happening in the tourism community here, and we decided this would be a good time to not only meet some new faces but also to be aligned in some of our projects moving forward.”


She said the day will offer networking opportunities, a chance for stakeholders and businesses to display content.

For example, Joanne Vanier from Highlands East may bring some minerals to showcase geocaching.

There will be a keynote speaker, Trevor Benson of Bannikan Travel and Tourism, and breakout speaker, Jennifer Lamantia of the Workforce Development Board.

Stonehouse said they surveyed members and they identified staff recruitment and retention as the number one issue. In addition to that, people can chat about collaborating.

“The whole day is supposed to be a very cohesive day. Everybody’s going to be working together, just listening to each other and coming up with new ideas to move forward,” she said.

For his part, Ovell added, “staff see this as an opportunity with pandemic restrictions lifting, to engage with businesses and create opportunities for partnerships while also highlighting some of the economic development services available to them within and around the County.

“Moving forward, all the partners involved in the development of this program see this as potentially being an annual event that could cover a variety of business topics open to all enterprises. Ideally this will take place every spring and will also include a job fair,” Ovell added.

The Haliburton BIA, Haliburton County Development Corporation and the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce will be aiding in promotion and have offered to provide administrative support where necessary.

To register, contact Emily Stonehouse at emily@YoursOutdoors.ca

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