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Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association plan to make area the most vibrant resort destination

Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association plan to make area the most vibrant resort destination

Posted: 2023-02-01 07:25:02 By: thebay

Jesse Hamilton, Chair of the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA), outlined Strategic Plan goals in the January 30, 2023, Council meeting.

According to Hamilton, the goal of the Plan that originally appeared in October 2022, is, “Building to be Ontario’s number one destination visitor economy.” He added, “the most vibrant and successful four-season resort destination.”

Over 80 stakeholders were included to share thoughts about the future of tourism in the Town, with objectives including destination brand awareness, strategic alignments, and visitor economy.

According to the plan, $2.7 million out of the $4 million collected through the stewardship of the HMATA includes community partnership participation to help increase tourism.

A key element of the plan is to focus on visitor economy through natural assets, infrastructure, reputation, and marketable assets, such as soft adventure, arts and culture, culinary, amateur sports, and town ambience.

Hamilton indicated the proposed vision is, “We will become Ontario’s most visited year-round destination made possible by our engaged community and tourism industry.”

The mission, “To inspire year-round sustainable growth of Huntsville’s visitor economy by working with our local and regional partners to motivate visitors to enjoy our unique brand of community hospitality and Muskoka experiences,” adds Hamilton.

Priorities of the plan will include establishing a Huntsville Marketing Organization, to align with Muskoka Tourism, advance the tourism experience with two new options, and to increase winter visitation by 20%, and increase occupancy by 10% by the end of 2025.

Hamilton adds, “We hope to keep focusing on experiences… The real opportunity for us is to be a catalyst for new attractions or reasons to come to Huntsville.”

Councillor, Bob Stone, inquired about the criteria for community partners to be able to access the funds for events.

Hamilton replied, “The first goal is to determine how much money will be spent on what activity and the partnership piece would get cleaned up by doing that.” He added, “We hope to be an active participant in how this moves forward with working with Town staff to make recommendations to Town Council.”