Tourism Development Plan Launched

The Tourism Development Plan will guide tourism developing in Trent Hills across the next three years. Learn more in our report, “Charting the Course Together.”

Stakeholder-driven plan to guide destination development in Trent Hills

The Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce, along with our partners at the Municipality of Trent Hills, Northumberland Tourism, and Regional Tourism Organization 8, began developing a 3-year Tourism Development Plan for Trent Hills in June 2023. We engaged Bannikin, a Canadian-based professional services company to facilitate the research and plan development processes.

From the start, our goal was to have a stakeholder-informed plan to guide destination development across the next three years. We used a stakeholder-driven and community-focused research approach that applied primary and secondary research techniques, including:

  • Document review of visitatDiscover Trent Hillsion data, visitor-satisfaction research, trends research, past plans and reports, as well as a tourism asset inventory;
  • Visitor-hat research of online channels that market and promote Trent Hills;
  • Competitor research into two competitor destinations;
  • In-person industry and resident open house;
  • 3-day in-market trip;
  • Industry and resident survey; and
  • Virtual partner session.

Charting the Course Together
sets a long-term vision that:

Trent Hills is known as a welcoming and inclusive year-round destination with picturesque rural landscapes that are best experienced by land and water routes. Visitors know that Trent Hills is a place where culture and the outdoors come to life across three distinct communities. Residents and businesses are ambassadors for Trent Hills and recognize the value tourism brings to their quality of life.

To work towards this vision, the plan identifies four key areas of opportunity for tourism development over the next three years, including: tourism infrastructure development, stakeholder engagement, product development, and destination marketing. 15 tourism development strategies are associated with these areas of opportunity, including:

  1. Conduct a soft infrastructure for tourism needs assessment
  2. Develop a destination signage strategy
  3. Advocate for improved transportation infrastructure
  4. Work with partners on street beautification initiatives
  5. Build awareness around value of tourism to Trent Hills
  6. Recognize volunteer and industry contributions to the Trent Hills tourism economy
  7. Identify vulnerabilities and ways to build resilience into tourism assets
  8. Work with food, drink, and agricultural businesses to celebrate Trent Hills’ food culture as part of the visitor experience
  9. Develop and activate branded routes leveraging Trent Hills’ land and water trails
  10. Enable industry to develop and offer bookable experiences
  11. Create new itineraries that encourage visitors to connect with destination USP
  12. Continue supporting community-led initiatives that are visitor-facing
  13. Streamline Trent Hills destination branding and narrative
  14. Encourage visitors to stay longer and explore more deeply
  15. Empower all visitors to make outdoor recreation part of their stay

The Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce will lead the implementation of these 15 strategies; however, we recognize the important role that collaboration will play in our success. We look forward to working with our partners to identify available resources and supports that can be leveraged and maximize the positive impacts of tourism for Trent Hills’ residents, businesses, and visitors.

The future of Trent Hills is bright, and we are committed to helping our community capitalize on tourism to achieve its full potential.

We would like to thank the Province of Ontario for the funding provided through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and Regional Tourism Organization 8, which made this project possible. 

Tourism Partners

The research that informs this Charting the Course Together: Trent Hills Tourism Development Plan was facilitated by Bannikin, a Canadian-based professional services company operating within and beyond travel and tourism.

Bannikin team members worked closely with the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce and the Municipality of Trent Hills to ensure meaningful engagement of key stakeholders to produce a plan informed by local context and global trends. Bannikin specializes in strategy and development projects along with integrated communications work for a wide array of client-partners including businesses, various levels of government, industry associations, and not-for-profit organizations.

bannikin logoThis report was developed by Bannikin team members Caroline Morrow, James Arteaga, and Trevor Jonas Benson.



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