Huron County tourism operators expecting a promising season

Huron County’s Director of Economic Development says just under 90 people registered for Ontario’s West Coast Tourism Summit at the Libro Community Centre in Clinton.

Vicki Lass said it marked the first in-person event for tourism operators since COVID-19 and it was clear they’re anxious to get to work. Lass added, at this point, it looks like a very promising season, but she says the tourism sector has been one of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic.

“Restaurants had to shut down, switch to take out, accommodators had to shut down completely and then slowly as things opened they were able to re-open. We had to re-look at activities and events and how do we do them in a distanced way that was safe to attract people,” said Lass.

Lass added there was an upside to the pandemic for Huron County tourism operators and that was people from the GTA weren’t flying to far away places. Instead, they were driving and Huron County was within driving distance, so a lot of them discovered Huron County for the first time. Lass said now is the time for Huron County tourism operators to capitalize on that.

Lass explained that for many, Huron County is one of the best kept secrets, but they don’t want it to be a secret anymore.

“So it’s time to sing loud and clear that Huron County is a great place to travel, to enjoy natural assets like our trails and our waterfronts, to enjoy our agriculture, our incredible restaurants, our theatres and we need to get people here,” said Lass.

Lass ssaid there are some amazing opportunities in the county for visitors and locals and they’re working on more events to attract more people. Lass says staffing is a challenge for the tourism industry and just about every other sector, but they are working on that. She said the Economic Development Department is working on finding ways tourism operators can connect with workers and trying to find ways to help with housing for those workers.

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