By Chad Ingram
Published May 12 2016
Haliburton County will stick with themap-like explore guide it produced this year versus the traditionalDestination Guide it produced previously as its main tourismpublication for 2017.
Members of the county's tourismcommittee discussed the creation of next year's guide during a May 12meeting.
For a number of years the countyprinted its Destination Guide a booklet filled with editorialcontent about the area and events along with maps and advertisementsfor local businesses.
For 2016 the county switched to afold-out map format titled Explore #MyHaliburtonHighlands. A map ofthe municipality shows its four townships and the locations ofvarious businesses and attractions and is surrounded by ads forlocal businesses. It also features an events listing.
During their meeting Wednesdaycommittee members discussed whether to return to the thicker guideor stick with the map concept.
A majority of members of the HaliburtonHighlands tourism stakeholders group seem to prefer the former.
Minutes from an April 20 meeting of thegroup show that in a vote 25 members said they'd prefer to return to2015 format versus eight who said they liked the 2016 format.
Five were undecided.
“I personally feel like there has notbeen negative feedback from consumers about this product” county tourism director Amanda Virtanentold members of the committee who voted to stick with the map-likeproduct.
The map is cheaper for the county toproduce; about $30000 versus the $48000 it cost to produce theDestination Guide. The product is designed to be revenue-neutral.
Parker Pad and Printing has producedthe county's tourism promotion materials for the past three yearsbut the 2017 project will be up for bidding and a request forproposals (RFP) will be issued later this month.
“For the past three years theDestination Guide/#MyHaliburtonHighlands publication has beendeveloped by the tourism department in concert with Parker Pad andPrinting and produced by same” read a report from Virtanen.“Parker Pad and Printing was also responsible for the solicitationof advertisers and responsible for collecting ad insertion orderswhich then went to the county's accounting department to invoice eachadvertiser. As per the contract with Parker Pad and Printing 2017 isthe year that the county is required to issue a new RFP for thisproject.”
The RFP is scheduled to go out on May26 with the window closing June 7.
While some committee members felt thisperiod was too short others stressed that in order for the new guideto be available at the beginning of 2017 the process needed to bequick.
A suggested timeline for the 2017publication has the winning vendor being notified by the end of Junea design direction conversation taking place at a September committeemeeting and the product going to press in December for Januarydistribution.