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Haldimand County’s Economic Development & Tourism Division Wins Provincial Tourism Award

Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism division has won a provincial tourism award for initiatives completed in 2020 to support local businesses.

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), in partnership with Attractions Ontario, The Culinary Tourism Alliance, Indigenous Tourism Ontario and OTEC presented the Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards at an in-person and virtual awards gala on October 27.

Haldimand was presented with the Innovation Award in the Destination Marketing Organization category.

The award encompassed the Real. Local. strategy that was implemented to support local businesses and better position Haldimand’s tourism offerings.

Marketing projects included in the award were:

  • Development of ‘Real. Local.’ branded graphic
    • The ‘Real. Local.’ graphic is available to local business to incorporate in their marketing efforts. Since the launch, several businesses have incorporated it in print and social media advertising, as well as on packaging.
  • Local food campaign, retail & wellness campaign, Road Trip Haldimand Campaign
    • Advertising for these 3 campaigns saw a total reach of 5,200 in print, a reach of over 200,000 in social media and 6,295 clicks to learn more about the 75 business which were included in the promotions.
  • 2020 Haldimand Holiday Wish Book
    • The Holiday Wish Book campaign included 58 businesses. All businesses were featured in the online directory hosted on the Haldimand County website and 33 businesses were featured in the printed booklet. 22,498 booklets were mailed to every household in Haldimand. The social media campaign, which featured all participating businesses, reached 67,687 individuals and saw 2,615 clicks from people interested in learning more about local businesses.
  • Real. Haldimand. Marketplace
    • The Marketplace launched in late December 2020 with 24 vendors and has now grown to 43 local businesses selling products on the online e-commerce site. An extensive social media campaign saw over 3,000 clicks to view listings on the Marketplace. A local business indicated that their business traffic doubled when they were included in the Marketplace and corresponding promotional marketing campaigns.
  • Increased Digital Presence
    • A new Tourism Website and Tourism Instagram page were launched at the end of 2020 to generate further interest in Haldimand’s diverse offerings, along with an extensive social media campaign to support local businesses.

Haldimand’s Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee (BDAPAC) was instrumental in COVID-19 business recovery planning, along with staff, in the early days of the pandemic.

In June 2020, EDT received funding from Fed Dev Ontario to support tourism marketing initiatives and support the tourism sector locally.

Through the recommendation of BDAPAC, a Marketing Advisory Committee was formed and consulted, giving direction on how the funding would be used, to maximize opportunities to support and promote local businesses. Council was kept informed of the work of BDAPAC and of these marketing initiatives and have been very supportive of these efforts.

Haldimand County is honoured to be recognized for this award and appreciate the support of Council, BDAPAC and the Marketing Advisory Committee in helping achieve this success.

For more information on supports available for local business, visit