Project Name: Heritage Destination Development – Bayfield

A quaint, cozy heritage town. A Great Lake rimmed with shimmering beaches and warmed by golden summer sunsets. A cultural ambiance that beckons visitors to step into an ever-changing artistic landscape.

These are the raw materials behind the Bayfield story, and the challenge here is in quilting them together in cohesive, comprehensive and authentic experience.

Background

The first year of the Bayfield destination development project saw the implementation of an experiential tourism workshop with operators. In the second year, the focus shifted to a larger strategic discussion aimed at enabling and enhancing Bayfield’s DNA. The group aligned around the DNA of a sustainable and eco-friendly artistic, heritage village set on the shores of Lake Huron. The third year of the project concentrated on the implementation of the plan.

2018/19 Key activities (last year)

  • In partnership with Huron County, the Economic Impact of Tourism Study for Bayfield was completed and distributed.
  • Two years of the Google 360 project resulted in 19 tours now available online.
  • In partnership with Huron County, the Bayfield Destination Animation Strategic Co-investment Opportunity was launched, resulting in four highly shareable new or enhanced visitor experiences aligned with Bayfield’s DNA.
  • In partnership with Huron County, a wayfinding and signage study was conducted to adapt RTO7’s standards and specifications manual to meet the needs of Huron County and pilot the implementation of the study’s recommendations in Bayfield.

Bayfield was identified as one of three key assets in Huron County, along with G2G and Blyth. Huron
County is a considerable funding partner in the Bayfield project, matching up to 50 per cent of total costs
on most destination development work. The 2019/2020 focus, in collaboration with Huron County, is
improving the visitor experience by implementing the signage and wayfinding study recommendations.

2019/2020 Objectives

Objective #1: Continue collaborative destination development work to improve the visitor experience.

Key Activity

  • Begin implementation of the completed wayfinding and signage study recommendations with Huron County, the Municipality of Bluewater and tourism stakeholders.

For more details on this project, please visit the 2019/2020 RTO4 Business Plan, pages 30-31.