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.


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.

2017/18 Key activities (last year)

  • In partnership with Huron County, the Economic Impact of Tourism Study for Bayfield was completed
  • Year 2 of the Google 360 project resulted in seven tours now available online. Promotional posts were published throughout December 2017.
  • 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 the DNA of Bayfield.
  • In partnership with Huron County, a wayfinding and signage study was initiated to adapt RTO7’s standards and specifications manual to meet the needs of Huron County and pilot the implementation 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 2018/19 focus in Bayfield in collaboration with Huron County is improving the visitor experience through signage and wayfinding.

2018/2019 Objectives

Objective #1:Continue collaborative destination development work such as storytelling, animation and hygiene projects that enhance and improve the visitor experience.

Objective #2: Increase research-based tourism decision-making capacity.

Key Activities

  • Complete the pilot wayfinding and signage study
  • Distribute Economic Impact of Tourism study results

For more details on this project, please visit the 2018/2019 RTO4 Business Plan, pages 26-27.