As part of their COVID-19 recovery plan, the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA) Board commissioned two surveys from the polling firm Pollara Inc.
One was to the general population in Ontario living in areas like the Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa, while the other was handed out to a database of previous visitors to Huntsville. “The purpose of these surveys was to learn about the travel intentions of Ontarians during and post-COVID and to discover insights about the perception the Town of Huntsville has within the Province and in the minds of those who have previously visited,” the HMATA said in a statement. “The two surveys have provided some very actionable data – some positive and some less so.”
The “scenery and tranquillity” of Huntsville was mentioned as a positive insight from the survey. “They are interested in options like quiet locations with scenic views and areas they can spend time with family,” HMATA says of the results. There was “overwhelming positivity” from visitors about their experience in the town and “are willing to return.”
“Muskoka as a region is Ontario’s most popular summer destination, with 28-percent of Ontarians planning to travel,” HMATA mention about the results. “Huntsville is the second most popular region in Muskoka as a summer and fall destination, behind Algonquin Park.”
While visitors were happy with their experience, the results of the surveys show that 64-percent of people that came to town were unfamiliar with Huntsville and what the town has to offer. “42-percent of Ontarians have never heard of Downtown Huntsville shopping while 57-percent have never heard of the Algonquin Theatre,” HMATA says. “73-percent have never heard of the Hunter’s Bay Trail, which is part of the Great/Trans-Canada Trail, while 41-percent have never heard of Arrowhead Park.”
Potential visitors’ unfamiliarity with Huntsville was one of the reasons they chose to go somewhere else.
HMATA President Jesse Hamilton will host a webinar to go over the survey results on November 6th starting at 10 AM. You can register for it online.