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Hastings County attracting millions of tourists each year

By Cam Kennedy [1]

BELLEVILLE – More than 2.5 million visited Hastings County [2] in 2012, according to newly released statistics.

The data revealed tourists – who generally visit the area between July and December – contribute over $260 million dollars to the county’s economy.

While these numbers represent stats from 2012, the figures are very similar to the totals from last year, said Kasey Rogerson, tourism development coordinator for Hastings County.

“When you look year over year, the trends are there,”  said Rogerson. “Especially with the past tourism season last year, a lot of it is still the same.”

The numbers of tourists haven’t been the only thing that has grown year after year, according to Rogerson.

“We’ve also seen a growth in the number of tourism businesses operating in the county,” she said.

With an area that includes the Bay of Quinte [3] and over 30,000 acres of conservation area, 900,000 people participated in outdoor activities in 2012.

“A lot of people go on our trails, do some fishing and be on our lakes,” she said. “There has been a big growth in the number of people interested in kayaking, canoeing and cross-country skiing.”

The country attracts visitors through the Bancroft and District Chamber of Commerce [4]  and Bay of Quinte Tourism. The two organizations help get the word out to people about activities in the area.

“We have 14 great rural communities that offer a number of experiences,” she said.

Rogerson also said the county benefits from its big area, stretching from the Bay of Quinte to just south of Algonquin Park [5].

As far as the summer of 2016 goes, Rogerson couldn’t point to one specific activity that the county is promoting more than others.

“We have a lot to offer,” she said. “So in terms of one activity, it is kind of hard to say. We have a lot of really good things.”