Tourism Industry a Leader Oped

first_imgTourism is important to Nova Scotia, helping to create good jobs that grow our economy. It employs over 31,000 people and generates revenues of $1.8 billion. Nova Scotia welcomes more than 2 million visitors every year and is the leading tourism destination in Atlantic Canada. For the first seven months of 2010 we are already running three per cent ahead of the pace set in 2009, with the busy fall months still ahead. The tourism industry is a leader. We focus on strategic thinking, practicing innovation and offering the broadest range of high quality experiences in the region. We continue to evolve to match visitor needs and expectations. Our success starts with having a plan: a well-conceived strategy for marketing and product development using leading edge tools and technology at every level. Worldwide, potential visitors are turning to the internet to research and plan their trips. Nova Scotia is a leader in responding to their needs with innovative applications. In April, we redesigned novascotia.com to launch the successful Heroes advertising campaign, incorporating video, photos, blogs, operator listings, and travel deals. Since then, the website has seen a 14 per cent increase in visits. Jim Brody, director of international sales for industry leading website TripAdvisor.com raved: “Nova Scotia’s new website really raises the bar.” Over 25 million people in North America have a family connection to our province. To attract these potential visitors, we have developed Routes to Your Roots, an interactive online tool that helps people trace their history back to Nova Scotia. The application includes a travel planner and mapping function, which allows visitors to plan a trip around their family history. Nova Scotia is proud to play host to the world’s first culinary tourism summit. Visitors craving food and wine adventures are making their way to Nova Scotia and we’ve made it fast and easy for them to do it. They can discover the best of our food, wine and culture with the Adventures in Taste iPhone application. They are exploring the province by region, mapping out their visit, and booking exciting culinary travel packages in the palm of their hand. We continue to attract high-impact international coverage that promotes Nova Scotia as an ideal travel destination. In August, Good Morning America’s Weekend Window aired a segment on Cape Breton, and raved about the island’s natural beauty and scenic drives. Our marketing activities promote Nova Scotia in key markets throughout the year as part of the $7.5 million we spend on direct-to-consumer advertising. England is a key growth market because its visitors spend more per person when they travel to Nova Scotia. Award-winning musician, Joel Plaskett, performed for travel media and was a guest this summer at the iconic Abbey Road Studio in London and toured with the Jools Holland outdoor concert series to reach thousands of potential visitors. We are also taking advantage of unique opportunities and reaching markets around the globe. The makers of the Japanese-produced movie Hanamizuki are promoting their Nova Scotia experience from the film shoot; members of the cast have widely praised the beauty of Nova Scotia in the Japanese media. Japan’s broadcasters, NHK and IVS are working with the department to produce travel documentaries about Nova Scotia. The province is also in discussion with top travel show, Niji Iro Jean. The Bay of Fundy is nominated as one of 28 finalists for the international New7Wonders of Nature campaign. This is an incredible opportunity to generate greater awareness of this tremendous natural attraction and highlight Nova Scotia’s appeal. We are working with local groups, New Brunswick and our national partners to maximize voting and recognize the Bay of Fundy as an international wonder of nature. Nova Scotians can play a part by going to votemyfundy.com and casting their vote. Nova Scotia also works with its regional partners through the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership. The partnership uses innovative tactics that raise the visibility of our entire region through a focus on important markets, such as the mid-Atlantic United States. Above all, the focus continues to be our visitors and providing them with a range of experiences and services that distinguish Nova Scotia as a premier travel destination. Nova Scotia offers visitors an unparalleled mix of signature experiences, spectacular natural beauty and world-renowned culture and heritage. Together, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage and our industry partners are genuine leaders and make Nova Scotia a leading destination for visitors. -30-last_img read more