Caption: DEANS Chair Wes Surrett addresses the crowd at Glasgow Square.

For immediate release

September 7, 2018

NEW GLASGOW – Federal funding will help with unlocking the potential of the region that Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores tourism association services. A $116,000 contribution announced today by Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA, will bring together the broader tourism community along the Northumberland Shore and the Municipality of Guysborough as it aligns with the federal Growth Strategy for rural regions.

“The main objective of our tourism association is to have a significant impact on increasing tourist visitation to the Eastern and Northumberland Shores, which essentially leads to increased tourism revenue and increased municipal economic impact,” Cindy MacKinnon, Managing Director with DEANS. “We must raise the bar on our products and experiences to motivate first-time visitors to meet and exceed their expectations while maintaining our repeat visitor numbers.” She goes on to say, “The funding announced today will provide a number of vital opportunities for our operators to thrive in an environment that relies on outside controls. Tourism relies on maintained roads, weather, gas prices and the dollar, all of which are out of our control; we need to focus on what we can control and make sure we are doing our absolute best.”

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is providing a non-repayable contribution of $116,000 from ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) to support Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores Nova Scotia Association as it focuses on increased visitor attraction and improving tourism business and marketing performance.

“In an ever-changing tourism industry, it is important for our Government to make key investments that will help tourism operators adjust to the high expectations of today’s tourist,” says Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. “This investment will assist DEANS in implementing a tourism development and growth initiative that will support Eastern and Northumberland Shore tourism operators in becoming better marketed and in creating a larger impact on the expanding tourism industry in the province.”

The municipalities have also supported this project, providing financial contributions towards the overall concept with this strategy. Mayor Nancy Dicks, speaking on behalf of the municipal units states, “DEANS continues to be a valuable resource for our region and this announcement today will offer more opportunity for our tourism association to develop experiences for the guests that visit our communities. We are proud to play a role in this project and look forward to the outcomes that realize our tourism potential.”

Today’s funding will help build an audio-visual library, a brand-new regional tourism website complete with a mobile friendly app and online revenue generation capability, it will offer several workshops designed to build the experience and packaging with other operators, a social media and self-escorted digital tour strategy along with an events strategy. The project will also focus on visitor services and making the most of our entry points. The project will be rounded out with the establishment of target market profiles and a branding and visual identity exercise for the communities that are included within the project. An accelerated market readiness program will also be rolled out with tourism operators who are interested in participating.

MacKinnon states, “the end goal of this incredible funding opportunity is to promote the beauty and character of the region to visitors.  There are experiences and amenities awaiting visitors that offer a warm invitation to uncover the unspoiled beauty of rural Nova Scotia and a chance to meet and connect with those who love life in this part of the world. “

“Nova Scotia is known around the world for its beautiful world class icons but there is even more for visitors to uncover. Rural communities such as those along our two shores offer memorable authentic experiences that speak to our Nova Scotia way of life,” says MacKinnon.

Wes Surrett, Chair of DEANS, knows that many visitors to Nova Scotia appreciate the opportunity to get off the beaten path.  He explains that many of the tourists he interacts with are eager to get away from the more popular and overcrowded destinations.  Many are eager to make new discoveries at their own pace and want to meet locals who are so interesting, friendly, genuine and talented.

“There is something to be said for a change in pace, picturesque vistas, rugged shorelines and the serenity and tranquility of our shores,” says MacKinnon. “It is easy for us to take sandy beaches and wide-open spaces for granted but for many, it is chance to nourish the soul.”


For more information or media inquiries contact:
Cindy MacKinnon
Managing Director

Alex Smith
Director of Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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