NOVA SCOTIA: To strengthen Atlantic Canada’s tourism sector and help the industry move forward, the Government of Canada announced on June 23, $16 million in federal investments to support the tourism industry across Atlantic Canada.

Delivered by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), this funding will support 79 tourism initiatives led by communities, businesses and organizations across the Atlantic provinces. This targeted investment includes more than $2.4 million to destination development and marketing organizations, which will support 10 projects to help attract visitors to Atlantic Canada.

Nova Scotia’s only recipient of destination development funding – Destination Cape Breton Association – will be receiving $645,000 to implement a destination marketing strategy for 2020-21 for the Cape Breton tourism industry.

“From the Cabot Trail to the Bay of Fundy, the beaches of Cavendish to the mountains of Gros Morne, it’s not hard to see why visitors are drawn to Atlantic Canada,” Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA said. “Yet our tourism industry, and those whose livelihoods depend on it, has been hit hard by COVID-19, and we stand with them. Our message is clear – we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this together and come back strong.”

In partnership with local organizations, ACOA is working to support the region’s tourism operators, encourage local tourism and help Atlantic Canadian tourism by supporting several local organizations, including; Ceilidh Trails Groomers Association, Celtic Colours Festival Society, Celtic Music Interpretive Centre Society, and Celtic Shores Coastal Trail Association.

The Ceilidh Trail Groomers Association will purchase a snow groomer to maintain trails after receiving $54,241; the Celtic Colours Festival Society will be receiving $1.2 million to host the annual international music festival for the next three years; the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre Society has been awarded $17,382 to upgrade their e-commerce Web site and equipment in reaction to COVID-19; and the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail Association is planning an upgrade to trail infrastructure in western Cape Breton after being awarded $355,525.

These important initiatives will not only help local tourism operators recover from the impact of COVID-19, but position Cape Breton-Canso to attract more visitors and grow its tourism in the years to come.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the economy and will certainly have an impact on our coveted tourism industry. The funding announced today will help local organizations keep their doors open and help strengthen our economy,” Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway said. “With the economy re-opening, I hope we can welcome more and more Nova Scotian’s to Cape Breton-Canso for staycations this season. Cape Breton and North Eastern Nova Scotia has shown great resiliency throughout this pandemic, we’re getting through this together day by day and I’m confident we’ll come out of this stronger.”

Also, the government has redirected $30 million from Destination Canada’s budget towards domestic travel, one of the first times it will be promoting Canada to Canadians.

Following suit, Tourism Nova Scotia launched a new marketing campaign on June 25, encouraging Nova Scotians to explore the province and support local tourism businesses.

The “Rediscover Nova Scotia” campaign is focused on helping people envision the incredible things they can do on a Nova Scotia vacation by highlighting unique places and experiences.

“With travel restrictions in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nova Scotia’s tourism industry will rely more than ever on visitors from within the province,” Premier Stephen McNeil said. “This year I invite Nova Scotians to travel within the province and rediscover the things that have drawn visitors here from all over the world.”

The campaign includes television ads, digital banner ads and videos, search marketing and a social media strategy that features photos and videos created with local operators. The ads feature a brand new cover of the beloved song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by local musician Jennah Barry.

Tourism revenues reached an estimated $2.64 billion in 2019, with $1.048 billion, or 38 per cent, attributed to spending by Nova Scotians travelling throughout the province.

“The campaign aims to tap into Nova Scotians’ pride. The time we have spent at home, separated from the places we love, has only fueled our passion for Nova Scotia,” Michele Saran, CEO of Tourism Nova Scotia said. “This year, we think exploring our home province will feel both like a long-awaited reunion and a brand new adventure.”