Partners Grow Tourism in Region

first_imgThe world’s highest tides on the Fundy coast, the Cape Forchu lighthouse, in Yarmouth County, and Lunenburg’s picturesque waterfront — the southwestern region of Nova Scotia has experiences for every visitor and more power to market them through a growing partnership of tourism operators. Destination South West Nova Scotia is what’s known in the tourism industry as a destination marketing organization. It is headed by Doug Fawthrop, innkeeper and managing director of White Point Beach Resort. “Tourism operators are joining forces through Destination Southwest Nova Scotia to work at developing and promoting this area together,” says Doug. “Our primary goal is to bring visitors to this whole region. Once they’re here, we can help each other by spreading the business around.” Operators in the area have a history of working in partnership. The Yarmouth County, Evangeline Trail and South Shore tourism associations have been collaborating on marketing initiatives for the past 10 years. Individually, these regional tourism industry associations are small. They do not have the resources to be full-scale destination marketing organizations. “Today’s tourists are looking for lifestyle experiences,” Doug says. “Individual operators can’t meet their expectations on their own, and we’re even limited if we only work through small organizations. We need to market this entire region together.” To gain the necessary critical mass, Doug and some of his fellow tourism operators started Destination Southwest Nova Scotia three years ago. The industry has been quick to embrace the opportunity with 700 operators already signed up as members. Recently, the existing associations decided to amalgamate under the new organization. “Our new mantra is partners, not competitors,” says Doug. “As partners, we have one united voice to draw tourists to the region, and we help each other by creating the products that tourists want. When we work together packaging experiences with accommodations and restaurants, we bring business to many operators in this region.” One example is vacation itineraries that Doug creates for his guests based on visitors’ interests, such as golf, birding or museums. The itinerary can bring visitors to several different locations throughout the region where they enjoy experiences and spend time in communities. Destination Southwest Nova Scotia has developed numerous marketing products featuring tourism businesses and attractions throughout the region. They include vacation and experience guides, a direct mail campaign and a website at . Supporting the development of destination marketing organizations is part of Nova Scotia’s vision for tourism. The Nova Scotia Tourism Partnership Council has produced a resource kit to help members of the industry develop tourism destination areas. The vision was developed by a team of government and industry representatives from the council, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, and the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. More information is available on the website at . Tourism is a $1.29 billion industry in Nova Scotia employing 33,000 people. -30-last_img