Tuesday, June 15, 2021

An $18.2 million tourism restart package announced by the Nova Scotia government today, June 15, will provide operators with new grant programs and marketing support as well as offering tourists more outdoor public attractions and free admission to provincial museums.

The restart package will help the tourism industry prepare to welcome visitors to Nova Scotia as part of the province’s phased reopening strategy.

“We want Nova Scotians and visitors to choose to spend their vacation time and dollars here,” said Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Inclusive Economic Growth and Minister responsible for Tourism Nova Scotia. “We’ve worked with the sector and developed a restart package that will re-energize communities and help our operators prepare to open their doors and attract customers to the many unique experiences that Nova Scotia has to offer.”

The Tourism Accommodations Restart Customer Attraction Program will help registered tourism accommodations develop and implement tailored marketing activities to encourage overnight stays. Eligible operators will receive a grant of $1,000 per room for the first 10 rooms and $500 per room for each additional room.

The Small Tourism Operators Restart Program will offer a one-time grant payment of $5,000 to help tourism businesses that were affected by COVID-19 restrictions but were not eligible for earlier provincial programs. The grant will help operators with advertising and other restart expenses such as purchasing personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.

The province will invest an additional $3 million this year in its marketing campaigns, designed to attract visitors through television advertising, videos, radio spots, social media, billboards, display ads and search marketing tactics.

The Atlantic Canada campaign, called Do More, launched today, June 15.

Investments will also be made to attract the public to communities across the province. Visitors will enjoy free admission to the 28 sites included in the Nova Scotia Museum system and the two sites of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in July and August. The province will also work with community organizations to offer outdoor public events that feature local artists and diverse cultural activities.

Additional program details:

Tourism Accommodations Restart Customer Attraction Program: 
— $10.5 million program administered by Tourism Nova Scotia
— eligible businesses must be registered as a host under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act, offering at least one or more rooms to the travelling or vacationing public and be HST registered
— funds may be used for various advertising options, developing packages and incentives to encourage overnight stays, such as an overnight plus a bottle of local wine, or family weekend packages with free breakfasts, as well as customer-focused upgrades or amenities
— applications open June 23

Small Tourism Operators Restart Program:
— $2 million program administered by Tourism Nova Scotia
— eligible businesses include tour operators, scenic and sightseeing transportation operators, outdoor adventure operators and outfitters, businesses that operate nature parks and zoos, amusement or theme parks, recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds and travel agencies
— eligible operators must be HST registered
— applications open June 23

Funding for Public Attractions:
— $710,000 to cover free admission to the 28 sites included in the Nova Scotia Museum system and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia sites in Halifax and Yarmouth for July and August
— $2 million to sponsor outdoor events and attractions that feature local artists, such as mini outdoor concerts, open streets and diverse cultural activities, to be funded through the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council

Marketing Campaigns:

— $3 million in additional spending, for a total of $5.8 million in marketing campaigns
— a new $150,000 campaign called #ShineOnTourism asks Nova Scotians to offer their world-famous hospitality to help the tourism industry; it aims to remind Nova Scotians of their role as ambassadors, foster pride and confidence in the tourism industry, and raise awareness of the value of tourism
— the $1.3 million Nova Scotia campaign, called Rediscover Nova Scotia, builds on last year’s successful effort to celebrate residents who stayed close to home, while showcasing the incredible experiences found in Nova Scotia. The campaign emphasizes that Nova Scotians don’t need to leave the province to find unique experiences and adventure, and that Nova Scotia has incredible places to rediscover
— Tourism Nova Scotia launched a $1 million Atlantic Canada marketing campaign today, June 15, called Do More to remind Atlantic Canadians that because Nova Scotia has so much to offer, it deserves more than one trip
— Tourism Nova Scotia will also be ready to showcase the province in consumer advertising in other jurisdictions, including Ontario and Quebec, when appropriate; these campaigns will cost about $3.4 million


“We have so much to offer people of all ages – from tidal bore rafting to winery tours, to our beautiful Halifax waterfront to the Cabot Trail, and all of the amazing arts, culture, and outdoor experiences in between. There is no shortage of things to do in Nova Scotia.”
– Darlene MacDonald, acting CEO, Tourism Nova Scotia

“TIANS applauds the government’s recognition of tourism’s value to the Nova Scotia economy. Tourism lost $1.6 billion in revenue in 2020 and this strategic investment in the tourism industry will get main streets moving around the province. TIANS has been working with Minister Kousoulis and his team and they have moved decisively on this broad framework that supports all five sectors of the industry and addresses a number of areas that will foster growth and accelerate recovery.”
– Judy Saunders, board chair, Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS)

“The investments announced today will help operators with cash flow after a devastating year and encourage innovation to get people moving, foster the buy-local movement, extend the season and position Nova Scotia to aggressively compete with other destinations. The new marketing investment to increase our domestic campaigns in Ontario and Quebec are particularly strategic.”
– Glenn Squires, chair, TIANS Confidence & Incentive Committee, and co-owner, Digby Pines Resort

“The Hotel Association of Nova Scotia is pleased to hear about the upcoming supports to help restart tourism. While much work is left to do to help our industry recover, marketing in Atlantic Canada is a great start.”
– Megan Delaney, president, Hotel Association of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

— Nova Scotia routinely receives high marks from visitors; in 2019, 98 per cent of visitors said their Nova Scotia visit met or exceeded their expectations
— Nova Scotia’s tourism industry has implemented sector-reopening plans and enhanced cleaning protocols through the Clean It Right program to provide safe experiences for travellers
— prior to the pandemic, the tourism industry in Nova Scotia generated $2.6 billion in tourism revenues, supporting 40,000 jobs across every region of the province
— in 2019, travellers from outside Nova Scotia generated approximately $1.6 billion in tourism revenues and Nova Scotians generated about $1 billion
— Tourism Nova Scotia conducted a return on investment study of its 2020 Nova Scotia marketing campaign and found that every dollar spent on media buys generated $34 in tourism spending in the province

Additional Resources:


Media Contact: Gary Andrea
Inclusive Economic Growth
Cell: 902-456-6196
Email: Gary.Andrea@novascotia.ca

Zandra Alexander
Tourism Nova Scotia
Email: Zandra.alexander@novascotia.ca