Tourism Marketing Focuses Online

Tourism, Culture and Heritage (To Jan. 7)

April 24, 2007 11:17 AM

Nova Scotia is taking its online tourism marketing to a new level with innovative new tools such as Google Earth Nova Scotia to reach the 70 per cent of tourists who use the Internet for travel planning.

The 2007 tourism marketing campaign was launched at Stanfield International Airport today, April 24. The location reflected the province's new tourism plan that includes a gateway strategy with an increased focus on markets that have direct air access to Nova Scotia.

The plan, New Realities, New Directions, was introduced in December. It also includes a courtship strategy that drives customers to novascotia.com for engaging samples of unique Nova Scotia experiences, as well as a strategy to continue developing those experiences to build the province's tourism brand.

"Since most of our potential visitors are shopping for Nova Scotia information online, we're putting ourselves right in front of them on popular websites and making it easier to buy Nova Scotia experiences online," said Len Goucher, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. "Nova Scotians don't get to see the entire scope of our marketing in target markets, so were proud to share this campaign and show the full extent of what we do to promote Nova Scotia as a vacation destination."

The tourism plan was developed through the industry-led Tourism Partnership Council.

"The new tourism plan and this marketing campaign are very much a reflection of our industry's knowledge of, and experience with, today's traveler," said Chris Millier, council chair. "This is the direction we need to take to ensure Nova Scotia businesses continue to grow in today's highly competitive global tourism industry."

The marketing campaign delivers the customer courtship component of the tourism plan. This component is summed up in three words: lure, sample, buy.

A wide variety of advertising will lure potential visitors to novascotia.com. Examples of print advertising include The Globe and Mail, New York Times, National Geographic, Canadian Living, Smithsonian, and Food and Wine. Ads will appear on many of these publications' websites, as well as on Google and Google Canada, AOL, Canoe and Yahoo. Television ads are airing in Atlantic Canada -- Nova Scotia's largest market -- from May to October. They will also air in Ontario, Calgary and the northeastern United States early in the season.

Once lured to the website, potential visitors will sample unique Nova Scotia experiences and can book vacation packages online. There are 17 video vignettes, grouped by core experience, on the website. They are accessible from the home page and give visitors enticing samples of Nova Scotia, from Celtic music and wine and cuisine, to motorcycling and surfing. More vignettes will be added.

Potential visitors can also explore these experiences through Google Earth Nova Scotia. The province is among the first to use the technology as a tourism marketing tool. Visitors to novascotia.com can download data placing more than 100 Nova Scotia experiences, represented by tartan dots, across the province. By clicking on the dots, people can learn about cycling the Cabot Trail, touring vineyards in the Annapolis Valley, seeing Bluenose II in its home port of Lunenburg, and more. Seventeen of the locators link to corresponding vignettes on the website.

Potential visitors can also sample Nova Scotia experiences through promotional events in target markets. The department will run an event with a kitchen party theme in Ottawa, featuring the core experiences of cuisine, music and culture. The department will also kick off the Parks Arts summer concert series and promote Nova Scotia's genealogical connections in Boston.

The department has seven consumer trade shows on its schedule, including SaltScapes from April 27 to 29 in Halifax. It has also participated in a wide variety of travel trade shows selling Nova Scotia as a destination to tour operators. Staff are working aggressively to ensure travel media publish free editorial information promoting Nova Scotia.

The department will monitor the season through industry partners and its comprehensive system for reporting tourism statistics. The system includes counting overnight visitors -- excluding Nova Scotia residents -- at all entry points to the province and gathering the number of room nights sold from licensed accommodation operators.

Detailed tourism statistics are posted regularly on the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc/pubs/insights .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotia is taking its online tourism marketing to a new

level with innovative new tools such as Google Earth Nova Scotia

to reach the 70 per cent of tourists who use the Internet for

travel planning.

     Tourism Culture and Heritage Minister Len Goucher says most

potential visitors are shopping for Nova Scotia information

online, so the campaign puts the province right in front of them

on popular websites and makes it easier to buy Nova Scotia

experiences online.

     Visitors to Nova Scotia dot com can sample unique Nova

Scotia experiences through 17 video vignettes on Celtic music,

wine and cuisine, motorcycling, surfing and more.

     They can also explore more than 100 experiences by

downloading Nova Scotia data onto Google Earth.

     The campaign includes other advertising, consumer trade

shows, and work with travel media and tour operators to promote

the province.

     The 2007 tourism marketing campaign was launched at

Stanfield International Airport today (April 24th) to reflect the

province's increased focus on gateway markets that have direct

air access to Nova Scotia.

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Media Contact: Adèle Poirier
              Tourism, Culture and Heritage
              902-424-4819
              E-mail: poiriea@gov.ns.ca