News release

Province Appoints Southwest Tourism Team, Searches for Ferry Operator

A team of local community, tourism and business leaders will work to improve and promote the tourism experience in southwestern Nova Scotia.

The province is also renewing efforts to find an operator to run a ferry service in Yarmouth and will work closely with the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership in this search.

"People in southwestern Nova Scotia want a growing economy, a thriving tourism industry and a ferry they can count on," said Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. "We want this too, and are working hard to do it through strategic efforts such as improving the tourism experience, our new search for a ferry operator and the business development plan for the Yarmouth airport."

Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood is chairing the tourism team. The team will begin work immediately, and continue until the end of August 2014.

"Those of us who live here, and those who visit, know what an amazing place it is," said Mayor Mood. "The team is committed to highlighting and enhancing those things that make our part of the world so special, and we're excited to do all we can to attract new visitors. We now have the resources to do just that. There's a whole world out there that deserves to experience southwestern Nova Scotia."

The ferry panel advised that making the tourism experience even more attractive is key for a successful ferry service. The province is providing $1 million to the team to do just that, and market Nova Scotia in the northeastern United States.

Joining Mayor Mood are:

  • Suzy Atwood, manager, Shelburne County Tourism
  • Irene d'Entremont, president of ITG Information Management Inc., vice-chair of the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency board of directors, and member of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy
  • Jeanette Joudrey, executive director of Destination South West
  • Larry Peach, director of tourism, Municipality of Clare and manager of Rendez-vous de la Baie
  • Paul Stackhouse, co-owner/operator of Hillsdale House Inn in Annapolis Royal and member of the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency's board of directors
  • Julie Walters, general manager, Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association Destination South West, a regional tourism association, will provide administrative support to the team.

The new process to recruit a qualified ferry operator is targeting a 2014 start date, as recommended by the expert ferry panel. The process is flexible and allows the province to approach and communicate with companies.

The province is issuing an outline of the opportunity and criteria, and will work closely with the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership, based in Yarmouth. The partnership will help promote the opportunity, help assess if companies qualify, and act as a local contact.

"We welcome this approach by the province," said Keith Condon, chair, Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership. "We are committed to ensuring the message gets out to the international ferry community, and to working with the province to attract the best possible operator to this important international transportation link."

The criteria includes financial stability, expertise in running successful ferry services and tourism and marketing experience. The target deadline is June 20. The province continues to offer up to $21 million over seven years if conditions are met.

The document outlining the opportunity is available at http://novascotia.ca/econ/publications/.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Southwestern Nova Scotia will become even more attractive to tourists over the coming year.

The province is also renewing efforts to find an operator to run a ferry service in Yarmouth and will work closely with the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership in this search.

A team of local community, tourism and business leaders will work to improve and promote the tourism experience in the region.

Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris says people in southwestern Nova Scotia want a growing economy, a thriving tourism industry and a ferry they can count on. And the province wants that, too.

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Media Contact:

Tina Thibeau
Economic and Rural Development and Tourism 902-424-5836 E-mail: