Nova Scotia’s Plans to Double Tourism

Purchasers at Forest Lakes Country Club stand to benefit as the province unveils plans to attract thousands more tourists.

Last year, Nova Scotia announced an ambitious vision – to double tourism in the next 10 years. By 2024, the eastern Canadian province aims to double its tourism revenues from $2-billion to $4-billion.

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To do this, the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia has devised a number of “game changing” initiatives based around creating and promoting major cultural events and festivals.

The organization’s chairman, Glenn Squires, recently gave regional newspaper The Chronicle Herald the low down:

Nova Scotia’s tourism game changers

  • Create new events: When it opens this year, the new $500-million Nova Centre convention centre in downtown Halifax will be tasked with creating a program of conferences, festivals and events that will attract visitors year-round.
  • Establish marketing partnerships and tap new markets: Marketing initiatives will encourage thousands of American tourists to visit Nova Scotia via the recently reinstated Nova Star ferry, which runs between Maine and Nova Scotia. The ferry has been subsidized by the local government and these plans aim to provide a return for taxpayers as well as contributing to the overall tourism strategy.
  • Extend the tourism seasons: Joint marketing initiatives built around existing successful events such as the Celtic Colours music festival in October, and the Wharf Rat Motorcycle Rally in September will aim to bring thousands of extra visitors in the fall, extending the tourism season beyond the traditional busy months.
  • Improve air access: More airlines will be incentivized to serve the international airport in Halifax to make it easier for international tourists to visit for cultural events. This is expected to have a knock on effect for the cruise industry by making it more convenient to begin and end voyages in Halifax. It is estimated that an extra $3-million spent annually on new airline incentives would have an economic impact of $428 million.

All these initiatives are designed to make much more of something Nova Scotia already does well; creating and hosting imaginative and highly entertaining cultural events.

These include Celtic Colours, which turns the whole of Cape Breton into a stunning musical stage; the world’s largest indoor annual show Halifax International Tattoo; and the Stan Rogers Folk Festival, an international festival of songwriters.

Forest Lakes Country Club

According to The Chronicle Herald, the tourism plan is credible: “Co-ordinating spending by festivals like Celtic Colours with tourism spending by the province and the ferry is a good example of smarter marketing to a target market,” it says.

Other tourism initiatives designed to target ‘higher yielding’ tourists (those that stay longer and spend more) from key markets like the UK, are already having a positive effect.

Nova Scotia’s 2014 peak tourism season saw the largest increase in room nights sold in one year since 2002, and a 5% increase in accommodation revenues, generating $285-million ($13-million more than in 2013). There was a 7% increase in international air visitors.

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Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson said: “We made a concerted effort this year (2014) through the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency to target key markets that held the most potential for tourism growth. The numbers are positive proof that our efforts have real impact.”

According to Ailse McFarlane, MD of real estate investment specialist Landcorp International, the concerted drive to double tourism is excellent news for buyers at Forest Lakes Country Club.

The luxury resort, currently under construction just outside of Halifax, stands to benefit enormously, she says: “Forest Lakes will be the area’s first premium leisure and residential resort, including a five-star boutique hotel and spa, as well as a vast range of leisure facilities like an 18-hole Nicklaus Design golf course. With these efforts to attract tourists the development looks set to become a major resort.

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“It means that those investors who choose to keep their plots and build property at Forest Lakes will have strong demand whether they decide to sell it on or keep it and make it available for holiday rental.”

To assist owners who wish to rent their properties, Forest Lakes is working with Pacrim Hospitality, one of Canada’s largest hotel management groups, which also manages the Nova Star Ferry. Pacrim will provide marketing, reservation and property management services for property owners.

To find out more about investing in Canada, including Nova Scotia’s economic prospects and the state of the housing market, request our Canada Investment Guide. For further details about Forest Lakes Country Club, click here or request a brochure.

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