Nova Scotia Tourism Agency Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Statement of Mandate

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1 Nova Scotia Tourism Agency Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Statement of Mandate

2 Message from the Minister and the CEO Tourism is a key economic driver for communities throughout Nova Scotia, playing a crucial role in the prosperity of our families and the sustainability of many of our rural communities. The Nova Scotia Tourism Agency (NSTA) will work with tourism partners, stakeholders and businesses to improve and grow our tourism industry. The NSTA was officially established in September 2012 to chart a new course for tourism that will allow Nova Scotia to meet the demands of this highly competitive global industry and become a must-see destination for international travellers. Together with our partners, we ve developed a long-term strategy for tourism to build the industry and grow Nova Scotia s reputation as a world-class destination. The NSTA is poised to pursue strategic, long-term opportunities that will benefit the entire province. In , the NSTA will continue to implement its long-term tourism strategy to attract more visitors to Nova Scotia by exploring partnerships, leveraging marketing investments, supporting infrastructure and access, and developing and promoting Nova Scotia s iconic locations and experiences including our festivals and events and beautiful scenery. The new cruise ferry connection between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine will also provide an exciting opportunity to reenergize marketing efforts in the Northeastern United States. We have all of the important elements for tourism growth in place, but it will take time and perseverance to see the results we are all working towards. Michel P. Samson Minister Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Patrick Sullivan CEO Nova Scotia Tourism Agency

3 Mandate The NSTA s mandate is to work with industry to increase the number of visitors to the province and encourage them to spend more and stay longer. This will lead to increased revenue and industry profitability for the benefit of all Nova Scotians. Vision We have created a collaborative way of doing business, resulting in a vibrant visitor economy with increasing revenues. This will be supported by a culture in which every Nova Scotian truly understands the value of tourism and their role in supporting it. Mission The NSTA is a collaborative partnership between government and industry, established to develop commitment and support for the business case to build a more profitable tourism economy for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.

4 Government Priorities Through its ongoing work, the NSTA supports prosperous businesses of all sizes - creating jobs across the province. Tourism in Nova Scotia is a $2 billion industry, supporting 24,000 jobs for Nova Scotians in every region of the province. It is a key source of pride, helping to support our families and local economies, and build communities throughout Nova Scotia. Tourism plays a particularly significant role in our rural economies, and residents depend on the industry for jobs and the generated revenue to keep their communities strong. The NSTA is a collaborative effort between government and industry, focused on developing a new, strategic approach to tourism in Nova Scotia. The new approach will stimulate economic growth in the tourism sector through product and industry development programs, research, investment, marketing, sales, and industry collaboration and partnerships. The NSTA s governance model will enable more strategic, entrepreneurial decision-making, guided by the long-term strategy and the advice of an advisory board. We will achieve our goals through five pillars for growth: 1. Leadership and Collaboration This is our opportunity to shift the mindset of the province to a more visitor-focused approach and to build pride in the value of the visitor economy. 2. Inspirational, strategic marketing We will implement a compelling Nova Scotia tourism brand and campaigns that create an emotional connection with potential visitors, differentiate Nova Scotia from its competitors, and align with the overall provincial brand. 3. Evidence-based decision-making Research will be at the core of all our strategic decision-making. We will capture and interpret marketing intelligence to invest in the best opportunities for the most profit and economic impact. 4. Higher-quality product and experiences To inspire and motivate new first-time visitors while meeting visitor expectations, we will raise the bar on the product and experience offering in Nova Scotia, and strategically invest to drive growth. 5. Improved access to Nova Scotia and throughout the province We will actively support initiatives to build access to the province that will bring new visitors to Nova Scotia through all modes of transportation and improve the visitor experience while travelling throughout the province. Through these strategic priorities, we will achieve our goal of a more vibrant, profitable industry that will bring more visitors and allow tourism businesses to thrive on the world stage. A more profitable industry will provide more good jobs and sustainable growth to support our provincial economy. In the NSTA will launch renewed marketing efforts in the Northeastern US to promote Nova Scotia to this key market. Increased promotion in the US will support the new ferry provider as well as encourage visitation through existing routes and transportation partners. Development will focus resources on enhancing the quality of products and experiences at iconic destinations that attract visitors from our high yield markets. Research will provide market intelligence and results on key market strengths and activity.

5 Outcome: The Nova Scotia brand resonates with our target audience and key markets. The NSTA is monitoring brand health in the key markets of Ontario, Quebec and New England/Mid-Atlantic United States. The index measures the awareness and appeal of Nova Scotia s tourism brand attributes over time. Post campaign surveys in Ontario and Quebec and New England/Maine will be conducted to measure overall brand health index and awareness and appeal of the brand pillars. The NSTA seeks to improve the overall index score, as well as awareness of individual brand pillars, in each of the key markets. To achieve this, the NSTA will continue to implement a compelling tourism brand and multi-year campaigns (Take yourself there) that resonate with leisure travellers from all key markets as well as develop and implement content and digital strategies, including a rebuild of novascotia.com, the NSTA s core marketing platform. Outcome: Marketing investments are research-based and strategic, maximizing ratio of visitor expenditures to advertising dollars spent. The NSTA will monitor the ratio of tourism revenues for visitors per advertising dollar spent. The Online Travel Intention and Conversion surveys administered to visitors of novascotia.com provide information on tourism intentions and revenues. Measurement of travel intentions for Ontario, Quebec and the US occur between February and September on novascotia.com, then conversion measurement is conducted in October/November providing information on how many followed through on their intention to visit Nova Scotia. Revenues attached to the visitation are divided by advertising expenditures to provide the ratio. The NSTA seeks to keep this measure as high as possible by developing detailed business cases and investment models for all key markets and continuing to implement strategic sales and marketing campaigns in those markets as resources permit.

6 Outcome: The collective progress of the NSTA and the tourism industry will be monitored. The NSTA s charter, launched in 2012, established a new strategic working relationship between government and industry while the long-term tourism strategy sets high-level targets for industry growth. Tourism activity depends on a variety of factors such as weather, economic conditions, exchange rates, etc. that are outside the control of the NSTA, and indeed the tourism industry. Regardless, the NSTA, through the five pillars of its long-term tourism strategy, seeks to attract more visitors to Nova Scotia and to encourage them to travel throughout the province, experiencing iconic attractions and staying in paid accommodations. The NSTA is working to advance these goals through in-province partnerships with industry, strategic sales and marketing initiatives in key markets, and programs and investments that improve the quality of Nova Scotia s iconic attractions, experiences and accommodations. The NSTA monitors and reports tourism indicators on behalf of industry and measures collective progress towards the high-level goals of the long-term tourism strategy. It is expected that overnight visitation will increase one per cent annually for the five years of the strategy. Accommodation statistics are a proxy for tourism activity in the regions of the Province. As such, one of the goals of the strategy was to minimally maintain room nights sold outside Halifax at 2012 levels. In 2013, we exceeded our goal and hope to maintain this performance in 2014.

7 In addition to overall visitation and accommodations, the NSTA is specifically monitoring and reporting on the performance of key markets during the peak leisure tourism season (from June to September) when most of its marketing investments and efforts are focussed. Our markets include primary markets of Ontario, Quebec, the Northeastern US, and secondary markets of the UK and Germany. In , the NSTA will continue to focus an integrated marketing campaign, Take yourself there, in these markets. This includes new investments in the Northeastern US market and working in collaboration with the new cruise ferry operator.

8 Appendix C Budget Context Chart Template The budget for the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency appears under the budget for Economic and Rural Development and Tourism in the department s Statement of Mandate.

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