New ad campaign takes tourists to rural Nova Scotia

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Dave Mathieson
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Brenda Merrill, travel councilor at the Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre at the Nova Scotia border, said traffic at the centre was a relatively busy on Thursday.

AMHERST – Sunshine, wind, water, friendship and freedom.

Those are the basic elements the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism is promoting in its 2013 tourism TV ad campaign.

Entitled ‘Take Yourself There,’ the campaign focuses on the great outdoors of Nova Scotia.

 “I liked that idea,” said Ken Adams, curator of the Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro. “It’s more of an open invitation to come visit the province.”

Adams says the ad campaign reflects the rural nature of Nova Scotia.

“Heritage sites and museums tend to be in rural communities,” said Adams. “A lot of our attractions are external to the Halifax Regional Municipality.”

The campaign was launched on Wednesday and will be featured in the United Kingdom, Germany and New England, with the heaviest rotation reserved for Ontario and, for the first time in three years, Quebec.

The Fundy Geological Museum had close to 20,000 visitors last year.

“We draw a fair number of Canadians and we also draw a fair number of Nova Scotians,” said Adams.

The museum opened in 1993 and Adams said they started off at nearly 40 per cent of their visitors from Nova Scotia, “and now we’re up to almost 60 per cent from Nova Scotia”

“The trend has been up and down but we’ve been able to hold our own, even though we’ve seen significantly less Americans for the last 10 years,” he added. “Looking at our U.S. trends, we were up over 5,400 U.S. visitors in 2000-2001, and last year we had about 1,000 from the U.S.”

Adams said they get roughly seven percent of their visitors from New Brunswick and 10 per cent from Newfoundland and PEI.

“We get three per cent from Quebec and another 10 per cent from Ontario,” said Adams. “The western provinces account another three or four per cent.”

He says many of the museums visitors are people who used to live in Nova Scotia or who have relatives living in Nova Scotia.

He also says the Fundy region is unique.

“We really look at not being an entity among ourselves here in Parrsboro,” said Adams. “We think of the whole coast as being an attraction, the landscape and scenery.

“We have a different part of the country here with a wide variety of geology, minerals and fossils and rock types,” he added. “It’s all part of our geological past, so we try to push that.”

Adams pointed out how the Parrsboro area used to be part of Africa and the Amherst area was part of a pre-Atlantic land mass and how they eventually joined together.

“We have lots of neat stuff in this part of the province,” said Adams.

The TV ads can be seen at:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLprZuph0CZC-bNrcj0Av1973C6v33Q6ZS

Organizations: Fundy Geological Museum, Nova Scotia Department of, Halifax Regional Municipality

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Parrsboro, AMHERST Ontario U.S. Quebec United Kingdom Germany New England New Brunswick Newfoundland Africa

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