• There is a market for the Yarmouth ferry but it is not Nova Scotians..Historically Canadians (including Nova Scotians have accounted for less than10% of tourism traffic on Portland to Yarmouth ferries. The market is among the 100 million or so people living on the eastern seaboard of the United States who have the time and the money to take the new ferry (perhaps retired baby boomers ) and want to travel by car or by motorcycle or by coach or by motorhome and so have no interest in flying.They want to travel to a foreign country where English is spoken and to a place that is beautiful, safe,uncrowded and not too hot in the summertime unlike where they live. Nova Scotia and that ferry are ideally suited to that market and it is certainly large enough to fill that boat many times over.Whether or not there is the marketing savvy to capture it remains to be seen.

    Allan Rodger | June 16, 2014 | Reply

  • Some things to consider…Every fifteen years or so the govt through an independent commission or whatever states that they would like to double tourism….the last time was in 2004 for tourism to double by 2010..these stated objectives mean nothing..also tourism spending can increase simply by have visitors who stay longer or spend more rather than by increasing the numbers of visitors. ..Obviously “extra muros” tourism spending is like an export and is very valuable..particularly when we note that the number of Americans visiting Nova Scotia overland is less now than 60 yrs ago…and there continues to be a long term decline of visitation to NS from markets outside outside the Maritimes.There remains a constant long term decline despite high recommendations by The Lonely Planet,Fodor’s etc..The cruise ship business is growing but as a percentage of overall tourism spending it is negligible ..I believe about 3 % and spending is primarily in urban areas rather than rural areas where tourism spending could be valuable as a rural development tool.. And with respect to Nova Scotians staying and travelling in their own Province it is better than nothing. And the NS Minister of Tourism stating several weeks ago admonishing Nova Scotians to “use it or lose it ” regarding the new Yarmouth ferry (thereby encouraging us to vacation outside of Nova Scotia) is not helpful

    Allan Rodger | June 15, 2014 | Reply

  • Tourism in NS is a real cash grab for government . They collect commercial taxes on hundred of properties ;they collect sales taxes on accomodations and dining and gas etc . Now they want to add a room tax under the guise it will generate millions for marketing . Trouble is it is the accommodations owners who increase their price to collect the tax but then ,based on the current processes , these same owners are excluded when it comes to being able to access that marketing money or even have a vote on how it was spent. In many cases the room tax money goes to groups that may call themselves an association , but through a loophole in NS law , you can be an association but not have any voting members or any elections . This then by default means all these millions in room tax by pas any public procurement process and oversight . Less than 50% of rooms sold in any year are now sold from our rural and coastal locations . The numbers of Ma and Pa small businesses keeps declining and hardly any municipality is paying attention let alone the province . Add to that the increasing numbers of unlicensed and underground rentals and you have perfect storm, a terrible investment climate, and no incentives to improve let alone add product . We are a province where you have to drive every where now . You can’t get a bus or trail at the airport to go anywhere .
    There hasn’t been a real good survey of business owners in the last 15 years . Government changes policies and the financial models over and over without talking to the business owners.
    They held meetings a few years ago to come up with a strategy but never even told the owner what was the inout of all their meetings yet they went and created a whole new crown corporation to carry out the new strategy. Numbers wise , if you look back to 2000, you’ll see a lot of declines more than inclines in numbers. Now compare us to Newfoundland and Ireland. SO , this shows us it is not the cost to get here that is the problem if Newfoundland and Ireland are doing much better than us .

    ps | June 14, 2014 | Reply

  • The mythology of a tourism industry in Nova Scotia is highly over hyped if not a complete fraud. Recently the BBC world service reported that Disney Theme parks had their best year in 2013 with a 3.5 billion dollar gross income and a 600 million dollar plus profit. Thiswas earned from 12 theme parks that topped then list of op attended theme parks globally selling food , lodging , park admission and that amounting to over 90 million visitors also buying the most beloved family entertainment brand products in the world at these parks. The numbers of arrivals being counted at the Stanfield international airport do those exclude the airline commuting by Nova Scotians having to work in Western Canada ? This tourism lobby has shaped policy in this province with false propaganda and a fantasy sold to the politicians . If the real value of tourists is more then 100 million dollar it contradicts what Disney did in their best year for their theme parks located in China , Japan, California , Florida and France . Thecombined catchment areas of those theme parks are about 500 million people minimum within 1000 miles of those locations. If there was indeed a 2 billion dollar annual ttourism dramto Nova Scotia surely Disney would have bought Upper Clements Theme park as opposed to a Hong Kong Family buying their citizenship into Canada .

    paul taylor | June 13, 2014 | Reply