Trumped up tourism
Should Nova Scotia tourism capitalize on the U.S. president’s unpopularity to attract more international visitors?
As Nova Scotia revels in a banner year for tourism in 2016, one that resulted in $2.6 billion in revenue, organizations like the U.S. Travel Association are saying President Trump’s controversial immigration policies and unpopularity outside America’s borders is resulting in tourists avoiding the U.S. as a vacation destination. But Darlene Grant Fiander, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, says the sector would be wise to avoid promoting the province as a safe haven for Trump-hating visitors in 2017 and beyond. “I don’t think we should go there,” she says. “That’s not how you want to market your destination. You do that by developing quality tourism products and experiences.”
It’s a fair point. Grant Fiander notes that any tourism marketing of Nova Scotia that focuses on President Trump could upset American residents who support him and result in them not visiting the province. That’s an issue because the Northeast U.S. is one of Nova Scotia’s largest international markets. After tourism revenues increased in 2016 compared to the $2.472 million generated in 2015, Grant Fiander says operators have work to do to reach the goal of generating $4 billion annually in tourism revenues identified in the Ivany Report.
A big piece in reaching that goal will be making Nova Scotia a year-round tourism destination, including developing winter tourism, rather than trying to cash in on any anti-Trump sentiment. “We need to extend the tourism season rather than focusing on market conditions we often have no control over,” Grant Fiander says.