Tourism Destination Areas

Critical Elements

Tourism Destination Areas have 10 critical elements. Those elements are listed below along with measurements for each. The critical elements are designed to identify targets to aim for as you work towards becoming a Tourism Destination Area.

Do You Have a Competitive Advantage?

A tourism destination area must possess a competitive advantage over other destinations, something recognizable by visitors as a unique or appealing asset. This competitive edge affords the potential to draw new, significant visitor traffic to an area. Measurements:

  • Destination has unique products/services/ experiences authentic to Nova Scotia
  • Destination has name/ image recognition beyond Nova Scotia
  • Destination considered as must-see or must-do location
  • Destination has seacoast proximity plus rich history/culture/outdoor experiences
  • Destination respects heritage preservation: bylaws in place for building/site protection
  • Destination provides authentic experiences indigenous and reflective of Nova Scotia    

Do You Have Leadership?

Enhancement of an area's existing tourism infrastructure requires community support. Tourism industry operators and municipalities can play an integral leadership role in strategic tourism development. Measurements:

  • Support within the community for enhancing the area's existing tourism infrastructure
  • Proactive industry leaders with positive, tourismfocused attitudes
  • Municipal support focused on tourism priorities
  • Organizational support: i.e. Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade, etc.
  • Identified in regional strategic plans
  • Destination invests in managing and promoting tourism
  • Continuity and strength of leadership
  • Participated in the Sustainable Tourism Communities program

Do You Have Tourism Infrastructure?

Capacity of existing tourism infrastructure must be identified and defined. Measurements:

  • Minimum 200 rooms (50 percent of which are Canada Select-rated 3 star or higher)
  • Small-to-medium size meetings and convention-type facilities (e.g. convention center, community centers, halls, etc.)
  • A number of restaurant and dining facilities offering quality dining experiences in a variety of price ranges
  • Cluster of diverse attractions and activities reflective of the communities' uniqueness (e.g. museums, festivals, tours, outdoor adventure, etc.)

Do You Have Marketability?

Ideally, this element involves recognized branding of destinations national/international significance. Measurements:

  • A specific designation by recognized national/international body
  • Critical acclaim/award for area attractions, accommodations, dining facilities
  • Positive presence/recognition in key international travel guides
  • Marketability solidly supports Nova Scotia branding, and reflects location/ access/seacoast connection
  • Development and integration of a destination brand

Do You Have a Strategic Plan?

This element focuses on a collective commitment to invest in tourism development, marketing, research, human resources, and partnerships. Measurements:

  • Strategic tourism plan in place
  • Destination marketing plan in place
  • Research mechanisms in place to capture visitor information
  • Strategy to address increased shoulder season or winter visitation

Do You Have Seasonal Capacity?

This element focuses on: sufficient capacity to service visitors on a year round basis. Measurements:

  • 50% of accommodations open year round
  • 50% of restaurants open year round
  • 50% of attractions open year round
  • Variety of seasonal activities
  • Year-round workforce available

Are You Ready to do Business with Travel Trade?

This element is focused on the potential to develop packages that extend the season and diversify the product offering, by maximizing partnerships with the travel trade. Measurements:

  • Destination included in travel trade itineraries and packages
  • Ability to develop experiential packages
  • Destination is recognized by inbound tour operators

Do You Have Sustainable Tourism Practices?

This element is focused on: meeting the needs of present tourists, while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future; on managing all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. Measurements:

  • Identified carrying capacity for destination
  • Provides coastal access and preservation of coastal assets
  • Established land use bylaws
  • Residents of the community recognize and support tourism business activity and subsequent growth
  • Plans in place for the use and conservation of natural resources

Do You Have Support Services Infrastructure?

Visitor amenities, services and infrastructure. Measurements:

  • Clean, well maintained public washroom facilities
  • Adequate visitor parking (for various vehicle types)
  • Major tourist transportation routes to downtown/ destination core have adquate directional signage
  • Well-maintained road surfaces
  • Attractively maintained public spaces
  • Tourist traffic congestion and way-finding problems are addressed
  • Supportive legislation/regulations
  • Water treatment/sewage infrastructure in place

Do You Have Visitor Support Services?

A tourism destination area consistently offers highquality, visitor support facilities and services in response to market demand. Measurements:

  • Has an easily accessed Visitor Information Center or information kiosks
  • Tourism literature and destination website developed
  • Designated SuperHost Community (60% serviceorientated businesses trained in SuperHost service excellence)
  • Has public Internet access within the community