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Compelling Tourism Communities Initiative

The Compelling Tourism Communities Initiative will help local leaders throughout the province further understand what inspires people to visit and spend time and money in their communities. Programming will include market research, advertising, support for community visitor information centres, website development, and digital marketing training.

In 2022-23, we are piloting new resources, programs and activities to help more Nova Scotia communities grow tourism. Learnings and feedback from partners will help inform programming for future years. We will be working with communities and tourism organizations in all regions of the province.

Click on the columns below to learn more about the programs and activities included in this initiative.


Voice of the Visitor Survey Program - This is an opportunity to work with our research team to gain insights about visitors’ perspectives on topics that are important to your business or organization. Tourism Nova Scotia and our market research partner will help you craft questions to effectively derive the feedback you are seeking, administer the survey, and provide you with a report that analyzes results for your questions. Eligible tourism businesses, organizations, and government partners can apply online to participate in an upcoming survey at no cost.

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Surveys/focus groups – In spring 2022, Tourism Nova Scotia engaged with Nova Scotians and visitors to deepen our understanding of Nova Scotia’s unique strengths as a vacation destination, digging into the regions. This research is helping to inform programs and activities and will be shared with our program partners. If you’re interested in learning more about the research findings, please contact Richard Foot, Research Manager at

Accommodation Needs Assessment Update – Tourism Nova Scotia is working with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to update the 2017 Tourism Accommodation Needs Assessment. The project will provide current data that will allow communities, accommodations operators, investors, and tourism businesses to inform their business decisions. Updates will be shared when the research is complete. 

Community Destination Development

Compelling Tourism Communities Toolkit – Tourism Nova Scotia is developing the Compelling Tourism Communities Toolkit to help communities identify their competitive strengths and position their most unique and compelling businesses, products, and experiences to entice travellers to stay longer and spend more in their communities. The toolkit will include a collection of tip sheets and work sheets and will launch in spring 2023.

Compelling Tourism Communities: Emerging Winter Destination Pilot – Tourism Nova Scotia will work with up to four partners through this pilot program to help position their community’s most compelling winter tourism products, such as attractions, food and drink, events, accommodations, packages and/or experiences, and increase awareness with potential travellers. Partners will be using Tourism Nova Scotia’s new tools and resources and provide feedback to help inform future programs and the new toolkit for communities. 

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Digital Adoption

Tourism Digital Assistance Pilot Program for Communities – Eligible communities can receive up to $15,000 in services from qualified digital consultants to help overcome gaps in their digital marketing and online services to better promote their tourism products and attract travellers. Eligible activities include website design, search engine optimization, digital marketing strategy, social media management, content development, and website analytics.

This pilot program builds on the successful Tourism Digital Assistance Program for businesses and will also be delivered in partnership with Digital Nova Scotia. There is no cost to participate.

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Marketing Upgrades – Nova Scotia’s official trip planning website received more than 12 million views in the first half of 2022. Tourism Nova Scotia is conducting a comprehensive review and update of content on the site featuring more than 40 communities throughout the province. We will be using community pages, stories, itineraries, and imagery to highlight each community’s most compelling tourism experiences to inspire people to visit.

Compelling Tourism Communities Advertising Pilot Program – We will be augmenting our core campaigns with additional digital video, social media, and online ads to highlight compelling products to motivate travel throughout the province this fall and winter. Fall ads are launching September 26 and feature Cape Breton Fall colours, wineries throughout the province, cozy accommodations throughout the province and family harvest experiences. We will also have ads running featuring winter experiences. We are working closely with local leaders and will use learnings and feedback to determine advertising programming for future years.

Compelling Tourism Communities Content Creation Pilot Program – Following a review of existing content in our database, Tourism Nova Scotia identified gaps in our content and opportunities to use current content to create new videos to showcase communities and products. Content shoots are scheduled for Sydney and the Eastern Shore. New videos will be created for two communities in each region of the province this year, and four product types. We will share information with industry partners as projects move ahead. Content will be available to industry partners through our photo and video library.

Digital Content Marketing Program – Through the Digital Content Marketing Program, TNS co-invests with partners to capture photos/videos or deliver custom digital marketing campaigns. We identified 13 partners within this year’s Digital Content Marketing Program who could work with us to create content to fill gaps or run digital ads to highlight communities and products that support local tourism.  

Travel Media – Tourism Nova Scotia augmented our travel media activities for 2022-23 to include a "Do More in Nova Scotia Road Trip" to engage travel writers to explore specific communities and areas of the province and feature products and places identified as attracting visitors. Media visits are taking place in September and October. Tourism Nova Scotia is also implementing editorial partnerships in our key markets to showcase specific communities and Nova Scotia’s compelling products and experiences.

Visitor Services

Tourism Nova Scotia works with the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce, and Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores to provide funding to 50+ community visitor information centres throughout the province. Through the Compelling Tourism Communities Initiative we provided additional funding to these community visitor information centres to help extend their operating season into the fall, improve infrastructure, and upgrade digital technology to enable sharing of content to promote local products and experiences.