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Eligibility and Listing Criteria

Tourism Nova Scotia Marketing Channels Eligibility and Listing Criteria

Tourism Nova Scotia works with tourism businesses and organizations to showcase the many things to see and do in Nova Scotia. Our marketing channels, including NovaScotia.com and the Doers & Dreamers Travel Guide, help visitors plan their vacations by connecting them to tourism products and services they may want to experience while visiting Nova Scotia.

In the Doers & Dreamers Guide, we offer free listings for accommodations and campgrounds, attractions, outdoor activities and tours, fine art, trails and select food and beverage businesses. Under special circumstances, events and experiences may be listed in the Doers & Dreamers Guide at our discretion if they are considered “Don’t Miss Events” or are experiences created through our World-class Experience EXCELLerator Program.

On NovaScotia.com, we offer free listings for accommodations and campgrounds, attractions, outdoor activities and tours, and select food and beverage businesses, as well as events, experiences and travel packages.

Eligibility for Business Listings in Doers & Dreamers Guide and on NovaScotia.com

Businesses that meet the following eligibility criteria may apply to be listed free of charge on NovaScotia.com and in the Doers & Dreamers Guide:

  • You must be open and operational prior to applying for a listing.
  • The business/service/activity you are promoting must meet all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws, regulations, by-laws and business requirements, including liability insurance. 
  • If not open year-round, the tourism business (excluding events & experiences) must be open to the public for a minimum of 4 days per week for 13 consecutive weeks between opening and closing.
    • Operations that are open by chance or by appointment generally are not able to serve visitor needs and will not be listed.
  • The operation must be in a single, fixed location or have defined and published meeting points (e.g. for tour companies).
  • You must be open to the general traveling public without restriction (e.g. a membership is not required to visit your tourism business).
  • You must provide customers with an easy way to find accurate information about your business, including location and operational details (i.e. a website, social media pages).
  • You must update your business listing at least once per calendar year.

Accommodations Requirements

  • Fixed-roof accommodations must register through the Tourist Accommodations Registry. This requirement applies to all fixed-roof accommodations, even those not required to register under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act.
  • Fixed-roof accommodations and campgrounds must report monthly occupancy data.  Occupancy data must be submitted to Tourism Nova Scotia within seven calendar days following the end of each month they are operating. See Accommodations Occupancy Reporting for more information.

Listing Requirements

Business listings must include complete and up-to-date information to help visitors plan their trip. Listings should also include a compelling description and images to help catch visitors’ attention. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information you submit is accurate and up to date.

Listings must include:

  • A link to your ratings on a peer review site (ie: TripAdvisor, Expedia, Google Business, Yelp, etc.)
  • Contact information including an address, phone number, and email
  • A written description of the services provided by the business
  • Open and close dates and times
  • A minimum of one, maximum of 10, horizontal images sized 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high
  • Accommodation listings must include rates, number of rooms, and available amenities

Tourism Nova Scotia also highly encourages you to include:

  • Video (must be uploaded to YouTube)
  • Link to your website
  • Link to your social media channel(s)
  • Link to online booking platform(s)
How to Apply for a Listing

Depending on the kind of listing you want to create, there are two ways to apply.

1) If you are applying for a business listing for your accommodation, campground, attraction, outdoor activity, tour, fine art, trail, food or beverage business, please complete the appropriate application form, available here.  Use of the business listing forms are subject to the Terms of Use.

2) If you are applying for a listing for your event, package, or experience, Login to Partner Portal. You will need to create a user account prior to applying for your first listing. Use of TNS’ Partner Portal is subject to the Terms of Use

Specific Listing Criteria by Category

Please note that some business types must meet specific requirements to be included in Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing channels. These requirements are outlined below.

Places to Stay

Tourism Nova Scotia promotes the following accommodation categories in its marketing channels:

  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Rooms
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Inns
  • Apartments & Houses
  • Cottages & Cabins
  • Resorts
  • Unusual Lodging (ie: boats, yurts)
  • Campgrounds

Mandatory Occupancy Reporting (Places to Stay)

Any accommodation or campground wishing to participate in Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing channels MUST submit occupancy reports to Tourism Nova Scotia monthly.  If an accommodation/campground does not report its occupancy data within seven calendar days following the end of each month they are operating, their listing will be deactivated on NovaScotia.com until Tourism Nova Scotia receives their required occupancy information.

More information about occupancy reporting is available at https://tourism.ca/research/accommodation-occupancy-reporting

Fixed-roof accommodations must register through the Tourist Accommodations Registry. This requirement applies to all fixed-roof accommodations, even those not required to register under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act.

Attractions

All tourism attractions must have planned visitor orientation and interpretation, provided by staff, a self-guided tour, interpretive signage, and/or interpretive literature/multi-media.  Categories of attractions include:

  • Gardens
  • Lighthouses
  • Museums & Historic Sites
  • UNESCO Sites
  • Artisans & Galleries
  • Theatres

Additional Criteria for Artisans & Galleries

  • Focus MUST be on local goods produced in and unique to Nova Scotia, with a visitor experience available other than shopping
  • The applicant must carry 100% Canadian craft and fine art with a minimum of 80% Nova Scotia-made product, craft or fine art (inventory can be made up of more than one Nova Scotia artist or craftsperson)
  • For home-based galleries and shops, the business must operate in a separate space away from living quarters with signage which promotes the primary focus of the space
  • Note: Restaurants / cafés / bakeries that display and sell works of local artists as décor in business do not qualify for this type of listing
  • The use of the wording “Open Studio” requires that the applicant has a working studio on premises and invites visitors into their studio to watch them work

Outdoor Activities & Tours

  • Parks (national, provincial, community, trails)
  • Whale watching
  • Hiking (hiking tours, trails)
  • Tidal Bore Rafting
  • Kayaking & canoeing (tours, equipment rental, places for activity)
  • Cycling (tours, equipment rental, places for activity)
  • Golf (golf courses, driving ranges, novelty golf)
  • Sightseeing Tours (walking Tours, Coach & Bus Tours)
  • Surf & Water Sports (tours & surf schools, equipment rental, places for activity)
  • Beaches (National, Provincial, Supervised, Public)
  • Boating & Sailing (boat tours, sailing charters, sailing instruction, marinas & yacht clubs)
  • Fossils (tours, places for activity)
  • Winter Activities (tours, equipment rental, places for activity)
  • Adventure activities (air adventures, horseback riding & rides, ziplining, ATV/4-wheeling)
  • Sport Fishing (tours, equipment rental, places for activity)

Eat & Drink

This category is intended to promote uniquely Nova Scotian culinary products and craft beverages to visitors to help motivate travel throughout Nova Scotia. Eligible attractions may include:

  • Restaurants
  • Wineries
  • Breweries
  • Cideries
  • Distilleries
  • Farmers' Markets
  • Specialty Food Shops
  • Food & Drink Tours

Additional Criteria:

  • Brew Pubs: Must be an eatery that brews beer on-site for tasting and purchase.
  • Craft Breweries / Cideries / Distilleries / Wineries: Must be actively brewing/distilling/producing on site and offer a walk-in storefront experience where visitors sample, purchase and/or participate in tours to learn about the products. 
  • Specialty Food Shops & Producers: Must be locally crafted, artisanal food items utilizing Nova Scotia products and ingredients, and offer a walk-in storefront experience where visitors sample, purchase and/or participate in tours to learn about the products. Products can range from artisan cheeses and chocolate to products using Nova Scotia fruits, meats, seafood, maple, etc.
  • Bakeries are generally not eligible as their core business is a local audience, but will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis 

NOTE: If purchasable tours are offered, there is further opportunity to list your tour within the packages/experiences section on NovaScotia.com

Events

(LISTED ON NOVASCOTIA.COM ONLY)

Tourism Nova Scotia lists events that are open to the general public, welcoming to visitors and have the potential to attract visitors to Nova Scotia.

Event categories include:

  • Don't Miss: Top events identified by Tourism Nova Scotia as having the ability to encourage visitors to choose to come to Nova Scotia
  • Arts & Culture: Events that involve artistic works, exhibits or performances and cultural activities
  • Community: Local cultural events that showcase and celebrate the community and are welcoming to visitors
  • Music: Any event that includes live music
  • Food & Drink: Themed events that focus on culinary experiences and offerings
  • Outdoor & Sports: Events that include outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, kayaking, motorcycling, and sporting events with public access for spectating

The top events of the year, may, at the sole discretion of Tourism Nova Scotia, be included in the “Don’t Miss Events” sections of the Doers & Dreamers Guide.

The following do not qualify for events on Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing channels:

  • Permanent attractions/exhibitions, displays, markets i.e. anything that runs all year round and/or does not have a fixed date
  • Community-targeted activities e.g. trivia nights, open mics, community fundraiser, yard sales, bake sales, coffee & tea socials, and recreational classes
  • Certain types of courses e.g. workshops, classes, demonstrations, and presentations that are not considered welcoming to visitors
  • Submissions with suggestive content

Experiences

(LISTED ON NOVASCOTIA.COM ONLY)

Experiences help set Nova Scotia apart and create memorable vacations that keep visitors coming back. An experience connects visitors to our culture, people, places, and flavours through hands-on activities.

Nova Scotia tourism operators may be eligible to list experiences for free on Tourism Nova Scotia marketing channels, such as NovaScotia.com if they meet the following criteria:

  • Include at least two of the following under one price point:
    • Transportation
    • Accommodations
    • Meals
    • Tickets to events or attractions
    • Guided tours
    • Activity or experience, such as music instruction, culinary or wine tasting, storytelling, painting, writing, photography, spa services, golf, etc.
  • Integrate a local element to showcase stories, flavours, people and/or places that are unique to Nova Scotia, the community or business, such as local culinary, music, storytellers, cultural activities, and/or special locations;
  • Be well-themed with a unique title that reflects the theme;
  • Engage the visitor through hands-on activities, where they learn something by doing something with someone who lives here;
  • Involve qualified guides and/or local experts to deliver a safe, quality experience;
  • Be available a minimum of four times throughout the year;
  • If offering more than one experience, each experience must have a unique title and photo.

All experiences featured as ‘Canadian Signature Experiences’ by Destination Canada are also eligible to be listed in the Experience Collection.

Tourism Nova Scotia reserves the right to remove experience listings that do not meet the above criteria and/or do not provide a quality visitor experience.
 

Travel Packages

(LISTED ON NOVASCOTIA.COM ONLY)

To qualify as a travel package on NovaScotia.com your package must include at least two of the following under one price point:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Meals
  • Tickets to events or attractions
  • Guided tours
  • Activity or experience, such as music instruction, culinary or wine tasting, storytelling, painting, writing, photography, spa services, golf, etc.

Please note: Travel packages may be posted for up to one year on NovaScotia.com. After one year, we will automatically remove the package unless you renew the listing.

Offering Multiple Travel Packages

Offering multiple packages gives potential visitors choices, and can help raise awareness of regional activities and encourage visitors to stay longer in your area.  If you are offering multiple packages, each package must meet the following criteria:
• Offer a unique pairing of transportation, accommodations, meals, tickets, tours or activities/experiences 
• Have a unique title
• Have a unique photo

NOTE: If you are creating packages with the same offering and multiple night options, this is considered one package and the details concerning pricing and number of nights should be listed in the conditions section.

Content Review Process
  • TNS will review and approve all submissions before listings are displayed.
  • You can submit a request for a business listing at any time throughout the year, although annual deadlines do apply for travel guide listings due to printing schedules. Deadlines for travel guide listings are announced in the summer through the inTouch newsletter.
  • Tourism Nova Scotia reviews content to ensure it meets applicable criteria and does not contain obvious errors (i.e. broken links, spelling, etc.). However, it is your responsibility to ensure that the information you submit is accurate and up to date.
  • Tourism Nova Scotia strives to review submitted content within 7 to 10 business days. However, during peak season it may take longer for submissions to be reviewed.
  • You will be notified by email if there are any issues with the content you have submitted.
Cause for Removal

Compliance with the outlined eligibility and listing criteria in no way guarantees a business listing in Tourism Nova Scotia Marketing Channels. Tourism Nova Scotia reserves the right to remove/reject submitted listings for any reason deemed fit. This could include, but is not limited to, the following reasons:

  • The listing does not contain mandatory content requirements
  • Non-compliance with Business Listing or Partner Portal Terms of Use
  • The content contains outdated or misleading information, or inappropriate copy or images
  • The business, artist or organization is no longer in operation
  • The accommodation/campground is not reporting occupancy data
  • The business, artist or organization does not maintain all applicable insurance, licenses, permits, approvals and statutory authorities issued by any government or government agency that are necessary to run the business
  • The business or organization is not in good standing with Tourism Nova Scotia

Please keep in mind that the criteria for Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing channels are designed to serve our out-of-region visitors. If you do not qualify for a Tourism Nova Scotia listing, you can contact your local or regional tourism associations to discuss other marketing opportunities.

Please contact our Digital Marketing Coordinator at novascotia@novascotia.ca if you have any questions about the criteria or application process to participate in our marketing channels.