Thursday, March 26, 2020
While we recognize that everyone’s attention is on the situation with COVID-19, we wanted to ensure our industry partners are aware of important information about changes to the eligibility criteria for participating in Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing and partnership programs.
Effective April 1, 2020 Tourism Nova Scotia is implementing new eligibility criteria for businesses who want to participate in a partnership program, list in the Doers & Dreamers Guide or on NovaScotia.com, or display brochures in provincial visitor information centres.
Almost 4 million people visit NovaScotia.com every year to help plan their vacations, and more than 100,000 copies of the Doers & Dreamers Guide are distributed to travellers. Participating in Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing channels is an opportunity to promote your business to travellers who are already considering a visit to the province.
As the provincial marketing organization, we look at how people travel and what they are looking for when they research a destination for their vacation. Our eligibility criteria help us provide the kind of information travellers need and expect when they are planning a trip.
What are the criteria for working with Tourism Nova Scotia?
Effective April 1, in order to participate in Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing and partnership programs, operators must:
- be open and operational prior to applying for a listing;
- meet all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws, regulations, by-laws and business requirements, including liability insurance;
- be open to the public for a minimum of 4 days per week for 13 consecutive weeks;
- provide a link to a customer reviews site, such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Google Business, etc.;
- accommodations must submit monthly accommodation occupancy reports;
- fixed-roof accommodation operators, including those operating within a primary residence, must be registered with the Tourist Accommodations Registry and provide a registration number. This requirement applies to all accommodations, even those not required to register under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act.
Business listings must be updated at least once per calendar year, and contain the required information such as a photo, contact information, and business description.
Find more information about eligibility criteria and business listing requirements.
Why are the criteria changing?
The Province of Nova Scotia has replaced the Tourist Accommodations Act, which required accommodations to be licensed, with the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act (TARA) and a simple online registry. More information about the regulations and registration process is available at https://novascotia.ca/touristaccommodation/
While all tourist accommodations need to register to be eligible to participate, during this time of uncertainty, the province is doing everything possible to reduce burden on businesses. While you will still be required to register, all registration fees for the 2020/21 operating year will be deferred until the 2021/22 operating year.
With new rules in place for fixed-roof accommodations, Tourism Nova Scotia took this opportunity to review our eligibility criteria for all business listings.
All fixed-roof accommodations are required to provide a tourist accommodation registration number in order to participate in Tourism Nova Scotia’s programs and marketing channels, even if you operate in your primary residence. If you operate a fixed-roof accommodation, you will be asked to provide a registration number for the Tourist Accommodation Registry the next time you update your business listing. Campgrounds are not required to provide a registration number, unless you also have a fixed-roof accommodation on your property, such as a cabin, cottage, or motel.
Quality Programs and Online Reviews
Tourism Nova Scotia no longer requires accommodations to participate in a quality accreditation program, such as Canada Select. If you choose to participate in a quality program, your rating can still be included in your business listing on NovaScotia.com and the Doers & Dreamers Guide.
All businesses are now required to provide a link to online customer reviews. The next time you update your business listing, you will be required to provide a link to a review site such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Booking.com, Yelp, or Google Business. You can add these to your listing at any time by emailing email@example.com
Research shows that consumer reviews are very important to travellers and inform travel decisions. Online reviews are now the benchmark used by travellers to assess quality. Providing reviews from customers helps build confidence in your business and can encourage bookings.
If you have questions about creating or updating your business listings, contact Stephanie Wadden, Digital Marketing Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.