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Lunenburg waterfront, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Lobster Crawl Campaign Catches Media Attention for Winter Tourism Experiences

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tourism Nova Scotia’s media relations team caught national and international media attention with a campaign to promote winter tourism in partnership with the South Shore Tourism Cooperative. The hook? Lobster.

Expanding the tourism season is a key opportunity to drive sustainable growth for our industry. We need to give people reasons to visit Nova Scotia outside of the peak tourism months. And, according to our 2017 Visitor Exit Survey, 45% of pleasure visitors eat lobster during their trip to Nova Scotia. These crustaceans pack major appeal to our target market.

The lobster fishing season on the South Shore takes place from the end of November to May, outside of the peak season. The South Shore Tourism Cooperative created the Lobster Crawl to pay homage to Nova Scotia’s most famous delicacy and draw winter visitors to the region with a savory celebration of lobster-themed experiences and tastings.  In February, visitors can “crawl” along the Atlantic coast from Barrington, the Lobster Capital of Canada, to Peggy’s Cove to taste a variety of dishes from lobster thermidor to lobster mac n’ cheese, tour a lobster pound, attend a lobster 101 class, sample lobster-infused ale beer, and much more.

With a weather predicting lobster, lobster roll challenge, and unique-to-Nova Scotia experiences, our media relations team saw a story that media could easily sink their teeth into. Working with the South Shore Tourism Co-operative, we developed a media campaign to help create awareness of Nova Scotia as a winter destination, especially for those particularly fond of fresh seafood.

We organized small, intimate press trips for select media from our target markets to participate in the festivities and serve as judges for the lobster roll competition. In 2018, we hosted four media representatives from Canada and the UK, and in 2019 we focused on media from the Northeastern US, where travellers can access year-round direct flights to Halifax. Media included:

  • Cailin O’Neil, Travel Yourself
  • Renee Suen, EliteGen
  • Jennifer Allford,
  • Niamh Sheilds, Eats Like A Girl
  • Kristy Alpert, Fodor’s Travel
  • Shannon Shipman, Sunny Coastlines
  • Tess Falotico, Fathom
  • Maya Stanton, Budget Travel

We also issued a news release to US media outlets announcing the 2019 Lobster Crawl, which resulted in some great coverage in outlets such as North Shore Magazine, The Boston Globe and SmarterTravel.

Overall, the Lobster Crawl media campaign generated a circulation of 1.8 million in 2018, and 26.8 million in 2019. The media campaign was acknowledged with the Explore Canada Industry Award of Excellence at the GoMedia conference on August 13.

Participating businesses who responded to a 2019 survey conducted by the South Shore Tourism Co-operative said they saw an increase in new customers, sales and room nights sold in February compared to previous years. Some also expanded their operating hours during the festival.

This campaign is a great example of how Tourism Nova Scotia works with regional organizations to raise awareness of Nova Scotia as a vacation destination.

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