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Dining on the Ocean Floor, Burntcoat Head Park, Nova Scotia

Tourism Nova Scotia Program Wins National Innovation Award

November 21, 2019

A Tourism Nova Scotia program, that partners with industry to develop new tourism experiences to attract visitors to the province, has been recognized nationally for excellence and innovation.

The World-Class Experience EXCELLerator Program has been selected as the winner for the Tourism Innovation Award at this year's Canadian Tourism Awards, presented by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

The awards are widely considered the standard of excellence for businesses and organizations in the travel industry, showcasing the nation's best tourism products, services and experiences.

"It's clear the EXCELLerator Program has made Tourism Nova Scotia an industry leader in experience development," said Geoff MacLellan, Minister responsible for Tourism Nova Scotia. "I would like to extend my congratulations to the Tourism Nova Scotia team and its partners who are both innovating and growing Nova Scotia's tourism industry."

Through the program, businesses work to create new packaged experiences at an accelerated pace. Tourism Nova Scotia provides research and coaches partners as they design and develop their experiences. The experiences are captured through photography and video and are used to promote the experiences to potential visitors.

Since 2016, the program has brought 26 new tourism experiences to market in partnership with over 65 businesses. Nine experiences are currently in development and are scheduled to launch in 2020.

"We're thrilled to be recognized at a national level through the Canadian Tourism Awards. This award proves that our hard work and strategic focus have pushed Tourism Nova Scotia to the forefront of the Canadian tourism industry. Of course, the program wouldn't be possible without our dynamic partners who are motivated to grow their businesses and the tourism industry here in Nova Scotia and we share this honour with them."
     - Michele Saran, CEO, Tourism Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • a focus on world-class experiences is one of four pillars in Tourism Nova Scotia's strategy, Driving Export Revenue
  • on average, 49 per cent of people who purchased a packaged experience through the program reported being a first-time visitor to Nova Scotia
  • packaged experiences, LaHave Islands Glamping Adventure and Dining on the Ocean Floor, reported more than 80 per cent of people who purchased it were visiting Nova Scotia for the first time
  • EXCELLerator Program video and photos have been used extensively by regional marketing organizations, Destination Canada and in international media partnerships
  • EXCELLerator experiences have also been featured in CNN, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Travel + Leisure, the Boston Globe, the Globe and Mail, The Guardian (UK) and many other outlets, increasing Nova Scotia's profile around the world

Additional Resources:
To learn more about the program, visit:

To read Tourism Nova Scotia's strategic plan, go to:

For more information about the Canadian Tourism Awards, visit:


Media Contact: Zandra Alexander