Posted by: tourismvc | May 20, 2010

Experience Nova Scotia – PD Day & Toolkit

Cam, our Instructor, Concordia

Nova Scotia 2010 Product Development Day at Oak Island was all about experiences.  The first session involved the audience splitting into four groups.  A hands on experience followed involving  sessions with ropes, making crafts, making chocolates and music – singing a song.  I was in the group with ropes who made a key chain with a cross knot.  The real surprise was our instructor, CAM, who was on the Concordia Tall Ship when it sank.  After we completed task of making a key chain, Cam told us of her experience – when the ship sanked,  getting on lifeboats, the rescue and talking to her parents. She was incredible and amazing storyteller for 16 years old and had us in suspense the whole time. A very touching story for many of us with some shedding a few tears of the whole ordeal… 

Experience Nova Scotia- A Toolkit

The Experience Nova Scotia – A Toolkit was launched on NS Product Development Day. This toolkit is a practical resource for the travel industry in helping them put together unique and new experiences for our visitors. The publication is broken down into seven sections with eight worksheets. The sections include 1)What’s the situation ?, 2) Who wants a Nova Scotia experience?, 3) Living the Brand, 4) Assessing your experience opportunities, 5) Developing experiences, 6) Tools of Engagement, and 7) Evaluation. 

Other presentations that day included a) Experience PEI – Bill Kendrick,  b) Effective Promotional Writing – Margaret MacQuarrie, c) Maximizing – Michelle Sears,  and d) Media Communications 101 by Pam Wamback. 

 Below are some pictures of this special day of experiences.  

Posted by: tourismvc | May 14, 2010

The Experience Economy


Dr. Frederic Dimanche - Experience Economy

The 4th Annual Nova Scotia Tourism Research Forum at Oak Island Resort & Spa attracted the largest number of delegates to date. Almost 100 people attended this one day tourism research forum.  The keynote presenter, Dr. Frederic Dimanche, SKEMA Business School, France and Visiting Professor, UNB, did not disappoint and delivered a timely presentation on “Understanding Tourist Motivations and their Quest for Experiences.”   

Dr. Dimanche highlighted the experience economy and how visitors are looking for something special and unique in their vacation experience. He presented engaging the five senses and about making it a memorable experience for the visitor.

Other presenters were Ms. Lee Ann Crouse, NS Tourim – Research Division on the  2010 Situational Analysis, NS Tourism Industry,  and Mr. Michel Dubreuil, CTC, presentation on  Canadian Travel Domestic Outlook.  The research forum ended with an overview by Tom McGuire on the new economic impact model for tourism industry & festivals & events to be launch later this summer. It looks like it will be a very useful tool for the industy.

Posted by: tourismvc | May 13, 2010

Tracking & Measuring Video Results with youtube

youtube is providing ways to track and measure results of your video.  You can also advertise your video and use the keyword tool. Unfortunately ads are only available in US right now. Non-US users can use google adwords to create a Promoted Video Ad.

In the past, would only provide the number of channel & upload views and subscribers.  Now you click on views right button and the following will be shown – comments, favorite, ratings, average rating, links, audience and a location of visitors on a map.

Posted by: tourismvc | April 29, 2010

Ingonish Tourism Communication Day

Ingonish, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

The Ingonish Tourism Steering Committee rcently held its annual Communication Day at  Smokey Recreational Community Center with  a good crowd in attendance. Chair, Donald Jardine, welcome everyone to the 4th annual Communication Day. Councillor Larry Dauphinee, District 6, Municipality of Victoria County, provided updates on road construction, Ingonish Harbour bridge and solid waste collection. 

The program featured a presentation by Terry Smith, ICON Communcations on Ingonish’s new website to be launched soon. Some of the features include social media – video, photos, maps, blog, twitter as well a travel planner. The website address is

Next on the program agenda was Michelle Sears, Marketing Database Assistant, NS Tourism, who showed the new features of the website and the opportunities the new website provides to tourism operators, attractions, and festivals & events organizers. Some of these include photos, video, map, nearby attractions, packages & travel deals.

After lunch,  Tom Wilson, Director of Recreation & Tourism, Municipality of Victoria County, provide the 2009 Tourism Review looking at Victoria County, Ingonish, Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. Ingonish finished the tourism season with 3.2% increase in Occupancy rate from 2008.   Heather Dixon, CBHNP, provided updates on the 2010 season – no fee increases,  special events schedule in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park this year, construction updates, visitor information centre in Smokey Recreational Community Centre for 2010 and open houses in May on Coyotes and Hiking safety.

Excitement is building for Cape Breton’s first Social Media Conference on April 22, 2010 at Inverary Resort, Baddeck.  The conference program has been finalized and online registration and payment is going well.

Terri McCulloch, Bay of Fundy Tourism

Three keynote speakers are featured at this one day conference – Ms. Terri McCulloch, Bay of Fundy Tourism, William Bakker, Tourism British Columbia and Savior Joesph, Colour. All are internationally known and have spoken at conferences across the country.  As well the conference features Celtic Colours INternational Festival, NS Tourism, What’s going on ?,  GIANT 101.9 radio station, Blogging,  Video and Facebook, Twitter and much more.

The registration fee for the conference is $65.00 and includes all breaks, lunch, and registration kit. You can register online & pay online. …. There is a questions and answer section to help you with online registration & payment. The conference is now less than two weeks away. Register now….

The conference is sponsored by Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, Municipality of Victoria County, Victoria County Social Media Project & Service Nova Scotia,  Strait Highlands RDA, CBCEDA and Destination Cape Breton Association.

Posted by: tourismvc | March 29, 2010

Videos, Maps & Mobile

Remember Video, Maps and Mobile, many consider them as the key for the travel industry to focus on in 2010 and beyond including PhoCusWright. You tube is now the number 2 search engine in the world (Social Media Revolution video) .

Rob Hughes, Manager E-Strategies, Brewster

Rob Hughes, Manager of  E-Strategies, Brewster, in his presentation Vacations Canada.TV – A Strategic Canadian Business Case, at Canada E-Connect conference in 2009 provided some very interesting stats on the growth of video. Other stats include 150-200,000 videos uploaded daily on youtube, over 100,000,000 million a year (ORC 2009 & Social Media Revolution videos) .

Maps continue to show their importance on websites, search engines, GPS units and smart phones. Maps continue to rank high in the search engines and most are on the 1st page.  Google is hinting hotel rates on maps soon.

And finally mobile phones have taken over as the most connected internet device in the world. Is your website mobile compatible? Does your business or organization have applications available for smart phones ?

Below is a short video of an interview by PhoCusWright with Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel, Google.

Posted by: tourismvc | March 21, 2010

Engage by Brian Solis

One of the newest books out on Social Media that is catching everybody’s eye is “Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the new Web” by Brian Solis.  It is available for purchased at Amazon – $18.77  (CDN) and $16.47 (US) . The reviews have been very good so far with this book.  

Radian6 will be hosting a webinar: Engage with Brian Solis  on Friday, March 26th at 10:00 am PST and 1:00 pm EST. Below is a short video with Brian Solis on his new book.

Posted by: tourismvc | March 7, 2010

Olympic Moments

Like many Canadians I was touched by the Olympics and the many special moments it brought to us. It was easy to be proud Canadians from the Olympic Torch Run to the Closing ceremonies.

Here are my moments –
1) Olympic Torch Run in Baddeck
2) Opening ceremonies – bringing in the flag – seeing Betty Fox & Booby Orr.
3) The torch bearers at opening ceremonies, Olympic Games
4) Our first medal at the Games – Jennifer Heil  
5) Our first gold medal for the men- Alexandre Bilodeau & his story
6) First Gold Medal for the Ladies – Maelle Ricker – Olympic Gold Snowboard Cross
7) Jon Montgomery and his walk in Whistler
8) Clara Hughes ends her Olympic Games with a Bronze and only athlete in history to win medlas in both Summer and Winter Olympics
9) Jay Jasey Anderson – speechless after winning Gold Medal – snowboard parallel Giant slalom 
10) The ladies bobsled teams winning gold and silver
11) The ladies hockey team winning gold
12) Sid the Kid scoring the overtime goal – Canada wins Gold in Hockey
13) Charles Hamelin and Marianne St. Gelais relationship and cheering at games for each other
14) The mens and ladies curling teams
15) Canadian Fans singing O Canada during mens curling final
16) Joanne Rochette and her courage to compete after her mom passed away.
17) Canada winning the most gold medals in history of Winetr Games and sets a record for the host nation. 26 medals best overall for Canada.
18) The volunteers and workers at Vanacouver Games especially Cypress Mountain. Tourism BC and CTC for their promotion of Canada.

I am sure there were many more momemts…but you get the picture ..this Olympics Games were special to all Canadians.

Posted by: tourismvc | February 21, 2010

The Importance of Travel Blogs in Promoting Destinations

International Travel Bloggers at CEC2010

One of the most popular sessions at 2010 Canada
E-Connect conference was the International Travel Bloggers & Twitters Forum which feature an all star  panel – Shannon Hurst Lane – Traveling Mamas & Cajun_mama, Wendy Perrin, Conde Nest Traveller, & Perrin Post  Blog and Kim Mance – Go Galvanting & Travel Blog Exchange, chaired by Jamie Horwitz. The panel provided first hand experiences how blogs can influence visitors in making decisions to travel destinations.  Real people telling real stories and not a paid advertisement. The panel said how important it is to be open, honest, and authentic in telling your story.

At the same conference, delgates were exposed to Tourisme Montreal and their five bloggers including Tamy. Ms. Maria Zin, Marketing Director,Visit Sweden, spoke about their Community of Sweden website – a social media site in which it encourages visitors to tell their stories, share photos, join a forum and more. 

Many of  Canada’s provincial tourism sites now feature bloggers as they can see the importance of people telling their stories.  Nova Scotia Tourism has – Discover a Nova Scotia favorite  forum. Ms. Lesley Braby, Experience Specialist, CTC,  spoke on success of  the  website where canadians can talk about their favorites spots as well see videos.

Posted by: tourismvc | February 12, 2010

2010 Canada E-Connect Conference Highlights

Here are my highlights and takeaways from 2010 Canada e-Connect Conference recently held in Montreal, Quebec.

  1. Tourisme Montreal continues to lead DMO’s with 100% Online Marketing and learning along the way. They have 5 bloggers writing stories, doing videos for the city providing the local buzz on things happening in Montreal. One of their bloggers, Tamy was at the conference.
  2. is a great example of a social community and getting user generated comment. Thanks Maria Ziv …
  3. The travel bloggers session was amazing…thanks to Shannon Hurst Lane, Kim Mance and Wendy Perrin…blogging is back in the forefront again.
  4. Vicky Brock famous quote now – “Strategy without metrics is merely wishes, Metrics without a strategy is meaningless”.
  5. CTC’s Social Media Experience and results – Lesley Braby – http://www.localsknow.ca,

Other highlights included hearing Philip Wolf, PhoCusWright,  luncheon presentation, and Hotelier 2.0 panel session. The presentations of this conference can be viewed at Canada e-Connect Conference website.

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