Annapolis Royal Region Tourism Destination Area A Tourism Vision for the Town and the Region The Tourism Vision Project Lead by the Annapolis Region Tourism Council (ARTC) • An adhoc group formed following the completion of the Tourism Destination Area Workbook (The ‘Blue Book’) to advance the process • The “primary role” of the ARTC is to provide strategic advice and to coordinate activities with respect to the business of tourism for the region with the objective of industry growth • Annapolis Region Tourism Council (ARTC) – Paul Stackhouse (Chair) - Hillsdale House Inn – Linda Brown – Narrow Gate Cottages – Amery Boyer – Town of Annapolis Royal – Trish Fry – Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens – Theresa Bunbury – Parks Canada – Janet Caldwell – Anna Gloria’s – Lillian Stewart – Annapolis Heritage Society – Steve Raftery – Town of Bridgetown – Joy O’Neill – Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency – Wayne Currie – Music Industry – Sally Burnie – Marketing Manager, Town of AR ARTC has: • Coordinated the hiring of consultant, John Hockin, to facilitate Vision project • Facilitated development of various discussion documents and reports • Led a major workshop in June 2007 • Monitored discussion around vision/brand themes as they have developed • Outputs: – Tourism Vision for Annapolis Royal and area – Brand theme (initially for Annapolis Royal) that will support the Vision – High level goals for tourism in the area Tourism Vision project • ARTC has gathered tourism stakeholders • Vision and branding themes help set the stage for coordinated action by many players - individual companies, municipalities/other entities, acting independently or in partnerships, around core common themes A Critical Time • Tourism one of 3 development themes outlined in 2003 Annapolis County Development strategy: – Geomatics Nr COGS – Tourism around Annapolis Royal – Conferences/events around Cornwallis • Tourism Vision can set tone for economic and infrastructure development for a generation • Vision balances need for preservation of heritage & way of life with need for vibrant tourism industry Tourism Insights 2007 - Grant Thornton • Survey of 164 local governments nationally- their perspectives on community tourism development Highlights: • Many consider tourism a growing priority with culture/heritage and nature as key themes • Barriers to progress include insufficient development and marketing funding, lack of a destination management plan and lack of community based partnerships Lessons learned in the 164 communities • The importance of partnerships • The importance of planning • Local govt. & citizens must recognize value of tourism and support it proactively • The importance of strategic marketing • Successful communities don’t wait for external gov’ts. or others to define their future - they define it themselves The Vision Introducing Annapolis Royal • 1st permanent European Settlement in Canada • Largely untouched by modern architecture • More authentic than many European towns of same vintage • Destination of National/International significance • Town population shrinking – a need for appropriate economic development Why is Annapolis Royal a destination of National/International significance? • One of Canada’s most important heritage tourism destinations • Heritage Icon for NS equal to Louisbourg – The 2 towns are the “book ends” of North American history- the rivalry for NA between France & England in the 18th century • Its citizens are a United Nations - artisans, teachers, professionals, etc. - a blend of old families and those who have chosen the area “So how do Tourism, Culture and Heritage work together?” Heritage – our history Culture – who Tourism – we are, and how how we take we celebrate it to market Town of Annapolis Royal Strategic Plan Vision “To maintain and enhance the Town of Annapolis Royal’s heritage, values and beauty; protect its small town character, nurture its economic social and cultural environment, thereby enabling our rich quality of life for residents and guests to our community.” A Hub & Spokes • Hub is a critical mass of services & experiences that encourage people to base a visit in the area • Spokes – the surrounding communities/experiences that work with the hub to extend visitors length of stay and “spend” • Tourism Industry Vision is compatible with plans/strategies of other groups/orgs: – Towns/Municipality – NS Tourism, Culture & Heritage – Destination Southwest Nova Scotia – Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency – Annapolis Basin Conference Centre – etc. We need to leverage this! Why a Hub? • A “big idea” that can enable innovation/artistic expression for decades • All organizations & businesses can play a role - maximum freedom of expression • With critical mass of experiences we can pull visitors to the region and encourage them to stay longer • Change travel patterns by positioning the region as a first choice for visitors • Projects/events/ideas likely to find more support if seen as part of a bigger idea, part of the “umbrella” vision Hub and spokes - they leverage each other Fundy Shore Digby Kejimkujik Annapolis Royal Along the River - Bear River Bridgetown Middleton Cornwallis Hub has 3 themes - Heritage, Nature and the Arts • Building a hub allows integration of these themes in the minds of visitors • Visitors choose area as a base because they can have experiences related to all 3 themes – they see value of an extended stay because so many experiences they come to Nova Scotia for are available to them here • Hub allows max. freedom of expression to all businesses – a vision that is inclusive • Will encourage maximum number of individuals and organizations to link their efforts to the common vision The hub – momentum • Tourism industry supports Vision through ARTC leadership • Annapolis Royal - part of its strategic plan • Existing infrastructure, commercial services, experiences will enable the Hub concept • Our vision of Hub may attract new funding partners for additional infrastructure needs • Exciting external partnerships already developing – e.g. Twinning's with Royan, France and Annapolis, Maryland – Annapolis, MD - 4M + annual visitors & keen to explore cross promotion opportunities! Our Tourism Brand – what we ‘promise’ visitors • Branding is deeper than slogans – it’s the ‘promise’ we make to visitors • Job one is consensus on an umbrella brand for town of Annapolis Royal • Brand message must be authentic/provide support to broader TDA message as it develops • Annapolis Royal brand message now in draft • In due course we will develop tourism brand for the entire region. The vision (hub) will remain the same • Messages/Icons/logos play a supportive role; visible symbols of what we stand for Brand framework - four elements (Source - United We Brand - Mike Moser) We looked at: • Values • Personality • Message (slogan) • Icon (logo) Many groups/individuals helped shape the Annapolis Royal tourism brand – they spent considerable time on values & personality elements, core to the message A number of themes were tested before settling on the final recommendation: Including: • A living treasure • Annapolis Royal is magic! • Canada’s mystical town • Experience the arts in a natural wonderland • Natural wonders/vibrant arts • Living history - step back in time • Where visitors are one of us • Our past inspires our art • The secret of Canada’s past • Discover the secret of Annapolis Royal • Safe harbour from the world Many ideas were considered • When searching for common themes it was apparent that 2 large themes emerged - “Magical” and “Natural Wonders” The brand icon Milestones and Goals At 2 years: • Tourism vision is known; “umbrella” branding is being used on signage/extensively by businesses • Region is top of mind with NS Tourism & other gov’t. agencies who can be partners in fulfilment of tourism vision • ARTC defines new approach to visitor servicing • Annapolis Royal Wharf Project moves forward • Process begins to refine master land use plan for town, to reflect vision of a Tourism Hub • Implementation - ARTC facilitates agreement on a model for cooperation among stakeholders in the region At 2 years: • Agreement on which organizations are leading which initiatives re: infrastructure, programming, experiences, and partnerships • Cross-promotion plan with Annapolis, MD in place to leverage their 4M visitors (1% of this is 40,000 visitors!) • Tracking system established and targets set for visitation by segment, length-of-stay and $$’s • 1 or more marketing co-ops launched • Process begun to develop experience-based product At 5 years: • Leverage of Annapolis Royal brand out to the region – “Land of……” • New highway signage is up at entry points to the region • Revision of master Annapolis Royal land use plan complete – final look for the town as a Tourism Hub defined including accommodations, attractions & infrastructure At 5 years: • Shoulder/winter season strategy in place including winter/shoulder sports activities • New major marquee shoulder season (Spring & Fall) events launched • Major experience-based product will have been developed. Ten experiences in each of the 3 major areas of product focus -> heritage, nature and the arts = 30 marketable experiences developed in one, two and three day categories At 10 years: • Major elements of the master infrastructure plan under development or complete - e.g. Auberge/Timeshare style development, Centre for Design & the Arts, Indoor/outdoor Multipurpose Market complex, etc. • The tourism community under the leadership of the ARTC is seen as a benchmark of community- based experiential product development and marketing At 25 years: • Annapolis Royal & area have become another icon for NS - like Peggy’s Cove & Cabot Trail - a rural Mecca for experiences in heritage, nature and the arts • Area will be described by others as one of the 2 or 3 areas that are a “must-visit” in Nova Scotia; and on a short list for Canada • Visitation has grown from the current estimated benchmark of 40,000 to 120,000 annually • Region no longer is a seasonal destination • Annapolis Royal region is considered a must-visit destination in all of NA for arts & culture, set in untouched historical & natural surroundings “So how are we going to accomplish these goals?” • We all have a role to play • New partnerships (Public/Private) – Product development – Infrastructure enhancement/development – packaging • Multi-community/Regional Co-ops – Marketing – Product Development • Priority setting – we will have to make choices – Limited resources, i.e. people (paid & volunteers) and $$’s Current Initiatives • Sister Cities Initiative with Annapolis, Maryland • Twinning with Royan, France • Ride the Lobster 2008 (June) • Bermuda Ocean Race • Annapolis Royal Wharf Extension • Fundy Riches & Valley Traditions • Coast to Coast Heritage Experience • Lt. Governor’s Community Spirit Award • Communities in Bloom Int’l Competition • ARTC – Vision Phase I Completion – Visitor Services Review – Facilitating VIC Operation Plan – Providing Input for 2008 Marketing Plan – Vision Phase II (Implementation) Planning • ADBOT – Working with Retail Community on several projects Next Steps • Communicate the Vision to the broad community – Late November 2007 • Work with communities, and particularly with organizations that have a complementary development vision - Ongoing • Move to the next phase of the project – gathering interested parties to agree on the implementation responsibilities, priorities and schedule - Winter 2008 • Develop Implementation Plan - 1st Qtr 2008 • Commence implementation - Spring 2008 Thank you!! Questions/Input?
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