Government is transforming the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency into a private-sector-led Crown corporation.
Finance and Treasury Board Minister Diana Whalen made the announcement at a Chamber of Commerce event in Halifax, today, March 25.
“We can’t keep doing what we have always done. Government needs to get out of the way and let the private sector lead,” said Ms.
Whalen. “Effective April 1, the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency will transform into Tourism Nova Scotia. The creation of a Crown corporation will position us well to double our tourism revenues from $2 billion to $4 billion annually.”
Tourism Nova Scotia will be led by a private-sector board, chaired by Ben Cowan-Dewar. The board is made up of business owners and leaders from across the province. Patrick Sullivan will continue to serve as C.E.O.
“Nova Scotia is one of the most compelling brands in the country and it’s a great day for tourism that government has recognized its importance with this strong initiative,” said Mr. Cowan-Dewar. “We, as a board, are excited to represent our industry peers across the province in achieving the audacious One Nova Scotia goal of doubling tourism revenue in the next decade.”
Mr. Cowan-Dewar is the owner of Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs in Inverness.
He said Nova Scotia’s best chance for success is to focus Tourism Nova Scotia on core strengths, such as marketing to visitors from high-potential markets, promoting world-class experiences, and encouraging private-sector investment, while working with industry, government and communities to identify strengths, clarify roles and create opportunities.
“Industry has been requesting more autonomy for some time,” said Glenn Squires, chair of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia and owner of Pacrim Hospitality Services. “Industry is ready to lead, and we look forward to learning more about the governance and operations of the new corporation. We want to focus on economic growth and maximizing the effectiveness of our available funds so we get the best return on that investment throughout the entire province.”
The One Nova Scotia report confirmed that traditional industries such as tourism will continue to provide essential foundations for Nova Scotia’s rural economy and be an important entry point for new immigrants. Tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world, and the leading source of service exports in Nova Scotia.
The new Crown corporation will be more nimble in its decision- making, allowing the tourism industry to keep pace with trends and opportunities to be more competitive and drive economic growth.
Tourism agency employees will transfer to the new Crown corporation. Legislation to create Tourism Nova Scotia will be introduced during this sitting of the legislature.