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Province Invests in Radon Detectors and Encourages Testing / Tourism Nova Scotia Program Wins National Innovation Award / Strong Camping Season for Provincial Parks

**** CNS Media Releases (2)

Province Invests in Radon Detectors and Encourages Testing
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Nova Scotians deserve to have information that can help them make important decisions about their health and home. That is why the province is helping families protect themselves from the risks of radon by making it easier to test for the radioactive gas.

In partnership with the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, the province will invest $30,000 in the Radon Detector Library Loan Program. Under the program, people can borrow a device from their local library and get a radon level reading in their home.

“Our geoscientists play an important role in providing Nova Scotians with up-to-date information about our geology and areas that are at higher risk for radon and other hazards,” said Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. “This investment will make sure more people have the ability to protect themselves and their families.”

Radon is odourless, colourless and is linked to an increased risk of developing lung cancer. It forms naturally throughout the province and is released slowly by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, water and some building materials.

In some locations, the waiting list to borrow a detector is up to eight months. This investment is expected to cut the wait in half.

Quotes:
“Radon exposure is the second leading risk factor for lung cancer behind smoking. It is important that homeowners know the level of radon in their home and the way to do this is to test. The library loan program makes it easier for Nova Scotians to do that.”
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ – Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health

“We are thrilled about the success the Radon Detector Library Loan Program has achieved over the last two years. We’re grateful the province is investing in additional devices so that even more Nova Scotians can access this leading radon awareness program.”
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ – Robert MacDonald, president and CEO, Lung Association of Nova Scotia

“The program started in 2017 to an overwhelming response from our community, and interest has only continued to grow. The success of this program is thanks to a partnership between Halifax Public Libraries, the Nova Scotia Provincial Library and the Lung Association of Nova Scotia. With this investment, we’ll be able to shorten the wait time for community members who have requested to borrow a radon detector kit and allow us to further highlight the importance of testing homes for radon gas.”
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ – Dave MacNeil, manager of access, Halifax Public Libraries

“Thanks to this investment, Nova Scotia public libraries will be able to provide their communities greater access to radon detectors. We are pleased to support this initiative and to help raise awareness of the risks of radon through the Radon Detector Library Loan Program”.
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ – Lynn Somers, director, Nova Scotia Provincial Library

Quick Facts:
— this investment will buy 100 more devices bringing the total number of detectors available at libraries across the province to more than 250
— radon is believed to be responsible for killing more than 3,200 Canadians each year
— four other provinces have radon detector programs based on Nova Scotia’s program
— November is National Radon Action Month in Canada

Additional Resources:
For more information about radon, go to: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/environmental/radon.asp

To see what areas of Nova Scotia are more likely to be exposed to radon in indoor air, go to the radon map: https://fletcher.novascotia.ca/DNRViewer/?viewer=Radon

To learn about the Radon Detector Library Loan Program, visit: https://ns.lung.ca/our-programs/radon-detector-library-loan-program

To order a radon detection kit, visit: https://ns.lung.ca/our-programs/radon

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Tourism Nova Scotia Program Wins National Innovation Award
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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.

Quotes:
“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

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Strong Camping Season for Provincial Parks
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Nova Scotia’s provincial parks had a strong 2019 season with nearly 80,000 campsite nights booked.

Camping park attendance was up three per cent over last year at the end of August. Numbers dipped in September due to closures and cancelled reservations from Hurricane Dorian. All parks were closed during the hurricane and re-opened when it was safe to do so.

Camper nights have gone up about 30 per cent in the past five years.

Several infrastructure projects were completed this year, including:
— an accessible and gender-neutral comfort station was opened at Valleyview Provincial Park, which saw a 33 per cent increase in camper nights
— Battery Provincial Park had additional upgrades to serviced sites and saw an increase of 15 per cent in camper nights until the end of August
— a new water system was installed at Caribou-Munroes Island Provincial Park, which finished the season as the fourth most visited property

“I am very encouraged to see continued growth and enjoyment of our provincial parks. We are committed to promoting accessible and inclusive parks that draw residents and tourists to all corners of our province.” said Iain Rankin, Minister of Lands and Forestry.

Quick Facts:
— there are 20 camping parks and more than 130 day-use and beach parks in Nova Scotia
— the 2019 season totalled 79,738 camper nights and more than 220,000 visitors
— camper nights fell 39 per cent for the month of September due to cancelled reservations from Hurricane Dorian
— about 60 per cent of campers came from Nova Scotia and 40 per cent came from other parts of Canada, the United States and other countries

Additional Resources:
Nova Scotia Provincial Parks website: http://parks.novascotia.ca

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