Tourism Connect - Cape Breton Tourism, A Connected Island

2016 Travel Planner: Criteria & Other Information

DCBA is pleased to promote our market-ready product to visitors through our new Travel Planner.  For operators interested in promoting an existing package/experience, or developing a new one, please ensure you’ve read the following guidelines and considerations:

Any questions, please contact Kristine Mills at or at (902) 539-4593.

Travel Planner Highlights:
 – The guide will be digest sized – 5.375 x 8.375″ and ads will be a half page
 – Distribution of 100,000+ copies both on and off Island
 – Content separated by trail and will highlight our Locals Know and Hidden Gems information as well as 16 in 16 Events with Heart
 – Each trail will have a section for purchasable packages and experiences
 – Electronic version for and email distribution
 – Fulfilled direct to operator. In addition, a Cape Breton Concierge service will be available to draft itineraries and confirm bookings on behalf of visitors

Promoted packages/experience should align with one or more of the seven core experiences and EQ types:

Seven core experiences:

  • Coastal/seacoast experiences
  • Sightseeing and touring
  • Culture, entertainment, and heritage
  • Cuisine
  • Outdoor activities
  • Major and international events
  • Experiential accommodations

Explorer Quotient (EQ) Types:

Authentic Experiencer

  • Appreciate beauty of natural and cultural environments
  • Enjoy using all senses when exploring
  • Quickly adapt to personal challenges and risks
  • Make the most of every situation
  • Stay away from group tours and rigid plans.

Most likely to be seen at heritage sites, cultural events, museums, and festivals.

Cultural Explorer

  • Embrace and discover the culture, people and settings of destinations
  • Not content watch historic sites from the sidelines, also want to participate in modern-day culture
  • Attempt to converse with locals, or go off the beaten path to discover how people truly live

Most likely to be seen at nature reserves, world heritage sites, hiking trails, and museums.

Package Criteria (per TNS criteria):

In order to be considered eligible, your package must encompass a minimum of two of the following:

  • transportation
  • accommodations
  • meals
  • tickets to events or attractions
  • guided tours
  • activity or experience

In addition, package descriptions must include:

  • What is included in the package (i.e. number of days/nights, number of meals, number of tickets/admissions, etc.) and what is not included (such as taxes and gratuities);
  • The names and websites (if available) of the partner businesses who are providing products and/or services (ie. the accommodation, restaurant, tour operator, etc.);
  • A package price, stated per person, per couple or per family (include size of family) and, for accommodation providers, identify whether it is based on single, double or family occupancy (include size of family);
  • The cancellation and refund policy;
  • Pictures that show the package theme, rather than business logos or general Nova Scotia scenery;
  • One point of purchase for the guest to book all components of the package (the point of purchase business/organization must book the other components on behalf of the guest);
  • If the package requires a minimum number of guests to be offered. In this situation, the date at which the package will be cancelled if the minimum quantity are not sold must be stated;
  • The dates during which the package is available;
  • A creative, attention-getting title and a clear description of up to 500 words in length (online) and 50 words for print.

Experiences should reflect the following:

  • Be well themed – connecting to one or more of the tourism core experiences (coastal/seacoast; sightseeing and touring; culture, entertainment, and heritage; cuisine; outdoor activities; major and international events; and experiential accommodations) and with a title to reflect the theme;
  • Engage the visitor through hands-on activities which allow them to become an active participant in the activity, not just an observer, and provides the visitor with exclusive or behind-the-scenes access to something;
  • Involve qualified guides when necessary and/or local experts or other resource people to enhance the delivery of the experience and provide an opportunity to reach into a community to meet local people;
  • Use assets and resources that are unique to your community or business;
  • Engage as many of the five senses as possible;
  • Where possible, integrate local food and other elements which can add to the WOW of the experience.

In addition, experiences should:

  • Demonstrate understanding and adoption of the “12 Essentials of a Cape Breton Travel Experience” criteria as found below:
    • Well themed – Experience matches a distinguishing theme or brand (should match one of the core experiences). The remaining eleven essentials stem from the success of the theme.
    • An emotional trigger – The experience causes an emotional reaction.
    • Authentic – Real versus contrived.
    • Accessible – Ease of access to: a) product information, b) purchase, c) site location, and d) mobility at the site.
    • Enriching – The experience leaves the customer changed.
    • Educational – Experience provides a unique learning opportunity.
    • Entertaining – The experiences evoke sharing, joy, laughter and fun.
    • Essence of Cape Breton- Embodies our scenery and our culture.
    • Hands On – Customers participate versus a spectator.
    • Sense of Place- Significance of location is relayed to the visitor.
    • Value added – Experiences deliver over and above the promise; has an element of surprise.
    • Exceeds Expectations – The experiences should have a “Wow!” factor.
  • Be well-planned and tested;
  • Be purchasable – visitors must be able to purchase the experience for a set price;
  • Meet all federal, provincial, or municipal regulations and business requirements (such as insurance), where applicable;
  • Be available a minimum of 4 (consecutive or intermittent) weeks throughout the year.

Programming at museums or parks which is already included in the entrance fee is not eligible for the Experience Collection.

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