Media Coverage Concerning Provincial Visitor Information Centres & Industry Responses

On February 12, 2016, TIANS released their position on Nova Scotia's Provincial Visitor Information Centres. Since then, there has been a number of mentions made in the media concerning this issue. To view TIANS position, please click here. All media coverage to date can be seen below.

Industry Responses

"I am very concerned about the possible closure of visitor information centres. I believe there is a significant demographic in the travelling public who do not rely on social media, smart phones and all their related gadgets for their travel information.

For many years, the visitor information centres have been the welcoming committee for visitors to NS, providing a wealth of information and explanation, and often serving as a vital link between travellers and accommodations sites. We are blessed in this area with an exceptionally well staffed and well run visitor information centre in Wolfville, and many of my guests have spoken of the friendly help and information provided by these very important tourism ambassadors. If some centres are not functioning well, then it behooves Tourism Nova Scotia to try to find the cause of the problem, and to rectify it as soon as possible - just closing down the service is not the answer. Those of us who work with our local visitor information centres are well aware of their value, and their potential to promote tourism and provide guests with a positive experience - I believe their closure would be a retrograde step by Tourism Nova Scotia, which would have long term negative ramifications. Let's not let that happen.

I feel quite strongly that too many organizations attempt to economize by cutting at the wrong place, often eliminating front line positions, like VIC employees, instead of carefully examining the upper echelons, where there may well be an over-abundance of bureaucracy - too many consultants, specialists, deputies and advisors of various kinds. Is it certain that each of  these people positively impacts tourism, or are some of these positions just excess baggage which could well be eliminated, thereby saving monies?

Also, in the matter of instituting shorter open hours at VICs, as was mentioned on CBC this morning as a possible solution, our experience here in the Wolfville area has been that this does not work. One season a few years ago, the Wolfville VIC was put on short operating hours, causing major irritation among guests who either found the VIC closed for the day when they arrived in the area, or could not access it in the morning before they had to leave the area. Implementing measures which annoy tourists is not a good idea, as their negative feedback will certainly not boost tourism.

"Apps", while undoubtedly useful, do not work for everyone - there is a demographic out there who are not addicted to technology, preferring instead human contact, and conversation with a real person - let's continue to provide them with the helpful and welcoming services of our VICs." - TIANS Member, Wolfville, NS

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"Thank you for this update. Is the province aware of the exact amount of taxes they receive from tourism? That is their share of the HST collected by hotels, restaurants and all tourism operators. The operator who said he got $30,000 of business from the VIC also collected $3,000.00 for the province. In addition to HST, they also receive their share of corporate taxes from the tourist operators and their suppliers. Further, they receive income taxes from those employed in the industry including from their own tourism staff.

I pointed out to Pam Eyking that as one drives across our great country, there is a visitor welcoming centre at each provincial border. In my case, even if I don’t stop, I feel that I have been welcomed by that province. Maybe it’s the old saying that perception is more important than the facts." - TIANS Member, Cape Breton, NS