April 30, 2019
Halifax, NS – Yesterday, Discover Halifax launched a brand-new program and way for visitors to experience Halifax. Introducing: Handpicked Halifax, a new initiative and webpage focused on showcasing Halifax’s best experiences to potential and visiting tourists in one easy-to-use place.
“Handpicked Halifax is a curated collection of Halifax’s very best experiences,” says Erica Pellerin, VP Marketing and Visitor Experience with Discover Halifax. “Simply put, Handpicked Halifax is like a local showing a visitor what to do during their stay.”
Focusing on experiences and the “experience economy” is a global trend that’s been building for the last few years, with leading organizations in the industry shifting their strategies from showing “things to do” and “places to go” to “experiences”.
“The reality is, more and more consumers want experiences, not things. Gone are the days they want to collect china for the kitchen cabinet and here are the days they want photos of all the places and experiences they’ve had. This is why we are shifting our strategy from telling visitors what’s happening in Halifax to showing them amazing experiences they can have here,” says Pellerin. “It’s a huge opportunity for the tourism industry!”
The brand-new Handpicked Halifax website features nine categories of experiences ranging from “The Bargain Hunter” and “The Entertainment Enthusiast” to “Family First” and “Local Favourites.” Each experience has its own page with information on how to book or experience the product, duration, cost, location and more.
Launching with approximately 60 experiences, criteria to qualify as “Handpicked” includes being proven (well rated or awarded), easy to book or do with an element that is unique to Halifax. The goal and future of the new program is to build experiences and offerings by working closely with Discover Halifax members. For businesses looking to participate in the program, they need to be a member of Discover Halifax and be located within the Halifax Regional Municipality.
“The majority of our target audience think they know all there is to do in Halifax, but through our research the reality is, they don’t. The point of this program and campaign is to show Halifax’s very best experiences – from the well known to the lesser known – to visitors as a reason to encourage them to book a trip here.” concludes Pellerin.
Discover Halifax continues to recognize and prioritize the economic importance of tourism, and the need to continue to innovate and evolve to ensure continued growth.
The tourism industry generates:
- $1 billion annually from direct spend
- $120 million annually in provincial sales tax revenue
- $42 million annually in municipal tax revenue from hotel and tourism properties
- There are more than 4,000 businesses operating in the tourism sector in Halifax, with employment reaching over 23,000 according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada
- The combined business and leisure travel markets account for 5.3 million overnight stays in the city
- Halifax’s tourism is in it’s 6th consecutive year of tourism growth as measured by rooms stayed
- The Port of Halifax continue to report on record cruise growth in terms of cruise vessels (14.5% increase YoY) and passengers (8.2% increase YoY)
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport welcomed over 4.3 million passengers in 2018
Handpicked Halifax is being promoted through Discover Halifax’s largest digital, social and television campaign targeting non-Halifax Maritimers, Ontario, Quebec and New England from today until the end of summer.
For more information and to see the Handpicked Halifax website visit discoverhalifaxns.com/handpickedhalifax/
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About Discover Halifax
Discover Halifax is a non-profit, membership-based marketing and sales organization in partnership with the Halifax regional government, the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia and participating industry members. Since its inception in 2002, Discover Halifax’s goal is to promote Halifax as a destination of choice for leisure and business travellers.
Halifax welcomes 5.3 million overnight stays each year, who spend $1 billion. Halifax alone represents over 54% of all visitation to Nova Scotia, and 23,000 Nova Scotians are employed by the tourism industry.
Marketing & Communications Manager