From Vision to Reality: Annapolis Valley’s Strategic Tourism Plan Moves Forward

May 14, 2024 (Kentville, Nova Scotia) – The Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN), the Annapolis Valley’s economic development organization, outlined the region’s strategic tourism implementation plan during a collaborative gathering of tourism stakeholders Tuesday evening at the Old Orchard Inn.

Developed through Tourism Atlantic’s Strategic Tourism for Areas and Regions (STAR) program, the tourism strategy was created using input from tourism businesses, community leaders and residents and is tailored to the unique attributes of the Annapolis Valley. The implementation phase will be facilitated by the Valley REN and will focus on driving collaborative destination development. Activities will include developing a tourism website to highlight regional tourism offerings, conducting infrastructure and service gap analysis, and recruiting a dedicated Project Manager to oversee the implementation process over the next two years.

“The Annapolis Valley is becoming a destination of choice for travelers looking to experience our rural landscape, diverse culture, arts and heritage, small community charm, the Bay of Fundy and world-class wine and culinary experiences. Today’s announcement is an important investment to propel the regional tourism sector forward. Bringing the Annapolis Valley Tourism Strategy to life will support entrepreneurs to create new, sustainable visitor experiences celebrating what makes our region truly memorable,” said David Hovell, President, Magic Winery Bus.

In addition to contributions from the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce and Valley REN, the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is providing a $185,000 non-repayable contribution to support the implementation of key recommendations in the tourism strategy.

“Together, businesses and community members created a clear path forward to take tourism in the Annapolis Valley to the next level. Creating new, curated packages and highlighting them on one website will help attract new and repeat visitors, enhance the visitor experience, and extend the tourism season year-round,” said Kody Blois, Member of Parliament for Kings – Hants.

Highlighting the significance of the tourism sector to rural Nova Scotia, the implementation of the regional tourism strategy is poised to strengthen the Annapolis Valley as an attractive investment for small businesses and a unique destination for visitors.

“With the support of our collective of stellar tourism operators, I see a bright future for the growth of our region through awareness and collaboration. As a member of the Valley REN’s Board of Directors and as the Chair of the Transitional Implementation Working Committee for this project, I am confident that the right people are in place to ensure we make the very most of this outstanding opportunity,” noted James Clouthier, General Manager of the Old Orchard Inn.

For more information, please contact:
Richelle Brown Redden
Senior Economic Development Officer
Valley Regional Enterprise Network

About Valley REN

The Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN), incorporated in March 2014, is the regional economic development organization for the Annapolis Valley Region. They carry out the economic development priorities of their members, which include Glooscap First Nation, the Municipality of the County of Kings, West Hants Regional Municipality, and the Towns of Berwick, Kentville, Wolfville, and Middleton. Funding for the Valley REN is provided by its members and is matched by the Province of Nova Scotia to support economic development on a regional level.