Saturday, November 01, 2014

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$1 million allocated to promote Two Nation Vacation - May. 07, 2014


Kathy Bockus/Courier
New Brunswick and Maine will join forces to spend $1 million in the next four years on a marketing strategy to promote the Two Nation Vacation package. Signing the agreement last week at The Chocolate Museum in St. Stephen was Trevor Holder, right, N.B.’s Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and George Gervais, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Kathy Bockus
St. Stephen
Maine and New Brunswick signed an agreement Friday morning which will see the state and province jointly invest a total of one million dollars over four years in a Two Nation Vacation marketing partnership.
The investment will be used in the development of an integrated marketing and sales campaign designed to create awareness and interest in vacationing in both countries. The resulting campaign is expected to increase revenue and visitation across the border.
New Brunswick’s Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, Trevor Holder, and George Gervais, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development signed the agreement in a ceremony held at The Chocolate Museum in St. Stephen.
“We are strategically located in Maine and New Brunswick to one of the richest markets in the world and we have to capitalize on that,” Holder told a gathering of municipal officials, dignitaries and business owners from both sides of the border.
“There’s something exciting about crossing the border. By working together we can pool our resources and take a world-class, first-class product to market.”
Gervais agreed.
“Tourism is very big business to the State of Maine just as it is here in New Brunswick and this partnership is a win-win,” stated Gervais. “It affirms our commitment to each other, that we will continue working collaboratively with each other, merging resources by marketing together, increasing the impact in a very highly competitive marketplace.
“Together we share this common goal and together we will achieve great success.”
Gervais said the State of Maine looks forward to welcoming many visitors who might not have thought otherwise to cross the border and he was sure New Brunswick felt the same.
In an interview following the announcement, Holder stated the partnership money would be spent on a “lot of things” including “ramping up our online campaign over time.”
“We’re also going to be looking at what industry wants.”
Holder said the province participated in a significant industry product tour last fall and pledged to work with tourism industry operators in the future.
“We’re going to be following up with industry with respect as to what it is they need as a result of that.”
“We’re going to be wanting to know from operators what it is they expect to see out of that type of campaign.”
Charlotte Campobello MLA Curtis Malloch oversaw the announcement ceremonies.
He thanked Holder and his department for the excellent job it had done in developing tourism initiatives in the region including Blount Small Ship Adventures cruise line, which has committed to home ports in Saint John and Portland, Me., and stops all along the Maine and New Brunswick coasts and the extensive renovation project recently completed in Saint Andrews at the Algonquin Hotel.
Maria Kulcher, chair of the museum’s board of directors, welcomed everyone to the museum and said she was pleased the governments felt the museum was an appropriate place to make the special announcement.
David Whittingham, owner and operator of Blair House, a bed and breakfast in St. Stephen, attended the announcement and said the overall promotion will benefit him and other businesses.
“These connections are very beneficial,” stated Whittingham. He said he promoted cross-border travel to his guests, reminding them to bring their passport.
“People coming here from other parts of Canada have no concept just how close Calais and St. Stephen are,” said Whittingham.
“You could walk over in a minute and you’re in a new country. It’s incredibly novel for a lot of people. We take it for granted.”
Saint Andrews Mayor Stan Choptiany said the initiative was a “tremendously good announcement for the region.
“For 200 years there’s never been a ‘we’ and ‘they’; it’s always been ‘us’. It’s getting that message out to the southern part of the state as well as to the rest of our province.
It’s a positive shared experience.”

kathy@stcroixcourier.ca