We are pleased to announce the launch of Tourism Atlantic’s (ACOA) Strategic Tourism Strategy for Areas and Regions (STAR) program for the Annapolis Valley region. With the help of Richard Innes, our tourism consultant, the program will assist the region in becoming a sustainable tourism destination through strategic, collaborative, community-based tourism development.
The program is based on strategic and collaborative destination development encouraging active participation from the tourism industry, local organizations, government, communities and residents.
Click here for the most recent update on the STAR Program.
STAR 7 Step Process
Step 1: Start-up and Regional Research
One-on-one research with community leaders, tourism operators and key tourism partners are ongoing throughout the early stages of information gathering.
Step 2: Introduction to STAR
Participants were able to provide input and ask questions about the Program during public information sessions held throughout the region in December 2021.
Step 3: Visioning, Benchmarking and Idea Generation
Our consultant was back in the region in April 2022 for the visioning and idea-generating sessions. Over 100 people attended the event providing feedback that will help shape the Regional Tourism Strategy.
Step 4: Consultations
Our consultant toured the region in July 2022 and was able to experience low tide beach excursions, biking the Harvest Moon Trail and visits to several communities on the Bay of Fundy and Minas Basin shores. Municipal representatives, community organizations and tourism operators highlighted the value and potential of the region through these visits and conversations.
Step 5: Draft Plan Presentation and Capacity Building
Our consultant, Richard Innes, was in the region in September to present his preliminary findings and draft plan. Richard also delivered capacity building training sessions about the TripAdvisor platform.
Step 6: Final Plan and Implementation
A digital assessment of the region will be factored into the final plan. Richard will host a meeting with Municipalities in the region and continue to the Working Group prior to the delivery of the strategy.
The final strategy will be delivered to the region early in 2023.
Step 7: Follow-up at 3, 6 and 12 months
Meet our Consultant
Richard Innes is a marketing specialist with 32 years of experience and a background steeped in tourism. He has held senior roles in national and international advertising agencies, managing assignments for some of Canada’s largest advertisers. As an experienced tourism industry strategist, Richard blends the creativity of his marketing background with the discipline of visitor-centric tourism strategy development. He excels in multi-stakeholder environments and relishes opportunities to work with tourism owner-operators. As an accomplished facilitator, Richard can rally tourism stakeholders in collaborative dialogue that generates relevant and realistic business solutions to increase the visitor economy.
In 2012, Richard was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his service to Canada’s tourism industry.
“I am thrilled to be working with the Annapolis Valley tourism industry. The STAR process represents an opportunity for tourism stakeholders to come together to identify a series of relevant and realistic strategies to enhance competitiveness and demand. As the global tourism sector rebounds, there is no better time than now for tourism operators in the Valley to embark on this exciting destination development journey. I maintain that a collection of bright minds properly stimulated will produce the ideas we are looking for and some that we never expected.”