Best Practices Mission: Building a Quality Tourism Destination – Auto & RV Touring

What is a Best Practices Mission? A Best Practices Mission (BPM) is a working trip that showcases success stories from other leading travel destinations. A BPM connects you directly with communities, entrepreneurs and stakeholders that are leaders in attracting and serving visitors in their target market.

The Building a Quality Tourism Destination – Auto & RV Touring BPM will showcase the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, a successful example of a fly/drive and independent touring route that attracts both long-haul group tours and individual travellers.

This BPM will provide you with the practical knowledge and inspiration you need to further develop your community’s touring route, partner with neighboring communities and municipalities and grow your share of the touring route market. BPMs are one of the best ways to be inspired and to learn.

Who Should Attend? The Auto & RV Touring BPM will appeal to decision makers and managers from tourism operations and communities across Northern Ontario who want to expand their appeal to touring route visitors, attract new and growth markets and further develop touring routes in their vicinity.

Northern Ontario Touring Routes can include complete or sub-sets of:
• Lake Superior Circle Tour
• Georgian Bay Coastal Route
• Lake Huron North Channel Waterfront Trail (cycling/auto touring; boating)
• Manitoulin Island with link to Chi-Cheemaun (auto; cycling; boating)
• Lake Temiskaming Tour
• Group of Seven Touring Routes
• North Bay/Sudbury to Kenora trans-Canada touring

Don’t see your route on this list? Contact TEN at to discuss your suitability for this BPM.

When: Monday, September 24 – Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Where? Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
This 3-day trip will start and end in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Why The Cabot Trail? The Cabot Trail is a world-class, well-established auto touring route. The Cabot Trail touring route ranges from 3 – 5 days through rural landscapes – from mountain, to lake, to sea. Meandering roads dotted with picturesque fishing villages filled with warm communities provide a wonderful auto touring experience. What’s more, tourists are eager to exit their autos to explore more of what the Island offers – be it the rich Celtic heritage, easily accessed hiking trails or affordable lodging and camping.

Specific Learning Themes Include:

• Learn how communities and operators exemplify success in attracting and serving an auto touring market
• Learn about the different types of touring visitors and their decision-making process
• Gain insight into the realities of high season/low season
• See what makes up a successful touring itinerary. Learn what needs to be included in a roster, the lead times it takes to put a tour together, the optimum length of trips, and the marketing involved – specifically media relations, FAMs (Familiarization Tours) and trade partners
• Learn how communities and operators lure visitors off the main roads
• See how communities and operators have adapted to position themselves to touring visitors, including lessons learned, pros and cons
• Learn about the role of community and municipal partners to support auto touring
• Learn about how to build and manage partnerships across regional and municipal boundaries in support of touring routes
• Stimulate new ideas and ways to collaborate and enhance the visitor touring experience in Northern Ontario
• Learn how communities have partnered along a touring rout

Who is Leading the Mission? Laurel Reid, Tourism Synergy

Laurel Reid has expertise in sustainable destination planning and development, community tourism development, tourism marketing strategy, capacity building, market research and strategic business planning. Laurel brings her on-the-ground knowledge of the Cabot Trail to this Best Practices Mission from both her formal training, vast experience and time living on the East Coast.

Cost: Participant Trip cost is $500 / individual. Participants must apply and have their applications approved.

This cost will cover all on site travel, accommodation, set meals and activity fees during the three-day trip. Additional discretionary spending will be the responsibility of participants. You are responsible for travel arrangements and related costs to/from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Deadline for Application: September, 14 2018

Click here to register!


Day 1 – Monday, September 24th, 2018
8:15 am Checkout from Holiday Inn Express & Suites Halifax Airport. Participants to meet at front lobby. Load baggage into bus.
8:30 am – 12:30 pm Depart Holiday Inn to Inverary Resort, Baddeck
12:30 pm Lunch at Lakeside Landing, Inverary Resort followed by discussion with Scott MacAuley, Owner/Operator
1:45 pm Depart for Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
2:00 pm Tour of site with Valerie Mason of Parks Canada
2:45 pm Depart for Victoria County Court House (known as Municipal Courthouse)
3:00 pm Panel Discussion: Setting the Stage – Municipal Courthouse (est. 1889) with representatives from Cabot Trail/Victoria County, Tourism Nova Scotia, Destination Cape Breton Association, Parks Canada – Cape Breton Highlands National Park
4:30 pm Depart for Auberge Gisele’s Inn
4:45 pm Arrive and check into accommodation at Auberge Gisele’s Inn
5:00 pm Time on Your Own – wander around Baddeck
7:00 pm Depart from Auberge Gisele’s Inn (on foot) to Baddeck Lobster Suppers
7:15 pm Dinner at Baddeck Lobster Suppers and discussion with Eileen Montgomery, Owner/ Operator

Day 2 – Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
7:15 am Checkout from Auberge Gisele’s Inn (baggage will be taken care of by Gisele’s Inn); walk to Highwheeler Café
7:30 am Breakfast at Highwheeler Café
8:15 am Depart for The Gaelic College, St. Ann’s
8:45 am Tour and talk of The Gaelic College with Hon. Rodney MacDonald, CEO, Gail Montgomery and Hospitality Manager, Margie Beaton
10:15 am Depart for Ingonish
11:30 am Keltic Lodge, Highlands Links Golf Course discussion with Graham Hudson, General Manager
12:00 pm Lunch at Keltic Lodge
1:00 pm Depart for Cape Breton Highlands National Park
1:15 pm Presentation at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Ingonish Beach with Kelly Deveaux, Manager Visitor Services
2:00 pm Depart for Cheticamp via Cabot Trail
4:00 pm Trois Pignons, Cheticamp tour and talk with Lisette Aucoin-Bourgeois
Directrice générale
5 :15 pm Depart for Maison Fiset House
5:30 pm Check-in at Maison Fiset House and Auberge des Pêcheurs Inn
6:00 pm Wine & Cheese Reception and Talk at Maison Fiset House with Lyne Larade, Manager
6:45 pm Depart for Dinner
7:00 pm Dinner and Traditional Acadien Entertainment at Le Gabrielle with host Corey Doucet, Owner/Operator

Day 3 – Wednesday, September 26th, 2018
7:00 am Breakfast at Maison Fiset
8:00 am Depart for brief stop at St. Peter’s Church/Paroisse Saint-Pierre, National Historic Place
8:30 am Depart for Inverness
9:15 – 9:30 am Municipality of the County of Inverness for a talk with Donna MacDonald, Director of Recreation/Tourism
10:00 am Tour of Inverness County Centre for the Arts and Boardwalk with Donna MacDonald
11:15 am Depart Inverness for Mabou
11:30 am Tour and talk of Glenora Inn and Distillery with Donnie Campbell and Marianne Matheson
12:00 pm Lunch at Glenora Restaurant and Pub
1:10 pm Depart Glenora for Galloping Cows, Port Hood
1:30 pm Arrive Galloping Cows and discussion Joanne Schmidt
2:30 pm Depart Galloping Cows for airport and hotel; debrief on route
5:30 pm Arrive Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Holiday inn Express & Suites; Halifax Stanfield International Airport (2 drop off locations)

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