In­spi­ra­tion Vil­lage

Ot­tawa event could en­cour­age more vis­i­tors to come to Cape Bre­ton

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF news@cb­post.com

Ot­tawa event aimed at bring­ing tourists to Cape Bre­ton.

A Des­ti­na­tion Cape Bre­ton of­fi­cial is hop­ing po­ten­tial tourists will be in­spired to visit the is­land af­ter at­tend­ing a spe­cial event in Ot­tawa this sum­mer.

Cape Bre­ton Is­land will be show­cased in the nation’s cap­i­tal to mil­lions of po­ten­tial vis­i­tors at an event called In­spi­ra­tion Vil­lage.

It will take place from May 20Sept. 4 in the By­ward Mar­ket, fea­tur­ing provinces, ter­ri­to­ries, cul­ture, art and per­for­mances from across the coun­try. Part of Ot­tawa’s down­town core will be trans­formed into a hub made com­pletely out of sea con­tain­ers. Des­ti­na­tion Cape Bre­ton As­so­ci­a­tion will trans­form one of those con­tain­ers into a life­size de­pic­tion of what Cape Bre­ton of­fers.

“To have a place in In­spi­ra­tion Vil­lage presents a huge op­por­tu­nity for Cape Bre­ton Is­land to stand on a na­tional stage dur­ing this four-month event,” says Mary Tulle, CEO, Des­ti­na­tion Cape Bre­ton As­so­ci­a­tion, who was pro­mot­ing Cape Bre­ton at a Cal­gary trade show on Wed­nes­day.

“In­spi­ra­tion Vil­lage is a cel­e­bra­tion, not just of Canada’s 150th, but of Ot­tawa. The mayor of Ot­tawa very much wanted to show­case all of Canada not just to Cana­di­ans but to the an­tic­i­pated 11 mil­lion peo­ple that will be vis­it­ing Ot­tawa. So we are there with many other provinces and with Parks Canada and with other part­ners.”

Tulle says there is no cost to par­tic­i­pate in In­spi­ra­tion Vil­lage. “The costs that are in­curred are for the decor, for the brand­ing, but again, there’s the op­por­tu­nity to have 11 mil­lion peo­ple see Cape Bre­ton com­ing into the By­ward Mar­ket.”

Des­ti­na­tion Cape Bre­ton staff and a travel coun­sel­lor who has worked with the mar­ket­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion be­fore will look af­ter the site and will be do­ing it on a ro­ta­tional ba­sis.

Tulle says In­spi­ra­tion Vil­lage is a great mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­nity, es­pe­cially since On­tario is a key mar­ket for Cape Bre­ton tourism.

“In the first quar­ter alone we’ve had an 86 per cent in­crease in vis­i­tors from On­tario to our web­site,” she said. “A 140 per cent in­crease this year over last year in vis­i­tors from On­tario since we started our

ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign … all of On­tario is a very lu­cra­tive mar­kets for us.

‘To have an op­por­tu­nity to have face-to-face in­ter­ac­tion with not just peo­ple from On­tario but peo­ple from po­ten­tially across Canada and around the world is a very pos­i­tive way for us to be able to pro­file the great des­ti­na­tion of Cape Bre­ton Is­land on a very small bud­get.”

Ex­pec­ta­tions are high for a good tourism sea­son this year. In a re­cent press re­lease, Parks Canada says its on­line camp­ing reser­va­tions are up 85 per cent over last year — a year that saw about 300,000 vis­i­tors make their way to Cape Bre­ton High­lands Na­tional Park— largely due to the re­lease of the free Parks Canada Dis­cov­ery Passes.

“These are re­ally some won­der­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties to be able to en­gage and pro­mote and hope­fully con­vert vis­i­tors,” said Tulle.

“As a key mar­ket for Cape Bre­ton, our goal is to reach as many vis­i­tors as pos­si­ble dur­ing our time in In­spi­ra­tion Vil­lage and plant the seed that Cape Bre­ton Is­land is an ad­ven­ture you need to take.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

This is an artist’s ren­di­tion of In­spi­ra­tion Vil­lage in Ot­tawa, the site of a suc­ces­sion of spe­cial ex­hibits and per­form­ing arts events, each one show­cas­ing Canada’s provinces and ter­ri­to­ries.

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