Valley Regional Enterprise Network to develop strategic tourism plan

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

June 17, 2021 · Kentville, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry is vital to the region’s economy and supports thousands of local jobs and businesses. That is why the Government of Canada is investing to help the Valley Regional Enterprise Network (REN) improve and expand local tourism experiences in the Annapolis Valley and identify new opportunities for tourism development.

Government of Canada supports tourism in the Annapolis Valley

Today, Kody Blois, Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants, announced a non-repayable contribution of $117,250 to the Valley REN. This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

This contribution will enable the Valley REN to hire a consultant through the Strategic Tourism for Areas and Regions (STAR) program to develop a tourism plan for the Annapolis Valley. The plan, which will be developed in collaboration with key industry stakeholders, will focus on growing the region’s high-end culinary, outdoor and cultural experiences. It will also identify new opportunities to establish the area as a year-round tourism destination.

Investments like this show the Government of Canada’s commitment to investing in projects and initiatives that boost local tourism and help the industry prepare for a strong and swift recovery when travel restrictions are lifted.


“Investments like this one help reposition Atlantic Canada as a destination of choice and ensure that the region is ready to welcome more visitors when the time is right. Budget 2021 allocates $1 billion over the next three years to help the tourism sector rebuild and recover. Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to ensuring that our economy comes roaring back.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Annapolis Valley boasts some of the best vineyards and culinary experiences in Atlantic Canada, and is one of Nova Scotia’s top tourism destinations. This investment will lay the groundwork for uniform branding and messaging to represent the various key tourism stakeholders in the region.”

– Kody Blois, Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants

“The tourism sector is one of the key economic drivers for the Annapolis Valley. The STAR Program will utilize a coordinated approach, bringing together all stakeholders, in the development of a strategic regional tourism plan. As one of the highly affected sectors throughout the pandemic, the need to build back better and stronger is vital to the success of the sector. We are very excited for the opportunity to have this program in our region.”

– Jennifer Tufts, CEO, Valley Regional Enterprise Network

Quick facts

  • The Valley Regional Enterprise Network (REN) is the regional economic development organization for the Annapolis Valley. Its members include Glooscap First Nation, the Municipality of the County of Kings, West Hants Regional Municipality and the Towns of Berwick, Kentville and Middleton and the Province of Nova Scotia.

  • The Valley Regional Enterprise Network’s (REN) strategic tourism plan will be tailored to the Annapolis Valley region with consideration for its unique offerings, experience development and a focus on year-round tourism.

  • The strategy will also include additional components in response to COVID-19 such as a recovery plan, resiliency building and future disaster preparedness.

  • Funding for this project is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency‘s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund (ICF).

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