Annapolis Digby: Roger Brooks Tourism Assessment - Part III


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A report prepared by tourism consultant Roger Brooks of the Seattle-based firm Destination Development Inc. In order to get the most out of this presentation, we recommend that you review all three parts, as pertinent information is interspersed throughout.

Includes remarks regarding Annapolis Royal and environs, Bridgetown, as well as Roger's closing comments.

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Annapolis Digby: Roger Brooks Tourism Assessment - Part III

  1. 1. Annapolis Royal
  2. 2. A very nice gateway and good introduction to the community.
  3. 3. Suggestion: Keep the plantings/weeds below the wording on the sign.
  4. 4. A very charming first impression. Nice shops, good curb appeal - for the most part.
  5. 5. Complimented by some terrific architecture.
  6. 6. One of the iconic Nova Scotia elements is the colorful buildings.
  7. 7. Most of the merchants understand the importance of beautification and curb appeal.
  8. 8. The bench should be flanked with pots/planters. Always work to soften the transition between facades and sidewalks.
  9. 9. Adding gathering places, like Leo’s has done, is always key to creating an outstanding destination.
  10. 10. The exterior menu board is very smart. Leo’s was VERY busy.
  11. 11. Good job.
  12. 12. Keep your signs fresh and well maintained. Good curb appeal here as well.
  13. 13. A great building. Now just add some curb appeal.
  14. 14. Good teasers to pull customers into the theater’s gallery.
  15. 15. About half the merchants have worked to make their shops inviting. The other half need to follow suit.
  16. 16. Fort Macleod, Alberta
  17. 17. Hubbards, NS
  18. 18. Mahone Bay, NS
  19. 19. Suggestion: Plan a trip to Mahone Bay - even this time of year.
  20. 20. Imagine this with a few benches and some beautification. It would be stunning and business would only increase.
  21. 21. Same here. Annapolis Royal could be every bit as charming as Mahone Bay.
  22. 22. Well done. Good signage. Great color. Excellent curb appeal.
  23. 23. And another “anchor tenant.”
  24. 24. Not too sure what all the signs are about. Can these be consolidated?
  25. 25. A great market. Note: Public markets are now a huge tourism draw. Add music or entertainment, artisans in action if possible.
  26. 26. Overall, Annapolis Royal is the region’s showcase town.
  27. 27. Only 4% of visitor stay at B&B’s. You can remove resistance by offering “come in and take a no obligation look.”
  28. 28. Add a brochure holder outside the door with the invitation to take a look. B&B rules: Private baths? Internet access? 24 hour access? In room amenities?
  29. 29. This is very creative. Add an interpretive display telling about this “work of art.”
  30. 30. Ever open? If so, invite us back! Tell us WHEN you will be open.
  31. 31. Suggestion: Keep the weeds to a minimum.
  32. 32. Would you eat here?
  33. 33. Would you eat here?
  34. 34. How about here?
  35. 35. Remember Curb appeal can account for 70% of sales at restaurants, wineries, lodging, retail shops, golf courses.
  36. 36. Can you get any more inviting than this?
  37. 37. A priority should be to develop sidewalks from the downtown core area, up the street to tie it all together.
  38. 38. A great little shop - and another anchor tenant.
  39. 39. The museum has done a good job in making it experiential.
  40. 40. We saw the promenade but were unsure how to get to it.
  41. 41. We eventually found the entrance.
  42. 42. It’s a great walk and another “hidden gem.”
  43. 43. The interpretive signs do a terrific job of telling the stories of Annapolis Royal.
  44. 44. What’s the story here? What happened? When? Remember that history isn’t a point in time. It’s happening today.
  45. 45. Had we not seen the tour group, we wouldn’t have known about tours locally.
  46. 46. Can you read this from the street?
  47. 47. Suggestion: Make it a sign rather than an ad. “Tours 3 times daily. Starting right here. 10:00 - 1:00 - 3:00” Then include one small paragraph of what participants can expect. Include the cost.
  48. 48. We wanted to borrow these folks’ front porch. Looks so inviting!
  49. 49. The park is stunning and a “must visit” - anchor - site.
  50. 50. The interpretive panels and stories (in the museum) are fascinating, but some primary elements are totally missing...
  51. 51. Why such tall chimneys? What was life like here?
  52. 52. How many cubic meters of soil were moved - by hand - to create the fort? How long did it take? How many workers?
  53. 53. This was all hand dug - and has settled nearly two meters (or more) over time.
  54. 54. The construction of the fort is worth promoting and talking about.
  55. 55. Where did the stones come from? How long did it take to build this archway? Tell us the stories.
  56. 56. Where did the concrete come from?
  57. 57. We also visited the Historic Gardens.
  58. 58. Another anchor. Note: Gardening is the fastest growing hobby in North America. Do you hold educational classes here?
  59. 59. The B&Bs in Annapolis Royal, for the most part, are stunning. Amazing architecture.
  60. 60. Another stunning property. Thanks for the tour!
  61. 61. When can we move in?
  62. 62. Suggestions: Have one panel for locals One panel for events One with brochure distribution One panel with primary attractions Avoid the bulletin board look
  63. 63. This is just not that appealing for visitors - or even local residents.
  64. 64. Tidal power centre
  65. 65. This is a very nice wayfinding sign to the centre.
  66. 66. So far, so good.
  67. 67. Once there it quickly goes downhill. Suggestion: Replace this sign with something far more attractive - in keeping with the others.
  68. 68. Overall, what could (and should) be a “must see” attraction, is one of the provinces most embarrassing facilities.
  69. 69. Suggestions: Make the displays interactive.
  70. 70. Visit the Museum of Industry in Stellarton.
  71. 71. Does anybody care? Suggestion: Move the visitor center out of here into a much more desirable location - in the heart of Annapolis Royal. Even other visitors left disappointed.
  72. 72. Suggestion: The power company should be embarrassed by this. It should be a showcase, not an eyesore. Alert the press.
  73. 73. Other notes and first impressions
  74. 74. It’s a beautiful site.
  75. 75. We were short on time, so we didn’t have a chance to go through the museum.
  76. 76. A good story here.
  77. 77. The reconstructed fort is fascinating.
  78. 78. Unfortunately, we arrived at the end of the day when the crew was setting up for a large banquet.
  79. 79. To make it experiential, consider having a bed people can try - to demonstrate what life was like here.
  80. 80. Once again, making it interactive makes it a lasting experience.
  81. 81. Suggestion: Add some interpretive displays, or hand out a self-guided walking tour of the grounds.
  82. 82. We also found Clements Park.
  83. 83. Nicely done.
  84. 84. Great information, nice readerboard.
  85. 85. Suggestion: Add “Upcoming Events” to the large door. Make this work for you as a teaser to get people to come back.
  86. 86. Overall Clements Park was a real treat. Beautiful grounds, nice people, in a great setting.
  87. 87. Wayfinding!
  88. 88. Lots of gathering areas.
  89. 89. A great family summertime destination.
  90. 90. Suggestion: At the train stops let us know how long the wait will be.
  91. 91. Talk about community pride. A great example of “ownership.”
  92. 92. We also visited the Wildlife Park.
  93. 93. Suggestion: When possible consolidate all the signs and make the entrance a bit more inviting.
  94. 94. Suggestion: Tell us about the animals! There was very little, if any, information. Just a lot of cages, about half with animals in them.
  95. 95. Tell us more! Pull us in.
  96. 96. Displays like this are not exactly helpful. And there were a lot of them like this.
  97. 97. Any beavers here?
  98. 98. Finally, a story - albeit a sad one.
  99. 99. Overall a little disappointing. This could be a terrific attraction given more interpretive signage - even voice over information. Technology could make this a great attraction.
  100. 100. Where does this go? Suggestion: Add signage. Connect the dots.
  101. 101. Nice sign to Cornwallis Park.
  102. 102. Nice gateway into the Conference Centre, but once you turn the wayfinding disappears. Suggestion: Finish the job!
  103. 103. We also found the golf course. Good sign.
  104. 104. Looks like a nice course and clubhouse.
  105. 105. Pros: • Good photography • Explains the history of the site Suggestions: • No real information about the rooms, who lived there, what life was like, etc. • Add specifics • Tell stories or interesting facts
  106. 106. Pros: • Great descriptions • Pleasing layout • Good photographs • Plenty of information Suggestions: • Organize by location, not alphabetically • Make sure it sets the event apart from similar events in the province
  107. 107. Pros: • Nicely produced • Excellent map • Descriptions are very interesting • Story teasers are good Suggestions: • Consider color • Put contact, organizational info on back
  108. 108. Pros: • Beautiful brochure • Excellent photos • Nice map Suggestions: • Put contact info on back • Include educational opportunities (if avail.)
  109. 109. Pros: • Great job promoting 3 museums, genealogy • Nicely written • Great job of selling the experience Suggestions: • Sell the experience first, then the location
  110. 110. Bridgetown
  111. 111. Are the other towns not so friendly? Nice sign.
  112. 112. Very nice street lighting and pole banners. A good first impression.
  113. 113. Wayfinding signs: The lettering here should be three times larger. Always use upper and lower case lettering. No more than 5 items.
  114. 114. Nice little town, but not a lot for visitors.
  115. 115. Great sign.
  116. 116. Charming place.
  117. 117. Where we stayed and why
  118. 118. Our secret shoppers all picked The Digby Pines. They had no idea about the ownership. A terrific, exceptional staff here.
  119. 119. The province should make sure investment in the resort is a top priority. This is a draw in and of itself.
  120. 120. Pros: • Good map • Descriptions are enticing Suggestions: • Use more experiential photos • Better quality photos • One outstanding photo on the cover • Avoid script text on brochures
  121. 121. Pros: • Towns are highlighted in a special section • Good, brief descriptions • Activities by season - excellent • Excellent photography Suggestions: • Far too large of an area - can it be divided up somehow? • Add maps of each region • Include key on map of towns, attractions • Hotel listings lack information • Don’t just promote members • Include everyone that meets a minimum standard of quality
  122. 122. Pros: • A good idea and a good map Suggestions: • Format is awkward • Same map on both sides. Why? • Put ads in numerical order
  123. 123. Pros: • Same as last map - but includes shops, restaurants and lodging Suggestions: • Develop these with a directory format
  124. 124. WHAT TO DO
  125. 125. Product Development
  126. 126. 1. Work on retail beautification efforts. 2. Develop 24/7 visitor information kiosks throughout the area. 3. Work on retail signage and beautification. 4. Look at your gateways and make sure they are in the best location to make the first, best impression. 5. Tell stories, don’t just display artifacts. 6. Create a wayfinding system to your primary attractions and amenities.
  127. 127. Marketing
  128. 128. 1. Create the “Hidden Gems of Nova Scotia’s Digby-Annapolis Shore. 2. Develop detailed itineraries. 3. Start with Pick Your Season, then Pick Your Passion. 4. Promote your anchor tenants: The Best of the Annapolis Shore 5. Develop better maps and make them available. 6. Jettison the generic in your marketing efforts. 7. Develop a photo and experience driven website. 8. Stay open later on weekends during the peak seasons.
  129. 129. Create detailed itineraries By type of activity: •History & culture •Arts & entertainment •The environment •Sports & recreation •Shopping & dining •Events By type of travel: •Motorcycle •Bicycle •Private auto, RV •Tour bus Itineraries: • Half day, full day, multi-day
  130. 130. If I lived in Halifax or was visiting the province why would we visit the Digby/Annapolis Shore? • The lodging makes you an overnight stay • The primary activities would include: - Clements Park for families - Annapolis Royal for the history - Balancing Rock for the hiker - Birding, whale watching (Digby Neck & Islands) for the environmentalist - Golf • The complimentary activities: - Shopping, dining - Annapolis Royal, Digby (scallops) - Art - Bear River - Day trip - The Digby Neck & Islands
  131. 131. The final ingredient: Enthusiasm
  132. 132. “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” -Unknown
  133. 133. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
  134. 134. “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  135. 135. The Destination Development International team Julie Jane Claire Lanie Vicky Roger Todd Lisa Maureen Darla Greg Kristin