In early July 2016, the Government of Canada and the governments of the four Atlantic Provinces launched the Atlantic Growth Strategy that will direct targeted actions to stimulate the Atlantic Canadian economy, including supporting key projects that support long-term growth and position the region to capitalize on emerging opportunities. The Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT) is an example of the kind of collaboration that will help create jobs and re-invigorate the region’s growth.
The Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT) in support of the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership (ACTP) brings together the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the provincial departments responsible for tourism in New Brunswick , Newfoundland and Labrador , Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and the four provincial tourism industry associations.
The ACAT’s mission is simple – grow the tourism industry in Atlantic Canada. In 2017, tourism represented an estimated $4.5 billion in non-resident spending in Atlantic Canada and 57,000 full time equivalent jobs for Atlantic Canadians. The ACAT expands the industry through two research-driven marketing campaigns, one promoting the Atlantic Canadian provinces in the United States and a second in key overseas markets. The ACAT markets Atlantic Canada with major consumer advertising campaigns, travel trade programs and media relations activities.
The ACAT delivers strong results. The initiative generated $217.5 million in tourism revenue for Atlantic Canada in 2015 and 2016. That represents a return of $26.90 for every dollar invested in its marketing campaigns. Thanks to the ACAT, more visitors from the United States and around the world are discovering Atlantic Canada’s charms.
The ACAT is a powerful example of the benefits of government working with the tourism industry in pursuit of shared goals. It allows the four provinces to penetrate markets that are mostly inaccessible individually; intensify their international tourism marketing efforts; generate marketing economies and efficiencies and extend the reach and frequency of provincial and tourism brands in the United States and delivers a regional “Atlantic Canada” brand into priority overseas markets.
Funding for the 2017-2020 initiative, valued at $19.95 million, is cost-shared by the partners, with 50 per cent contributed by ACOA, 33 per cent contributed by the four Atlantic provinces and 17 per cent contributed by the four tourism industry associations in Atlantic Canada.
ACAT Management Committee Members include:
- Ginette Doiron – Chair, Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick
- Yennah Hurley – Acting Deputy Minister, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture
Newfoundland and Labrador:
- Brenda O’Reilly – Chair, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador
- Carmela Murphy – Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
- Kevin Toth – Director, Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia
- Michele Saran – Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Nova Scotia, Department of Business
Prince Edward Island:
- Kirk Nicholson – President, Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island
- Kent MacDonald – Chief Executive Officer, Tourism PEI, Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
- Patrick Dorsey – Vice President, ACOA , P.E.I. and Tourism
- Kelly Power – Acting Director General, Tourism, ACOA
- Sebastien Dubois, Executive Director, Industry Partnerships, Destination Canada
- Corryn Clemence – Secretariat, ACAT