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Money still available for regional tourism associations, despite funding cutbacks

Although core provincial funding to regional tourism associations is being eliminated, the cutbacks will not include funding for visitor information centres, a Tourism Nova Scotia official says.

“I can say that, for sure, the funding program for local visitor information centres is not going away. It will definitely be there for next year,” said interim president and CEO Michele McKenzie.

“We’re still going to have funds for partnering with communities and with the industry for different purposes.”

McKenzie’s comments are in reference to a recent Truro Daily News story in which Alana Hirtle, board chairwoman of the Central Nova Tourism Association (CNTA), said funding cutbacks to regional tourism organizations will represent a “devastating loss” to the industry.

The CNTA receives $48,000 per year in core funding from the province for administrative purposes.

Hirtle also expressed concern that the CNTA will lose other funding programs previously allocated to the region, including $35,000 for co-op regional marketing, $50,400 to operate visitor information centres (VICs) and $12,500 for festival and event assistance.

But McKenzie said while core funding is being cut, the new funding formula being provided by Tourism Nova Scotia (a Crown corporation) could actually provide more money for tourist associations through partnership programs that are in the works.

“We’re still going to have funds for partnering with communities and with the industry for different purposes,” she said, adding that program partnership will include a portion of funding for administration purposes.

“It depends upon how relevant the members of CNTA see the programming that we will offer. And I’m hoping that it will be very relevant and that they would see a way to access funding through that avenue,” McKenzie said.

“And, in fact, it could be more because we will have more money available for partnerships than we had for core funding.”

The total Tourism N.S. budget for 2016, which is being made up in part from the elimination of the core funding allocations, is $303,000, she said.

“So we’re not reducing anything.”

Twitter: @tdnharry



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