New Group wants to increase visitors on Cabot Trail
Stakeholders in the area want better marketing for the Cabot Trail
Nominations are open for a new steering committee that will help market the Cabot Trail and support local businesses.
So far the new group has no name.
The steering committee would replace the Cabot Trail Working Association, which folded late last year due to a lack of government funding.
In its day, the Cabot Trail Working Association created a website, cleared view scapes, and carried out signage and facade programs.
"It's widely acknowledged that the Cabot Trail still needs a group to help market it, to help focus travellers," said Ray Fraser, who helps run a whale watching business out of Bay St. Lawrence.
He's also a past board member of the now defunct association.
On March 25, a few dozen business owners, government representatives, and others got together to talk about forming a new group.
Fraser said one of their top priorities for action was the lack of government support for maintaining and improving infrastructure like roads and washroom facilities.
The group even touched on the need for better cell phone coverage and wireless internet hot spots.
Fraser said there was also dissatisfaction with the general marketing of the trail.
"Right now, throughout the province, there seems to be this idea that the Cabot Trail is something you can do in one day, but it's a three to five day experience, right? It's a lifetime experience for some people."
Fraser said the people at the meeting decided to form a volunteer based steering committee.
He said the group will likely look to existing funding programs to carry out any initiatives.
"We're not foolish. We know it's a down time in economy. We wouldn't expect government handouts. We would just look at existing programs, maybe smarter spending, and just trying to steer everything and the best way to get the funding to come here is to help improve our tourism product at the business level, at the operator level. Because the more people we can get into Nova Scotia, the more tax dollars, the more money you can generate, the more revenue, everything," he said.
Part of the group's mandate will be to communicate information about events and festivals to businesses around the trail, and to visitors.
Nominations for the new steering committee close April 22.