Nova Scotia

Shelburne County tries to become a destination spot in Nova Scotia

Shelburne County Tourism Association is surveying residents and tourists about their experiences.

The Shelburne County Tourism Association is conducting a resident and tourist survey

There are many hidden gems in Shelburne County, including Crescent Beach in Lockeport. (Natalie Dobbin/CBC)

Patricia Vanaman wants Shelburne County to be on the minds of tourists to Nova Scotia, and she's got her pitch down.

"It's very unspoiled," Vanaman said.

"There's kind of a sacredness to that, and yet it's well-used and it's rough and tumble."

Charlene Harris (Left) and Patricia Vanaman (right) work to promote Shelburne County through the Shelburne County Tourism Association. (Natalie Dobbin/CBC)

Vanaman is working for the Shelburne County Tourism Association for the year. One of her goals is to have residents and tourists fill out a survey on local tourism.

The association is trying to determine what makes the area stand out, so it can work to become a destination spot for tourists.

Natural beauty

Beaches, walking trails, boat tours, the Wild Axe Lumberjack AXEperience and McNutts Island are some of the area's top attractions, say Vanaman, and association president Charlene Harris. 

Harris believes the province could do a better job at promoting the area, and other smaller communities.

"When you think of Nova Scotia — Peggys Cove, Lunenburg, Halifax, Cape Breton. We want to say well maybe other smaller communities contribute a great deal to Nova Scotia, as well," she said.

"The rest of us are 'invisible', you know, so I guess we just want people to see us."

Shelburne has the world's third best natural harbour. (Natalie Dobbin/CBC)

"We have a strategy that outlines how we're focusing our resources to do this," Tourism Nova Scotia CEO Michele Saran responded in an email statement Saturday. 

"One way is by working with private sector businesses and tourism industry stakeholders and communities to develop and promote purchasable world-class experiences that appeal to our target markets." 

As well, more accommodations for visitors to the area are needed, but that will be determined through supply and demand, said Harris who owns Roseway River Cottages in Shelburne.

People power

Vanaman said there's something about the spirit of the people in the area, too.

That spirit came through at the Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women and Song in Lockeport in July.

Musician Coco Love Alcorn asked for some type of writing to turn into a song during the final jam session. Vanaman jumped on the opportunity and gave Coco the survey.

"Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, ohhh," Alcorn sang. "What do you take the most pride in livin' in, here in Shelburne County? Is tourism development an important part of our community?"

Coco Love Alcorn recently turned the tourism survey into a song at the Harmony Bazaar in Lockeport Nova Scotia. (Natalie Dobbin/CBC)

That action became music to Vanaman's ears.

"It shows the spontaneity and the authenticity and how you can just make something like right on a dime," she said.

It's that kind of laid-back yet go-get-them attitude that Shelburne wants to show to the world, she said.