Cape Breton Island, NS – A new tourism season extension program that provides wage subsidies and skills development is being applauded by participating tourism businesses and organizations. The initiative, supported by the Government of Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, and local tourism partners was launched in July 2019 to assist the long-term sustainable health of the tourism economy.
As one example, Two Rivers Wildlife Park received a 50% wage subsidy for three employees for four weeks through the program. The subsidy allowed the Park to continue the development of its winter offering, which includes such things as its Winter Light-Up event, snowshoeing trails, and the winterization of four new cabins.
“It’s a great program and it really helped us out,” says Park representative Rosemary MacLean. “It is a boost for the economy and for helping Cape Breton’s tourism season to become year-round.”
The Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS) and the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council (NSTHRC) are working with regional industry partners to provide operators with toolkits to improve human resources practices, deliver service excellence training, and provide access to apply to a wage subsidy for operating outside the traditional tourism season. Regional partners for the program on Cape Breton Island are the Cape Breton Partnership and Destination Cape Breton.
There is still an opportunity for tourism operators to participate in the program through online skills training modules for such careers as bartenders, event coordinators, heritage interpreters, food and beverage servers, front desk agents, reservation sales agents, among many others. This online training is available free of charge, but interested operators need to sign up by March 31, 2020. Operators interested in participating in the program or those who would like more information should call the Cape Breton Partnership at 902-562-0122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Dahr, Director, Industry Relations & Professional Development