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Archive for April, 2012

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) announced today that Trout Point Lodge in Yarmouth County has become the 1st Nova Scotia tourism accommodation chosen for the Signature Experiences Collection® (SEC)—a collection of remarkable experiences available from coast-to-coast-to-coast throughout Canada.

From building sand castles in the monumental Athabasca Sand Dunes to travelling back in time at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Canada offers world travellers experiences that are anything but ordinary. The Lodge’s Nova Scotia Seafood Cooking School now among those unique vacation offerings deemed worthy of being a part of Canada’s national tourism enterprise.

The CTC welcomes 48 more tourism experiences as members of the SEC program, an important element of Canada’s Federal Tourism Strategy. Since the launch of SEC in July 2011, a total of just 163 outstanding experiences from every region of the country have become part of the collection. Trout Point joins the Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site as a new SEC member from Nova Scotia.

“Signature Experiences Collection® members include the best attractions that Canada has to offer and help show the world why our country is such an authentic and engaging place to visit,” says the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism). “This initiative is a key part of Canada’s Federal Tourism Strategy, which is based on a collaborative approach between industry and other levels of government to secure Canada’s competitive position in the global tourism market.”
Aligned with Canada’s tourism brand, “Canada. Keep Exploring”, these business operators meet rigorous criteria to ensure they are international standouts.

“Each Signature Experience is a unique invitation for visitors to connect with Canada’s people, geography and culture,” says Nova Scotia-native Michele McKenzie, CTC President & CEO. “Not only does the SEC provide a great way to showcase Canada’s amazing and memorable tourism experiences, it also inspires other businesses to up their game for more international appeal.”
Members of the SEC become the priority pool of high-quality tourism experiences from which the CTC chooses content for its marketing campaigns in the 11 countries where it invests.

The SEC makes it easier for buyers to acquire and sell these tourism experiences to the travel trade, which will be encouraged to include them in their promotional materials and itineraries.

Trout Point Lodge is proud to be selected as a participant and emblem of Canada’s national tourism strategy.

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Unbiased, third-party reviews and ratings of Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia include:

  • annually inspected and recommended for the independent traveler by Conde Nast Johansen’s guide, “the first name in travel”
  • Fodor’s Choice in the 2012-13 Fodor’s Guide to Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada
  • 4 1/2 star rating from Canada Select, the national accommodation rating agency
  • Inspected & recommended, “Award of Excellence,” by AAA/CAA
  • Member, Relais & Chateaux Association
  • Member, the Diamond Collection of BedandBreakfast.com: An exclusive group of professionally inspected and guest-reviewed luxury inns with extensive modern amenities
  • 2012 London Telegraph Hotel Review: 8/10 overall and 9/10 for food & drink
  • Inspected & recommended by the Michelin Green Guide: “luxurious forest hideaway”
  • Signature Experiences Collection®, Canadian Tourism Commission, as of May 1, 2012
  • World’s top 10 great places to check in to an eco lodge, USA TODAY

Reservations can be made online or by calling +1 (902) 761-2142!

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  1. What are Half Board and Full Board? Half Board is breakfast & dinner within a 24 hour period. Full Board is breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For 2012, Half Board is $180/couple and Full Board costs $215. Breakfast is a buffet plus a la carte service. Lunch has three courses. Dinner consists of 5 courses (including the amuse bouche). There is a choice of 2 different fixed menus for dinner.
  2. Do you allow pets? Trout Point Lodge has some pet friendly rooms in the main lodge. We also allow pets in the 2 cottages and in the Forest Suite. There is a $15/day charge.
  3. Do you have WiFi in the rooms? The main lodge has WiFi in the Great Room, reception area, and on the front porch. but not in the rooms. The Forest Suite, Island Meadow Room, Cub Cottage, and Black Bear Cottage have WiFi.
  4. Do you have TVs in the rooms? The main lodge rooms have no TVs. There are individual DVD players and a DVD library. The cottages, Forest Suite, and Island Meadow Room have satellite TV.
  5. Are there bugs? Each year is different. In May through early June there can be some black flies and “no-see-ums.” They are usually gone by early to mid June. There can always be some mosquitos and flies in the woods when going hiking, but not at the lodge. There are no biting insects in the fall.
  6. Do I have a choice of dishes at dinner? We serve table d’hôte style menus for dinner. We always accommodate food allergies, vegetarian diets, and religious diets with advance notice. We cannot promise gluten free choices. For 2012, the Lodge plans to offer two 5-course menus, one of vegetable-based cuisine and one of local seafood. The menus are fixed, but no dishes are repeated during a guest’s stay.
  7. What is there to do? Trout Point has canoes, kayaks, & 29r single-speed mountain bikes for guest use–first come, first served. There is also a new wood-fired hot tub and cedar barrel sauna riverside. There are nature trails on the property, and hiking trails in the adjacent wilderness area. Guided excursions include kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and star gazing. In 2012, there will also be periodic wine tastings. In-room massage is available by appointment. Nearby are fantastic beaches & coastal scenery, Acadian French culture, whale watching, and sea kayaking.
  8. How do I get there? Most guests from outside Nova Scotia fly to Halifax (YHZ). It’s an easy drive from there. There are also direct flights 4 times a week from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on Twin Cities Air Service. There is a ferry from St. John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia. Digby is about 1 hour 20 minutes drive from the Lodge.

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Trout Point Lodge proudly announces that it appears on the top 10 list of eco lodges published today by USAToday Travel. The worldwide list of accommodations that “adhere to green values, offering nature adventures in a sustainable setting” was compiled by veteran travel journalist Larry Bleiberg and green vacation expert Irene Lane of greenloons.com. The article forms part of the popular national newspaper’s “10 great places” series.

“You’re not sleeping on a straw mat on a dirt floor. There are opportunities to stay in very comfortable accommodations” says Lane in the article. While emphasizing Trout Point’s outdoor activities such as star gazing, fishing, kayaking and mountain-bike safaris, the article also pointed to the Lodge’s emphasis on local foods. “You have local delicacies, which, from an eco standpoint, is great,” states Lane.

Other hotels on the top 10 list were as far flung as Ecuador, Kenya, the Czech Republic, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Trout Point was the only Canadian property. Earlier this year, Where magazine placed the Lodge on its list of “15 Deluxe Wilderness Retreats for All Seasons.”

USA Today remains number one in total daily print circulation in the United States. It also has one of the largest average-issue print audience of any national newspaper, with 3.2 million readers daily.

Trout Point Lodge opened in 2000 next to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Secluded at the junction of 2 river, Trout Point offers the “darkest night skies in eastern North America,” as noted by USAToday. The 2012 season starts May 1.

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Delta Air Lines is resuming its weekly service to Atlanta from Halifax and will introduce new daily service to New York for the summer. Travellers flying to and from the U.S. won’t have to make connections through Toronto or Montreal and can take advantage of U.S. customs pre-clearance available at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

The U.S. carrier will fly non-stop to Atlanta from Halifax International Airport, beginning June 21.

The Saturday service will depart Atlanta at 10:55 a.m and arrive in Halifax at 2:15 p.m. The out-bound flight will depart Halifax at 3:00 p.m.

The flights will run until September and be operated by Delta’s connection carrier Skywest, using a 76-seat Canadair jet. The daily New York service will start June 5 and operate until Sept. 7. See more at the Chronicle-Herald.

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Last September, the Lodge was pleased to announce that 90% of its 14 employees were from the local area.

In its 12th season of operation, Trout Point is proud to say that has a truly home-grown (and fantastic) staff, truly representative of the local area. The only employee out of a current 14 from the outside area is the new staff astronomer, who graduated from Halifax’s St. Mary’s University and is native to New Brunswick. All 13 live in Yarmouth County, most in Kemptville itself.

Why is local so important? For one, it greatly increases the beneficial impact that Trout Point can have on the local economy. For another, it enhances the Lodge’s geotourism values; employees who live and play in the local region provide a more worthwhile, experiential experience for our guests. They become our concierges. Finally, it restores a Kemptville, NS tradition of guides, lodges, and nature tourism that deserves reinvigoration.

Trout Point has concluded its planning for the 2012 season, extended now from May 1 to November 30, and it looks as though 100% of the fabulous core team of 14 will be returning employees!

This includes locals hired as early as 1998 & 2003 to those who just joined the Lodge staff last year. As noted in this presentation, local hiring is an integral component in developing and sustaining a tourism destination:

What does Geotourism add?

  • Builds on “sense of place” ‐ a destination’s geographical character & distinctiveness
  • It’s synergistic ‐ All the elements of geographical character work together to create an experience that is richer than the sum of its parts
  • Involves the community ‐ Provides a distinctive, authentic experience
  • Informs both visitors & hosts – As residents become more informed & develop pride & skill in showing off their locale, tourists get more out of their visit  (both take responsibility for destination stewardship)
  • Benefits residents economically ‐ Travel businesses hire local workers & use local services, products & supplies
  • Supports integrity of place ‐ Destination‐savvy travelers seek out businesses that emphasize the character of the locale; In return, local stakeholders who receive economic benefits appreciate & protect the value of those assets
  • Means great trips ‐ Enthusiastic visitors bring home new knowledge; They encourage friends & relatives to experience the same thing, which brings continuing business for the destination

When Trout Point was honoured as worldwide top 10 finalist in the Geotourism Challenge, Power of Place: Sustaining the Future of Destinations, it reinforced the Lodge’s commitment to geotourism and sustainable tourism practices. Efforts were redoubled to hire locally, which in turns gives guests an enhanced experience of place and benefits the local economy. As the Wikipedia entry on geotourism explains:

Like ecotourism, geotourism promotes a virtuous circle whereby tourism revenues provide a local incentive to protect what tourists are coming to see, but extends the principle beyond nature and ecology to incorporate all characteristics that contribute to sense of place, such as historic structures, living and traditional culture, landscapes, cuisine, arts and artisanry, as well as local flora and fauna. Geotourism incorporates sustainability principles, but in addition to the do-no-harm ethic, geotourism focuses on the place as a whole. The idea of enhancement allows for development based on character of place, rather than standardized international branding, and generic architecture, food, and so on.

Lodge proprietors and staff look forward to welcoming new and returning guests starting May 1! In so doing they will be continuing a century old lodge, camp, and guide traditionin Kemptville and Yarmouth County. As renowned local travel writer Bruce Bishop notes in his article “What might have been is not (yet) what is,” 

In another life, I’ve reviewed hotels and resorts for guidebook companies in places as far away as Bintan, Indonesia and Cape Town, South Africa…and I still contend that what we have here is a natural goldmine waiting for proper and sustainable tourism use. The state of New Hampshire has taken a keen interest in its old grand hotels and inns, many of which have been refurbished by private enterprise. And similar to the volume of visitors to that state over 100 years ago, Canadians alonemade more than 359,400 visits to New Hampshire in 2006, spending $78 million.

Let those fellow Canadians come here instead – and Americans, too – and make Loran Ellis Baker proud of what he began in 1892: a strong, self-reliant tourism industry in western Nova Scotia.

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Did you know that if you book a tour package with Trout Point Lodge, you can apply to get 1/2 of the 15% Harmonized Sales Tax refunded as a rebate from the Canadian government?

tour package is a combination of two or more services or of property and services that includes transportation services, accommodation, a right to use a campground or trailer park, or guide or interpreter services when the property and services are supplied together for an all-inclusive price.

You can view and book current Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia packages here.

Our Nova Scotia Seafood Cooking School packages also count!

You will find more information and application forms from the Canada Revenue Agency here.

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