The province is pitching Nova Scotia as the “perfect road trip” in an aggressive marketing campaign to increase first-time visitors and boost overall tourism. “The province’s new tourism direction and marketing campaign will allow us to compete as a top travel destination,” said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. “We want to give Nova Scotians a chance to preview our new campaign, which will inspire more first-time visitors to come to Nova Scotia, travel more of the province, and explore everything we have to offer.” The new campaign, Take Yourself There, uses extensive consumer research to create an emotional connection with first-time visitors. It portrays Nova Scotia as place where diverse, vibrant landscape and culture, combines with friendly and engaging locals, and accessible seacoast and communities to create the spirit of a perfect road trip. First-time visitors, who spend 42 per cent more and travel further throughout the province, make up 19 per cent of Nova Scotia’s 2 million annual visitors. The number of first-timers has been declining, which the campaign aims to change. “We will focus our advertising investment in the areas where we have the highest potential to attract first-time visitors,” said Patrick Sullivan, CEO of the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency. “If we get them here once, our research shows that they come back again and again. “It’s up to every Nova Scotian to contribute to the unforgettable experiences that turn first-time visitors into repeat visitors, and compel them to share their positive experience with family and friends.” The new campaign, which includes television, newspaper, billboard and online advertising, will run in Ontario and, for the first time in three years, in Quebec in English and French. The province is also marketing in the mid-Atlantic and New England areas in the United States, and overseas in the United Kingdom and Germany, in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership, the Canadian Tourism Commission and others. “We’re excited about where this new campaign can take us,” said Donna Hatt, marketing and development manager at White Point Beach Resort. “We believe that visitors’ journeys are just beginning when they arrive in Nova Scotia, and that adventure will unfold around every corner. This campaign will provide a great platform for industry to communicate that message and can help to get visitors moving through all regions of the province.” The province will also expand its online presence with a multi-year digital marketing plan. Highlights include a refresh for novascotia.com this year with a completely rebuilt site for 2014. The plan will build on successful social media engagement through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Beginning March 18, visitors will also be able to download a new tourism app from iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices. The 2013 Doers’ and Dreamers’ guide is available now, in English and French. For the first time, the travel guide was printed on high-quality Nova Scotia stock from Port Hawkesbury Paper and will be available digitally for download to mobile devices, beginning March 18. Nova Scotia’s tourism industry is an important contributor to the economy, directly employing more than 24,000 people and generating annual revenues of $2 billion. Nova Scotia spends about $5 million on its advertising campaign to market Nova Scotia in key areas. For more information on the province’s tourism marketing campaign or to view the television ads, visit http://novascotia.com. NOTE: A list of campaign highlights follows this release. A social media version of this release, with hi-res, downloadable photos, video and audio clips will be available later today, March 13, at http://novascotia.ca/news/smr/2013-03-13-Tourism-Campaign/.