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/.
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Conceived by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Office was formally established on 1 January as part of a set of new initiatives endorsed by national leaders attending the 2005 World Summit.“It’s been a very intense 16 days,” Melissa Parke, who is on loan from the Department of Management to jump-start the initiative, told the UN News Service when interviewed on Monday in the sparsely furnished Secretariat premises housing the Ethics Office.Ms. Parke, along with Elia Armstrong, an expert in public integrity from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, with support from Amal Abdallah, also lent by Management, are advising UN staff on the new policies while helping to assemble the interim office and lay the groundwork for a permanent unit that will eventually serve some 29,000 personnel worldwide.So far, they said, staff are taking advantage of the Office’s hotline number, calling to ask questions about accepting specific gifts, their financial disclosure obligations and whether whistleblower protection policies extend to certain cases.“The whole idea of an ethics office is to prevent problems before they arise,” Ms. Armstrong explained. “To try to identify, and to try to help staff identify, what is a conflict of interest and what their obligations and protections are.”In that light, the Office is consulting with other UN units to define a referral system for staff with various kinds of problems or complaints. Other tasks will eventually include awareness training on ethics issues.“It’s not a ‘gotcha’ or enforcement office,” Ms. Parke stressed, noting that the UN already has sound mechanisms to deal with misbehaviour when it occurs, such as the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), which serves as the world body’s independent watchdog.Initially, the Office was mistakenly perceived by staff members and delegates as a reaction to the Iraq Oil-for-Food scandal, she said. They felt its proposed establishment amounted to an admission that the UN and its staff were generally corrupt.That misinterpretation helped fuel the controversy that made the Office one of the last items approved in the budget negotiations.Immediate creation of the Office was necessary, however, to administer the financial disclosure programme and the new whistleblower policy, both of which were mandated by the Assembly to take effect on 1 January as part of the Secretary-General’s broader reform initiatives.In the case of a complaint of retaliation for whistle-blowing, the Ethics Office will conduct a preliminary review to see if there was a credible case. If so, it will forward the matter to the OIOS.Under the new financial disclosure system, the value of gifts that UN officials will be required to report will drop from $10,000 to $250, and financial disclosure forms will be required from a far broader spectrum of officials than the current range of assistant secretary-general and up.Besides advising on obligations under that policy, the Ethics Office must administer the filing and acceptance of disclosure forms.These functions, integrated into an ethics resource, were key parts of the Secretary-General’s reform agenda and had been conceived well before the independent inquiry into charges of mismanagement and corruption of the Oil-for-Food Programme, the Office staff said.Because of the complexity of conflicts of interest issues in the current climate, ethics offices are becoming normal tools for effective management, they added.The UN Convention against Corruption mandates independent bodies, such as ethics offices, within civil service organizations to promote sound public administration. “If we’re promoting those offices, shouldn’t we provide the model here?” asked Ms. Armstrong.The next step in establishing the Office will be the appointment, by senior management, of a well-respected outside ethics expert to be the interim head of the Office.That appointment should take place by the end of the January, the staff said.