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No Ferry from Maine to Nova Scotia, No Problem

Bangor -

BANGOR – Due to budget cuts by the Provincial Government of Nova Scotia, ferry service has been stopped from Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia since December 2009. In a 2010 Southwest Nova Scotia Transportation report, the following reasons were cited:

Tourism in Southwest Nova Scotia has been declining in recent years. It has been adversely affected by the strength of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar, the requirement that American tourists obtain a passport to re-enter the United States, security issues, rising gas prices, changing consumer preferences and stronger competition from other tourism destinations and the cruise industry.

However, according to Donna Hatt, President of Southwest Nova Scotia Tourism, “Tourism is a vital part of our economy, accounting for $1.03 billion dollars in revenues to our region in 2009. Even though tourism numbers arriving though Yarmouth via ferry has been lower in recent years, passenger traffic to Nova Scotia has still remained high. A ferry service has been in existence to New England for the past 100 years! Many New Englanders own homes in Nova Scotia, or have relatives here.”

Nova Scotia tourism is adapting to the unforeseen change by creating an awareness campaign about alternative travel options to get to Nova Scotia. The following options are available:

• Air
o Continental, US Air, and American Airlines fly to Halifax, NS.
o Porter Airlines, a new Eastern Canada/New England service flies to Halifax via Montreal or Toronto.
o Air Charter: Twin Cities Air Service is now flying charter flights between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, NS.

• Car/Ferry
o Bay Ferries: Car and/or passenger ferry service is still available from Saint John, NB
• Bus
o Greyhound Canada operates from New York to Halifax & Yarmouth
o Acadian Lines operates from Bangor, Maine to Digby, Halifax & Truro
• Train
o Via Rail operates from Montreal to Halifax

With so many convenient options available, the Summer/Fall season is a terrific time to explore the many upcoming events between now and the fall season in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island:

• The New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, Fredericton, NB 8/16 – 8/28/2010
Professional classical chamber music festival started in 1994, this year featuring composers Dvorak and Champagne with top Canadian talent and regional performers.

• Wharf Rat Rally, Digby, Nova Scotia 9/1 – 9/6/2010
Atlantic Canada’s Fastest Growing Motorcycle Rally with entertainment, competitions, stunts, scenic sights, celebrities and food.

• Nova Scotia Fall Wine Festival Grand Pré & Annapolis Valley 9/16 – 10/17/2010
Stomp grapes, tour a vineyard or enjoy a wine dinner at 5th annual festival with over 55 events celebrating Nova Scotia wines.

• Fall Flavours Prince Edward Island 9/3 – 9/30/10
Join Chef Michael Smith from the Food Network for a culinary festival in PEI. Enjoy the fall colors with Island cuisine and culture, and experience food from the source.

• Atlantic Canada Film Festival, Halifax 9/16 – 9/25/10
As the fourth major film festival in Canada, it attract the world’s most notable actors, but is intimate enough to be Canada’s kitchen party festival, held in Nova Scotia’s largest city.

• Celtic Colours, Cape Breton 10/8 – 10/16/10
Since 1997, Celtic Colours has featured hundreds of musicians from all over the Celtic world. Learn square dancing or participate in a kitchen racket acoustic jam in a laid-back setting.

Plans are already under discussion to re-start ferry service as early as Summer 2011. Currently, officials with the port of Yarmouth are in discussions with a number of interested companies to establish an opportunity to secure a long-term solution. Meanwhile, according to the Southwest Nova Scotia Transportation study, the net economic impacts of having no service in both Digby and Yarmouth is estimated to be -$211.3 million (Present Value in $2010)

For additional information on Southwest Nova Scotia Tourism, contact Donna Hatt at (902) 354-2711 Ext. 369 or view company website at www.destinationsouthwestnova.com/

For More Information:

Contact Name: Donna Hatt

Telephone Number: (902)354-2711

Website: http://www.destinationsouthwestnova.com

Email: dhatt@whitepoint.com