Croydon-based travel marketing and representation company Axis Travel Marketing ran a fun-packed familiarisation (FAM) trip for its client Tourism Nova Scotia from October 9 – 15, 2019, featuring nine members of the travel trade from the UK & Ireland.
Scotland was represented by Barrhead Travel, Stewart Travel and Travelpack; England by Audley Travel, Faremine and Gold Medal Travel; and Ireland by American Holidays, Club Travel and Navan Travel. Three of the attendees had won a place on the FAM thanks to a competition run by Axis Travel Marketing via the online training platform it runs for Nova Scotia, hosted on WestJet’s platform. Those three winners – namely Tracy Billany of Faremine, from Leeds, England; Jill Mikalauskiene of Navan Travel, from Navan, Ireland; and Nicole Paterson of Travelpack, from Glasgow, Scotland – won their place by merit of having successfully completed a training course and submitted details of a Nova Scotia booking.
The trip, which was supported by WestJet Air and began on October 09, 2019 in Halifax where upon landing at Halifax Stanfield International Airport the group got to enjoy the city’s beguiling blend of cutting edge facilities and attractions mixed with historic buildings and visitor attractions. Watery pursuits included taking a tour on the Halifax Harbour Hopper and enjoying the Ribbit Ribbit! amphibious adventure tour showcasing the best of Halifax on land and sea, taking in sights such as Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, the Halifax Public Gardens and St. Paul’s Church before splashing into Halifax Harbour to continue the city tour from the water.
Other activities included a walking tour of Halifax Waterfront and visits to local attractions such as the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, along with newer attractions such as The Halifax Distilling Company in downtown Halifax, at 1668 Lower Water Street, and the award-winning Halifax Central Library.
Day three found the attendees strike out from Halifax to experience some of the coastline’s quaint, photogenic coastal towns such as Peggy’s Cove; Lunenburg, whose charming Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and Mahone Bay, with its three famous churches on the waterfront. Later they headed for Wolfville, where attractions included a Wolfville Winery, before Burntcoat Head Park on Day 4 served up an undisputed group highlight – experiencing first-hand the world’s highest tides at the Bay of Fundy, a phenomenon that takes place twice each day, before venturing on to Antigonish.
Other highlights included learning about local Gaelic and Mi’kmaq cultural influences on a visit to the Eskasoni First Nation, and taking in sights along Cape Breton’s rocky shoreline, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, before the trip culminated in a show-stopping journey around the province’s famed Cabot Trail, on Cape Breton Island, its spectacular trails clinging dramatically to the rugged coast, overlooking the crashing surf, backed by a guided hike and picnic lunch up the scenic Skyline Trail, looking out over the trail to the majestic sea below.