Rural Nova Scotia is a treasure trove of natural beauty, cultural richness, and unique experiences waiting to be discovered. With tourism trends evolving rapidly, there has never been a better time for entrepreneurs to explore the untapped potential of rural tourism. At IGNITE Atlantic, we believe in fostering innovation and seizing opportunities, which is why we are excited to share the upcoming competition we are hosting with our tourism organization partners. This is a great way to kickstart your journey into the world of rural tourism entrepreneurship.

The Rural Nova Scotia Tourism Innovation Pitch Competition

Are you an entrepreneur with a vision for a tourism venture that celebrates the charm and authenticity of rural Nova Scotia? If so, the Rural Nova Scotia Tourism Innovation Pitch Competition is your chance to shine. This competition offers a platform for creative minds to showcase their innovative ideas and business plans for new tourism ventures.

Why Should You Participate?

1. Tap into Emerging Trends:

Rural tourism is experiencing a resurgence, driven by a growing desire for authentic, off-the-beaten-path experiences. From farm stays and agritourism to outdoor adventures and cultural immersions, rural areas have become a hotspot for travellers seeking unique and sustainable ventures. 

2. Access Expert Insights:

During the competition, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable insights from presentations by Tourism Nova Scotia and the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS). Discover the latest trends and opportunities in the tourism sector, helping you fine-tune your business concept.

3. Network with Success Stories:

Connect with successful innovative entrepreneurs who have already made their mark in rural tourism. Learn from their experiences and gather inspiration to fuel your venture.

4. Secure Funding and Support:

The winners of each regional pitch session will advance to the final round at the TIANS Annual Summit. Here, you’ll have the chance to pitch your idea to a panel of judges and experienced tourism industry professionals to compete for funding.

Rural Tourism Trends: Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Whether you have a concept for a unique farm experience, an outdoor adventure, a one-of-a-kind accommodation, or a cultural attraction, we are looking for new innovative ways to solve and improve the rural tourism industry. This competition is your gateway to turning your tourism dreams into reality. We are looking for out-of-the-box and unique ideas so do not feel limited to these ideas!

1. Agritourism and Farm-to-Table Experiences

One of the standout trends in rural tourism is agritourism, where visitors get a firsthand look at farming and agricultural practices. Entrepreneurs can consider setting up farm tours, offering pick-your-own produce experiences, or creating farm-to-table dining options. These ventures not only showcase the rural way of life but also promote sustainable practices and support local farmers.

2. Outdoor Adventures and Eco-Tourism

Rural areas often boast stunning natural landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities. Entrepreneurs can cater to adventure seekers by offering activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, stargazing, and wildlife tours. Eco-tourism, which emphasizes responsible travel and conservation, is gaining traction and can be integrated into these offerings.

3. Glamping and Unique Accommodations

Travellers are seeking unique and memorable accommodations. Entrepreneurs can invest in glamping (glamorous camping) sites, treehouses, yurts, or cozy cabins that provide comfort and a close connection to nature. These types of accommodations can set your rural tourism business apart from traditional lodging options.

4. Cultural and Heritage Tourism

Many rural areas have a rich cultural and historical heritage that can be a significant draw for tourists. Entrepreneurs can create cultural experiences, heritage tours, and museums that showcase the unique stories and traditions of their region. This not only educates visitors but also preserves and celebrates local heritage.

5. Slow Tourism: Embrace Rural Tranquility

Embracing the trend of slow tourism, which revolves around appreciating the unhurried rhythms of rural life, presents a promising opportunity for entrepreneurs in rural areas. This approach aligns with the growing demand for authentic, off-the-beaten-path experiences that encourage travellers to indulge in simple rural pleasures. This could include anywhere from exploring local markets to engaging in traditional crafts. Slow tourism also fosters sustainability and deeper community connections, potentially attracting longer stays and repeat visits. Which significantly benefits your business! So, consider how you can harness the appeal of slow tourism to set your rural enterprise apart and cater to the evolving preferences of today’s adventurers. 

Rural communities have the potential to offer unforgettable experiences to travellers. By embracing these rural tourism trends and participating in events like the Tourism Innovation Pitch Competition, entrepreneurs can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of rural tourism in Nova Scotia.

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting event, and don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the rural tourism competition!

Event Details

The Rural Nova Scotia Tourism Innovation Pitch Competition consists of four regional pitch sessions, each covering specific areas of rural Nova Scotia:

1. Cape Breton – Inverary Inn: October 6 – Covering Inverness, Victoria, Cape Breton, and Richmond regions.

2. Central – Ignite New Glasgow: October 19 – Covering Antigonish, Colchester, Cumberland, Guysborough, Pictou, and rural Halifax regions.

3. South West – Ignite Yartmouth: October 26 – Covering Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, and Lunenburg regions.

4. Valley – Old Orchard Inn: November 2 – Covering Hants, Kings, Annapolis, and Digby regions.

Register Today

Visit the following website to register to pitch at one of our four regional pitch competitions:!