Exciting passions to visit Cape Breton

News release

Influencer marketing targets outdoor adventure enthusiasts and travellers passionate about Gaelic culture

August 16, 2019 – Sydney, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Enabling communities to focus on attractions and characteristics that make them special, and find innovative ways to showcase these experiences to the world helps them achieve success in the visitor economy. This is why the Government of Canada is supporting Destination Cape Breton as it moves forward with a tourism marketing initiative to attract very specific, high value travelers.

Destination Cape Breton’s Community of Interest program will create social media content targeted at outdoor adventure enthusiasts and travelers passionate about Gaelic culture. Travel influencers with large social media followings will connect with local ambassadors to create and share content highlighting the unique Cape Breton experiences these enthusiasts are looking for.

Today, Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced funding totalling $185,000 to support the strategy. Two non-repayable investments through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP) will go towards Destination Cape Breton’s efforts to expand the tourism season and generate new sources of revenue for the industry.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting tourism-based initiatives and attracting more international visitors to Canada. It is investing in tourism to create middle class jobs, grow Canada’s economy, and bring new opportunities and pride to communities looking for a chance to show the world what they have to offer. This bold approach is in line with Canada’s new tourism strategy, which seeks to make Canada a top-ten global tourism destination by 2025.


“Our government supports innovative approaches to increase the economic impact of the tourism industry. There is a global tourism boom underway, and competition is strong. This investment will support Destination Cape Breton’s effort to transform the economy through tourism by connecting targeted groups of travelers with the experiences they are looking for.”

     - The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“Outdoor adventurers and Gaelic enthusiasts have good reason to visit Cape Breton. Getting word out to these Communities of Interest though this focused approach to innovative marketing will help us expand the season and reach our tourism potential.”

     - The Honourable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney – Victoria on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of  Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Communities of Interest approach to marketing harnesses the power of social media to appeal to the passion of specific audiences like outdoor adventurers and Gaelic enthusiasts. This funding will allow us to work with social media influencers and local content creators to showcase Cape Breton Island to their respective communities.”

     - Terry Smith, CEO, Destination Cape Breton Association

Quick facts

  • Communities of Interest (COIs) are groups of travelers who share their common interest or passion on social media.

  • Travel influencers use social media and other digital resources to share experiences that connect COIs with destinations.

  • The Government of Canada invested $60,000 in the Community of Interest program for outdoor adventure enthusiasts and $125,000 in the program for Celtic/Gaelic culture enthusiasts. Destination Cape Breton Association contributed $110,000 and Celtic Heart of North America provided $30,000 toward these projects.

  • ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP) supports organizations working to build strong competitive communities.

  • Cape Breton Island is ranked #1 Island in Canada and #8 Island in the World in the 2019 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

Associated links


Chris Brooks
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)

Terry Smith
Destination Cape Breton Association

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