WILD ISLANDS TOURISM ADVANCEMENT PARTNERSHIP COMMUNITY SURVEY (NOVEMBER 2019)

1. Who is the WILD ISLANDS TOURISM ADVANCEMENT PARTNERSHIP (WITAP)?

The Wild Islands Tourism Advancement Partnership, WITAP for short, is a community-based committee, formed on June 30 2016, with representation from Musquodoboit Harbour to Sherbrooke. Its goal is to better develop nature-based tourism in the area by using the archipelago of approximately 750 ‘wild islands’, between Jeddore Rock and Wedge Island, as a unique reason for people to visit the area. Based on experience to date, it is expected that most visitors will experience the islands from the shoreline, some will take boat tours, while only a very small proportion will actually land on the islands.
2. What has WITAP done so far?

In December 2016, WITAP submitted a research and preliminary planning proposal for the area to all three levels of government. By April 2017, full funding, including a financial contribution from local businesses and organizations, had been secured. This work has now been completed and includes:

a) A comprehensive GIS-based database of all islands documenting their natural and cultural heritage
b) An on-site archaeological reconnaissance of many of the islands known to have been occupied
c) Workshops for local people and businesses interested in developing an experiential tourism product.
d) An inventory of local visitor services identifying gaps, together with a strategy to eliminate these gaps
e) A master development plan for the next stage, including a marketing name and visual identity
f) Establishing a WITAP website with all information available to the public
3. What is WITAP hoping to do next?

WITAP has prepared a proposal for the next step with a significant budget that could include:

a) Installing entry-point welcome signs in Musquodoboit Harbour, Sheet Harbour and Sherbrooke
b) Creating up to ten island-views along the #7 highway so that the islands can be more easily seen
c) Building island-viewing kiosks with a telescope and interpretive panels at either end of the area
d) Documenting all existing marine-travel service facilities in the area to identify all service gaps
e) Holding multiple tourism experiential training workshops for local people and businesses
f) Conducting an archaeological review of a few islands that have evidence of very early occupation
g) Identifying three pilot-project private-sector partners to cost-share washrooms for public use
h) The development and implementation an Eastern Shore Tourist Guide smartphone mobile app
4. Why is WITAP publishing this newsletter and survey?
We want to bring our community up to date on what we have done, why we are doing it, and what we are planning to do next. But, most importantly, we would like feedback from the community about our plans. Since we formed our committee we have held open houses throughout the area but not everyone goes to community meetings, which is why we are sending out this newsletter and survey.
5. What would WITAP like you to do?

Please review the survey for how you can help us and become eligible to win a prize at the same time.
This newsletter and survey has been distributed to the 4070 households between Musquodoboit Harbour and Sherbrooke, and has also been posted here, on the WITAP website.
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