Baddeck , Nova Scotia… here we plan and talk tourism setting goals, budgets and reviewing our competition as we wait to move into our winter retreat on Prince Edward Island, Canada with our good friends at the Eberlee House.
We forge ahead putting the pedal to the metal, pen to paper… punching keyboards like a boxer in a ring. The excitement is growing as we put the pieces of the puzzle together creating travel websites and adding to our ever growing CanadaEH.net Travel Network.
What lies ahead is a big job for two brothers. It sends goose bumps up my spine. It is a long process crossing the country one community at a time, one trail at a time, one park at a time – going on 10 years now – researching, collecting and compiling our data, videos and photos from our self researching efforts. We have big plans coming down the pipe… many are unique to tourism.
This cannot be said for certain government websites and associations. Not all.. but some duplicate data and copy data from one website to the other. It is not uncommon to see the same picture, the same line of text, on many websites. What is up with that anyway? Maybe if they got out from behind their desks and did some research for a change they would learn and appreciate their region more… promote it better, promote it smarter. But again that takes effort and hard work.
The easy path is the best path in a tightly controlled tourismopoly environment. In some cases they have chambers, newspapers, radio and television in their back pockets. They do not like to share with others outside their tight circles. Heck… provinces do not even share successes with other provinces. Some communities do not promote neighbouring communities keeping travelers in the region longer. How sad is that!
The big tourism corporations do not like competition in the least. Take it from me, we have many stories to share of their questionable ethics like black listing businesses, threats and so on… but not now… maybe not ever, why bother they are like spoiled kids, the bully in the school yard. They are a powerful group with a nasty edge with millions of dollars given to them, not earned but given… we are just two brothers with big goals and dreams fighting the machine similar to a modern day David and Goliath. Unfortunately, it is the grass roots of tourism, the small businesses, who pay the biggest price.
But enough of this rant… onto more positive and better thoughts.
In Baddeck, we took a relief from work and went and took a long walk down the streets of this small story book town. There is one main street filled with shops, stores and institutions. There is a waterfront street with a marina, boardwalk path and oceanfront homes. It reminds me of some of the towns back home like Chemainus and Ladysmith, BC… people are pleasant waving, honking and chatting with each other sharing smiles, recipes and the latest gossip. It felt like one big happy family.
The waterfront was a breathe of fresh air. I took some time sitting on the pier collecting my thoughts as they raced from one corner of my brain to the other like a freeway with no stop lights or off ramps. The boats bopped up and down moored to their buoys. Some colorful and clown like, others oozing with money and a “look at me” attitude.
In the distance a lighthouse stands alone directing traffic around a point. The birds soaring high above with not a worry in the world. Below I could see a family of fish, swimming in a circle, surfacing here and there gulping down unsuspecting bugs floating on the surface.
Further down the coastline was a boardwalk path. I walked and smiled at how peaceful life can be when nature entertains. Others gathered nearby, some walking their four legged best friends and some having a snack at one of the waterfront picnic tables. It was a good moment in time for a smile.
Baddeck’s claim to fame is the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. Yes, it is here where the man of the telephone is celebrated. The large museum spills the stories of his accomplishments and his failures. Alexander Graham Bell is a good example of perseverance when technology was considered more like witchcraft.
I sat in silence with my toes dangling in the cool ocean waters… my thoughts slowly carrying me away. My dreams flashing in front me like slides of a picture show reminding me of how lucky we are to live and breath in Canada… and I thought to myself. ” What a great backyard we have to play in.”