Atlantic Tourism Best Practice Program
What is the Atlantic Tourism Best Practice Mission Program?
The Tourism Best Practices Mission (BPM) Program is a pan-Atlantic initiative supported by ACOA Atlantic, along with the four Tourism Industry Associations and respective Provincial Tourism Departments. TIANS is leading the coordination of this important work for our partners in industry and government across the Atlantic region.
Best Practice Missions are working business trips focused on themes relevant to operators and destinations. They provide a unique opportunity to experience and learn from leaders in the industry and showcase business models of innovative or recognized, competitive destinations.
The BPM program is focused on building capacity, enhancing quality and driving innovation by exposing private sector operators and representatives of tourism destinations to successful tourism operators and outstanding products in other jurisdictions to help create an environment of ‘best practices'.
The BPM Program connects participants directly with industry leaders in attracting and serving domestic and international visitors. You will see, experience and talk, peer-to-peer, about their successes and challenges.
BPMs offer a distinctive platform for industry learning and inspiration by stimulating new approaches around product ideas, customer service practices, innovative operational techniques, and partnership opportunities for the Atlantic tourism sector.
Since 1998, over 1500 participants from all over Atlantic Canada have experienced and learned from various Best Practice Missions to a range of locations across North America.
International Indigenous Tourism Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba
March 7-10, 2023
Eligibility and Criteria
Lead or be in a senior position of a bona fide, registered tourism business that has been in operation for at least 1 year.
Demonstrate that your organization has a direct relationship to the mission product theme.
- Be able to commit to the entire agenda of the mission
- Book their own airfare – using provided travel agency or book their own
- Hold a valid passport or Nexus card if travelling outside Canada
- Be able to incur mission associated expenses, which will be partially reimbursed at the completion of the mission (for airfare, accommodations, meals, etc.).
- Provide session notes for incorporation into final report
- Submit evaluations, reports, and expense claims in a timely manner
- Participate in relevant Mission follow up meetings and assessments
Other Eligibility Criteria
Only one delegate per company may participate in BPM’s; delegate partners/spouses not permitted to attend. (This may be adjusted for an operator driven mission where deemed appropriate by Program partners).
A tourism business can only participate in one mission per twelve-month period. Should a mission with the same focus be organized multiple times over the course of the project, a tourism enterprise may only participate once.
Destination organizations will be examined on a case by case basis, based on merit with respect to repeat mission eligibility.
In the event that a mission has not reached delegate capacity, and there are tourism sector nominees who do not fully meet the criteria, those nominees may be offered the opportunity to participate if willing to pay 100% of their costs, and will be handled on a case by case basis.
Federal, Provincial, Crown Agency employees as well as Federal and Provincial elected officials must cover their own expenses.
What Types of Missions are Planned?
Pan-Atlantic Missions (4 Missions over 2 years)
These missions will explore new and emerging products, experiences and technologies that align with the priorities of multiple Atlantic provinces. These are “big picture” missions with a focus on the topics that will have the biggest impact on our tourism industry in years ahead and participants will be experienced, senior leaders who can effect change post Mission.
Pan-Atlantic missions will typically have space for a maximum of 16 participants each (4 seats/province) and each one will be a multi-day event.
The BPM Program Manager will coordinate the agenda and attendees participate in follow up meetings at 30 days, 3 months and 6 months.
Cluster Missions (4 Missions over 2 years)
These missions are based on the priorities of provincial tourism departments, Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and product specific priorities. They are designed to leverage existing assets that are authentic to the region and may also assist in the development of specific product or destination clusters. Participant groups will be selected based on the opportunity to create the largest impact. Cluster Missions will have a maximum of 10 participants each and take place over 6-7 days each, including travel time. Mission activities and agenda are overseen by the BPM Program Manager who also coordinates follow up at the 30 days, and 3-6 month timeframe post-mission.
Operator Drive BPM’s are designed specifically for small and medium sized tourism businesses. The intent is to provide operators with the opportunity to raise the bar and take their products and services to a higher level of quality. These missions must closely align with an organization's business plan and strategic priorities for growth and development.
Operator driven missions typically have only the relevant business representatives participating. The BPM Manager supports the agenda and planning of the mission, but does NOT accompany participants. These missions can be up to 5 days each, including travel time. Follow up is provided to Mission participants to identify impact, potential barriers and connect to additional supports .
Which Expenses are Covered for BPM Participants?
Delegates will be reimbursed at 50% of eligible Mission costs. A claim form will be provided at the end of the mission and will need to be filled out in full with original receipts. Meals are reimbursed at 50% of the per diems based on Federal Government rates and subject to change. Group blocks of accommodation will be held for most missions and participants are expected to stay at the group location. Airfare must be booked at economy class and it is requested that participants ensure they have appropriate travel interruption/cancellation and health insurance.
*Please note that participation in Missions is by application process, based on a number of factors and that acceptance is not guaranteed.
**Maximum allowable claims may apply based on project budgetary limitations.
Are you interested in learning more about the Atlantic Best Practice Missions?
Please contact Susan Tilley-Russell, Manager, Best Practice Mission Program at:firstname.lastname@example.org