The province is investing half-a-million dollars to help regionaltourism associations promote their local areas. Tourism, Culture and Heritage Minister Rodney MacDonald announcedthe investment of $500,000 for the seven regional tourismindustry associations today, Feb. 9. The one-time investment isin addition to annual funding already provided to eachassociation. “This is just one of the ways we are working to ensure tourism inNova Scotia continues to be an important economic generator, anda competitive player in a global and competitive industry,” saidMr. MacDonald. “The tourism associations represent the grassrootsof our industry and work with local stakeholders on how best toattract more visitors to each region.” Each regional association will use the investment for marketingactivities. The amount of the grant is determined by a mutually-agreed-to funding formula based, in part, on the population baseof each region. “This is a huge show of confidence in the partnership between ourregional tourism associations and government,” said DougFawthrop, chair of the presidents’ council of the associations.”The new investment will allow our organizations to get on withthe business of growing regional and provincial tourism.” Today’s investment is part of the new $15-million fundingannounced by Mr. MacDonald in December 2004. That funding isdesigned to help boost Nova Scotia’s tourism industry in theareas of marketing, product development, and regional tourisminitiatives.