The new book, called Experience Digby Area, is robust, colourful and full of handy tips on what to see and how long to stick around for.
The group who produced the guidebook includes Saskia Geerts, Greg Turner, Frost, Linda Graham and Mary Tibbetts. Their first meeting was in December, and they got to work right away on creating content and finding advertisers.
By February, the content was complete. Geerts says the time and energy these people invested is “really incredible.” She can’t even think of how many hours were spent putting everything together.
Graham and Frost even went door to door around the county – everywhere from Digby town to Brier Island – seeking businesses to advertise in the book.
“I’m always amazed at how our community can come together to get stuff done,” she says.
“Some towns have dedicated tourism boards with big budgets, while ours is entirely volunteer. It’s just so nice to see,” she says.
The group did get some professional guidance. After receiving a grant from the Digby-Clare Community Business Development Coorporation (CBDC), the group worked with Jim Todd of Todd Graphic, who helped provide insight on page design and layout.
The photos used for the guide are from the Inspiring Content grant won by the town in 2016, which produced video footage and photos for marketing purposes.
Other photos used in the guidebook were taken by locals. The guidebook even includes a few photos taken by Digby’s own Ben Cleveland, who regularly posts content ranging from wildlife shots to colourful sunsets on various social media pages.
Geerts says a key feature of the new guidebook is pages that feature descriptions of areas such as Bear River and Brier Island which also feature a proposed length of visit. This is in an effort to encourage people to spend a night or two instead of making a day trip. The route 217 Scenic Drive, for example, recommends one day or more.
“It’s much easier to convince one person or one group of people to stay than it is to convince many separate people,” says Geerts.
“We’re hoping these hints will draw people to the area, but also help create opportunities for local businesses.”
The guidebook also boasts a map pinpointing notable trails, parks, lighthouses and Visitor Information centres across the region. A detailed map of Digby Town is also included – a feature Geerts really wanted, and felt was lacking from the previous version.
The guidebooks will soon be distributed to information centres around the province, and will be brought to Saltscapes in Halifax. Bay Ferries will also carry brochures on the ferry, and the Halifax Airport and Waterfront areas will also carry it.
The guidebook is a representation of Digby itself – simple, picturesque, and surprising. Geerts says she hopes it will “excite new and returning tourists,” and “encourage them to explore our beautiful landscapes.”
“It really captures everything that Digby has to offer,” she says.